(647 words)

A Bildungsreise was a form and convention of travel that became increasingly important in Western Europe from the 17th century on; scholars have generally characterized it as “bourgeois” [5]. Given the pragmatic multifunctionality of lengthy expensive stays abroad, it represented a cultural archetype realized more in published Reiseberichten (Travel literature) and especially in the Bildungsroma​n than in actual travel.

The term denotes the phenomenon of an increasingly individualized form of a long stay abroad, which was cultivated by the upper so…

Cite this page
Grosser, Thomas, “Bildungsreise”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 16 January 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

▲   Back to top   ▲