Pilgrimage is beginning to resemble any other kind of holiday

Hidden away in the Old City of Jerusalem is a tattoo parlour which has been serving pilgrims for the past 700 years. The Razzouk family parlour near the Jaffa Gate claims to have been inking crosses into travellers’ skins since the 1300s. True or not, it’s a good example of how contemporary pilgrimage sites draw on an occasionally dubious history to offer something unique in a crowded travel market. The pilgrim parlour is one of many memorable details from Peter Stanford’s Pilgrimage, which looks at how this ancient tradition has been revived for the 21st century. The book gives a brisk account of a dozen different routes and shrines, including