Chronology of Tinco Lycklama’s stay in Qajar Persia (1866)

In April 1865, the young Dutch aristocrat Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt (1837-1900) embarked on the voyage of his life – a trip that would last three-and-a-half years, which would take him through Russia, Persia and the Middle East.

On April 6th, 1866, Tinco first set foot on Persian soil – and traveled the country for the next eight months. Later on, after a stay in Baghdad (which was then a part of the Ottoman empire), he returned for another four months to Persia. He is the only Dutchman with first hand experience with the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Persia between 1789-1925.

We will relate key dates, places and encounters from Tinco’s own writings about his stay in Persia.

(continue reading below the French and Dutch notes, and the illustrations)

Le 6 avril 1866, Tinco Lycklama toucha le sol Perse pour la première fois. Le récit complet de ses observations en Perse Kadjar peut être consulté dans le Tome II de son “Voyage…” (consultable en ligne sur Gallica/BnF). Nous publions sur notre site la chronologie des principaux lieux et rencontres – accompagnés de brèves descriptions et quelques illustrations appropriées. (Suivez la chronologie aussi sur Facebook…)

Op 6 april 1866 zette Tinco Lycklama voor het eerst voet op Perzische grond. Het verhaal van zijn observaties in Kadjar Perzië zijn te lezen (in het Frans) in Deel II van zijn “Voyage…” (online op Gallica/BnF). Op onze site publiceren we de chronologie van de belangrijkste plaatsen en ontmoetingen, voorzien van korte notities en relevante illustraties. Volg de chronologie ook op Facebook…)

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Itinerary of Tinco Lycklama’s travels in Persia in 1866-1867 (red line), on a map by Victor Malte-Brun (1872)


Persia was probably one of Tinco’s major fascinations. He had read about the country’s history, culture and geography by absorbing the writings of 17th century travelers. At the time of the Dutch East India Company, the Dutch had had strong ties with Persia and operated many important trading posts at Isfahan and around the Persian Gulf.

Tinco’s ambition was to be the first Dutchman to renew the interest in the region. He wanted to explore Persia and see it through different lenses (history, customs, art…) – and describe what he saw. A few years later, after his return from this grand voyage, he published his observations in four volumes, totalling over 2,200 pages. This edited journal was written in French – and was never translated.

Now, 150 years later, we will recount – in brief words and with appropriate illustrations – some key observations of Tinco in Persia. We will follow the exact chronology using the dates provided by Tinco himself. For non-French readers, this will provide background about events and people in Qajar Persia at that time. For scholars or people interested in ancient times, this may provide useful insights into what an academically trained traveler like Tinco saw with his own eyes.



Whilst we relate key dates, places and personalities, it is not our pretension to be complete (at this time). Full examination would require translations and further study. This is the long-term ambition of our project, but we will now concentrate on giving some key facts. By doing so, we may spark broader interest and provoke inquiries. We welcome your reactions and will be happy to include readers that wish to join our future research projects.

Broad outline of the Persian stay of Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt

  • April 1866 – Julfa, Tabriz, Turkmenchay
  • May 1866 – Kasbin, Tehran
  • June/September 1866 – Tehran, and its environs
  • October 1866 – Qom, Isfahan, Persepolis
  • November 1866 – Shiraz, Bandar Bushehr

After a travel via Baghdad, return to Persia…

  • July 1867 – Kermanshah, Ecbtane (Hamadan), Tehran
  • August 1867 – Ecbatane (Hamadan)
  • September 1867 – Senneh



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