|"Russian priestesses" (circa 1900)|
It’s a fact that one of the causes of the Crimean War was a dispute over who controlled the Christian holy sites in the Holy Land. The primary combatants were the Russian Empire versus an alliance of the French, Ottoman and British Empires.
In 1851 Napoleon III sent an ambassador to the Ottoman court to convince the Turks to recognize France as the sovereign authority over the holy sites in Palestine, effectively meaning Roman Catholic control over the sites. After Russia protested, the Ottomans reversed the agreement with the French and proclaimed that Russia was the protector of Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire (not too much to the liking of the Greek Orthodox).
|Russian pilgrims on the way to Jericho|
|Russian pilgrims on the Jordan River|
The dispute over the holy sites was part of the general balagan as the Ottoman Empire disintegrated, leading to widespread warfare, predominately in the Crimean Peninsula along the northern coast of the Black Sea.
|Hospital in the Russian Compound,|
|Russian Pilgrims on the road |
between Jerusalem and
the Jordan River
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