The" Jerusalem syndrome"--fantasy and reality a survey of accounts from the 19th century to the end ot the second millennium Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract The so-called" Jerusalem Syndrome" is behavioral phenomena observed in eccentric and psychotic tourists with religious delusions. A significant number of pilgrims and tourists have been visiting the Holy City, at least since the beginning of the 19th century, including some delusionary and eccentric characters. The authors present a selection of vivid descriptive accounts of such 19th century visitors, by six local residents and writers about Jerusalem (including one psychiatrist). It should be noted that those writers already noticed and documented the so-called syndrome more than a century ago. In comparison to modern research of the phenomena in contemporary Jerusalem, a striking similarity in the narrative and the clinical picture emerges. However, based on accumulated data, the authors suggest that in most cases the religious atmosphere of the city is not the primary …

publication date

  • January 1, 1999