Quiz about Tales of the Grand Tour 3
Quiz about Tales of the Grand Tour 3

Tales of the Grand Tour 3 Trivia Quiz

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron, took a Grand Tour from 1809-11 that noticeably broke from tradition. The war on the Continent meant that the usual stops had to be avoided. See if you can identify the stops on his tour based on the sights he viewed.

A matching quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
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Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 76 (10/10), Guest 86 (7/10), Guest 86 (6/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Tagus River, St. Jerome Monastery  
2. Orange Trees, Maid of Saragonza Parade   
3. Rock, Great Siege Tunnels  
Smyrna (Izmir)
4. Tepelena, Ali Pasha's Palace   
5. Harbor of Valetta, Church of St. John  
6. Ruins at Ephesus  
7. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque  
8. Bull Feast, Opera, Almedea  
9. Parthenon, Plain of Marathon  
10. Plains of Troy, Hellespont  

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Tagus River, St. Jerome Monastery

Answer: Lisbon

The beginning of the French Revolution had already changed the face of the Grand Tour, and during the Napoleonic Wars, much of Europe was closed to English visitors. Rather than leaving from the port of Dover, as had been done in the past for those on the Grand Tour, Lord Byron and his group left from Falmouth in southwestern England. He arrived in Lisbon on July 7, 1809, and stayed there until the 21st. Due to the French occupation of Portugal, and the ensuing war between their forces versus Portugal, Spain, and Britain, the royal family of Portugal had fled to Brazil, and Portugal still wasn't the safest or nicest place to be. In "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (1812), a long poem that he composed about his travels, Lord Byron wrote while visiting in Portugal, "No personage of high degree Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt". He wrote that he had bathed in the Tagus River twice, and it was during one of these baths that it is believed that Byron swam the river for more than two miles. During the stay in Lisbon, it appears that the Monastery of St. Jerome was visited twice (perhaps to "atone for our misdeeds in Lisbon this day") according to John Hobhouse, a friend of Byron's from Trinity College, Cambridge who came along on the trip.

At the beginning of their adventure, Byron noted that his friend appeared to be preparing to write some sort of publication, as he brought along "two gallons of japan ink and several volumes of best blank", and kept notes of their trip.
2. Orange Trees, Maid of Saragonza Parade

Answer: Seville

When Lord Byron and his group left Lisbon, they rode on horseback through Spain. Even though he spent very little time (three days) in Seville, it made an impression; in a letter he sent to his mother he said it was "a beautiful town; though the streets are narrow, they are clean".

As he also remarked, orange trees line the streets of the city ("Seville is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women".) Agustina de Aragón, who some called the Spanish Joan of Arc, was known for rallying the Spanish troops who had been fighting against the French in the First Siege of Zaragoza (1808). Byron wrote about her in his "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage", and said that while he was in Seville she could be seen walking daily on the Prado.
3. Rock, Great Siege Tunnels

Answer: Gibraltar

At the time of Lord Byron's visit, Gibraltar had a population of about 10,000 people, plus the soldiers who were stationed there. Accommodations for visitors apparently left something to be desired and Byron described it as a "cursed place". Hobhouse wrote that the first evening they were in Gibraltar that the group climbed the Rock, which they did at least twice.

The ruins of the Moorish Castle, built in 711 AD, could be seen there. A couple of days later, they visited the Rock Galleries, also called the Great Siege Tunnels, a system of underground tunnels that had been constructed and used from 1779 to 1783 when Spain and France tried to take Gibraltar from the British. Hobhouse also made note of the Barbary macaques who are believed to have been present at Gibraltar at least since the conquest of the Moors.

Interestingly, in 1782 a Spanish historian wrote, "Neither the incursions of Moor, the Spaniards nor the English, nor cannon nor bomb of either have been able to dislodge them". Byron did plan to cross the strait into Africa, but the weather did not permit.

It was in Gibraltar that he sent all of his servants back to England with the exception of his valet and Hobhouse, of course.
4. Tepelena, Ali Pasha's Palace

Answer: Albania

In 1809, Albania was part of the Ottoman Empire, and was technically ruled by Sultan Mahmud II. The Empire, however, was already in a period of decline; Tepelena, Albania, was part of an area that was ruled by Ali Pasha, an outlaw who had decided to reform and instead serve the Ottoman Empire.

He eventually earned the title "pasha", ruling a territory that included parts of modern Albania and northern Greece. Luckily for us, Lord Byron wrote a rather detailed letter to his mother about his stay in Albania.

His narrative states that Ali Pasha preferred to ally himself to the British rather than the French, and appeared to be enamored with Lord Byron as he was told "to consider him as a father whilst I was in Turkey", and was sent "almonds and sugared sherbet, fruit and sweetmeats twenty times a day".

It is obvious that Byron fell in love with Albania, as he purchased a costume there and posed for a portrait while wearing it upon his return to England.
5. Harbor of Valetta, Church of St. John

Answer: Malta

The Malta that Lord Byron visited was in a bit of a state of flux. In 1798 Napoleon had captured the island from the Knights of the Order of St John, who had held control since 1530. In 1800 the British helped the Maltese people oust the French, and were asked to stay and rule. Malta consequently gained the status of a British colony in the Treaty of Paris in 1814. Lord Byron used Malta as his post office to forward mail, and landed on the island on his way to Athens and also on his journey home.

In 1809 he stayed there for about three weeks, once again falling in love, but leaving after being challenged to a duel. Sources state that during his first stay in Malta, Lord Byron visited the Church of St. John, built by the Knights from 1572-77, and redecorated in the Baroque style. (Remember, the Baroque style was to be studied, along with Classical and Renaissance art, by those taking the Grand Tour in from the 1660s on).

The interior of the church was said to rival any church in Europe. Apparently when he arrived in Malta on the return trip to England, Lord Byron was ill; one source said that he was quarantined in the ship in Valetta Harbor due to yellow fever. On May 26, 1811, in his poem "Farewell to Malta", he wrote, "Adieu, that damned'st quarantine, That gave me fever, and the spleen!".

He also mentioned the well-known steep stairs, "Adieu, ye cursed streets of stairs, how surely he who mounts you swears". With his limp, it would have been difficult for Lord Byron to do much walking in the city.
6. Ruins at Ephesus

Answer: Smyrna (Izmir)

Called Izmir today, and located in Turkey, Smyrna was located within the Ottoman Empire at the time Lord Byron visited in 1810. While there, he traveled the short distance to the ancient site of Ephesus, which had originally been colonized by the ancient Greeks as early as the 14th century BC. Throughout its long history, the area was also controlled by the Lydians, Macedonians, and Romans.

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, considered one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, was built and rebuilt in three phases, and was eventually used as a Christian Church.

It was attacked by the Goths in 268, and after that its use and history becomes a bit hazy. Although Lord Byron may have thought he was searching through the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, it is more likely that the ruins belonged to another one of the buildings in the great city - the gymnasium has been suggested.

The site of the Temple was not known until 1869 when it was discovered by John T. Wood. Nevertheless, Lord Byron left his tribute in "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, "...I have beheld the Ephesian's miracle--Its columns strew the wilderness ..."
7. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque

Answer: Constantinople

The Hagia Sophia, or Holy Wisdom, was constructed in the city of Constantinople in 537 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I after the second church constructed on the site burned down. Considered by many to be the best example of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia was an Eastern Orthodox Church until 1453 (with the exception of 1204-1261, when the Fourth Crusaders made the church a Roman Catholic Cathedral), when the city of Constantinople was taken over by the Ottoman Turks. The Turks immediately changed the building into a mosque, and it remained a Muslim place of worship until 1931 when it became a museum. When Lord Byron toured Constantinople he toured other mosques, including the Blue Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque. He also met twice with with Sultan Mahmud II.

When Lord Byron left Constantinople, he also parted company with his friend, John Hobhouse, noting "I feel happier, I feel free".
8. Bull Feast, Opera, Almedea

Answer: Cadiz

A description of the bull feast that Lord Byron attended was recorded by his friend, John Hobhouse, who wrote that even the young ladies who were present at the event seemed to enjoy it. It apparently was a fight between bulls and horses, "An Englishman who can be much pleased with seeing two men beat themselves to pieces, cannot bear to look at a horse galloping round an arena with his bowels trailing the ground...." The pair also saw an English opera there called "A Peep into the Seraglio", but did not enjoy the dancing. Before leaving Cadiz, where they rested for only three days, they met up with a Lord Wellesley, believed to be a nephew of the famous Arthur, while walking along the scenic Almedea, which was a sea-front walkway in the city.
9. Parthenon, Plain of Marathon

Answer: Athens

Lord Byron entered the city of Athens on December 25, 1809, after riding through Thebes and Delphi, where he was disappointed to see what was described as a dirty village. During his stay, he took rooms in Psyri, a neighborhood that is known for being one of the oldest quarters of the city, located near the base of the Acropolis. Lord Byron was in Athens during the time that Thomas Bruce, more famously known as Lord Elgin, was finishing his removal of the antiquities now called the Elgin Marbles, from the Parthenon.

The poem, "The Curse of Minerva" was written by Byron in 1811 to express his angry feelings and shame over the looting of the sacred building. Before leaving the area, he also visited the remains of the Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion (about 43 miles from Athens), and the field at Marathon (about 26 miles from Athens), where the Athenians had defeated the Persian army in 490 BC.

The purpose of a Grand Tour, in part, was to study the ruins of Classical cultures, but seeing the once fiercely independent Greeks under Turkish rule and the glorious buildings in ruins was extremely difficult for Lord Byron.

It should also be said that he stopped in Athens again on his return trip home. He stayed at a convent, where he studied Greek and Italian.
10. Plains of Troy, Hellespont

Answer: Dardanelles

In Lord Byron's day, the area around the Dardanelles, where it was believed Troy had been located, was called the Troad, or the land of Troy. He hoped that as he walked the area, that he was on the site of ancient Troy. It was not until 1870 that Heinrich Schliemann, using the works of Homer as a guidebook, would actually find the remains of the ancient city.

While in the area, Lord Byron, a lover of Classical literature, wished to see if it was really possible for the mythological Leander to swim the Hellespont, a distance of about a mile as the crow flies, which became four miles when taking the strong currents into consideration. According to the story, Leander fell in love with Hero, who was a priestess of Aphrodite who had taken a vow of chastity. Every night, guided by the light in her tower, he would swim the Hellespont to visit his love. Lord Byron's friend, John Hobhouse, reportedly read Ovid's story, Hero and Leander", watching from a nearby ship as Byron swam with a Lieutenant Ekenhead.

It took Byron about an hour and ten minutes (his companion five minutes less) to prove that it could be done. His poem, "Written After Swimming from Sestos to Abydos", was written to record the feat - he was obviously quite proud of himself.
Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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