Olivier’s Journey to Karbala in 1794

Olivier (1209 AH - 1794 CE)

The journey embarked by the journeyer Olivier took place during the eighteenth century and was narrated by historians and researchers, which he called “A Journey throughout the Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Persia”. Below is the part related to Karbala from the journey.


Olivier describes the city of Karbala saying:

“Imam Ali Shrine is not the only shrine visited by pilgrims; they also visit the Imam Hussain Shrine, which includes the tomb of Hussain Ibn Ali who was killed along with a large number of his relatives and companions in the Battle of Karbala. It is known that after the death of Muawiyah, Hussain went to Kufa with 150 people and his family, where his supporters were waiting for him, however, Yazid Ibn Muawiyah had sent against him six thousand men who confronted him. Hussain fought until the last breath against this large army and a shrine was established for him near the battlefield, and on this shrine a mosque was later built and a city was formed around it.”

“The Shrine of Hussain is located six or seven farsakhs (~5.8km) northwest of Hilla, in an excellent location, deriving its water from the Euphrates by means of a canal, which made it easy for the residents to grow many palm trees around their city.”