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Places encountered on the Pilgrim's Progress

First edition title page
From a 1778 edition

The places mentioned in John Bunyan's tale of the Pilgrim's Progress are probably based on actual places that the author was familiar with.

But in this story, the places are more than just memories or fantasies, more than just metaphorical; they represent real places, situations, and obstacles that Christians encounter on their spiritual, physical and emotional journey through life.

Places encountered on the Pilgrim's Progress

By-Path MeadowThis leads to Doubting Castle.
Celestial CitySituated on Mount Zion, the Celestial City is God's residence. That is, heaven.
City of DestructionThe starting place for Christian on his pilgrimage. The City of Destruction is representative of the world (Isaiah 19:18); a place of doom for those who do not leave in time.
Cross and SepulchreThis is reference to the story of the Crucifixion and the tomb from which Jesus rose.
Delectable MountainsThese mountains afford wondrous views. They are also known as Immanuel's Land (Isa. 8:8).
Doubting CastleThe Giant Despair lives here with his wife.
Enchanted GroundA soft and gently rest area on the King's Highway. However, the shepherds warn the pilgrims that if you fall asleep on this place, you will not wake up again.
Gaius's innLike the River of God, this is another place for pilgrims to rest and refresh themselves.
Hill DifficultyThe hill called Difficulty happens to be the righteous road and this route is chosen by Christian. Parallel to the hill are the alternative routes of Danger and Destruction, which Formalist and Hypocrisy take to their peril.
Hill LucreA silver mine is supposed to be located here and is where By-Ends and his fellow travellers become lost.
House BeautifulThis is the church and lodging house for pilgrims on their way to the Celestial City (Acts 3:2,10).
House of the InterpreterThe Church or knowledge centre to guide the pilgrims on their way.
Land of BeulahA beautiful place in front of the River of Death.
Mount SinaiA mysterious and terrifying mountain overlooking the Village of Morality. It is here that many believe Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:2–17 and Deut. 5:6-21).
Pillar of SaltThis monument serves as a warning to those tempted to go down the Lucre silver mine.
Plain EaseThis is an example which shows that the King's Highway has pleasant aspects as well as some of the more dodgy places mentioned on this page. It enables the pilgrim to enjoy life on earth and savour the good things God provides. On the far edge of the plain is the Hill Lucre.
River of DeathThis is the treacherous moat surrounding Mount Zion. Its depth depends on the depth of one's faith.
River of God or River of the Water of LifeHere is a place where the pilgrims may rest and refresh themselves.
Slough of DespondCarrying a heavy burden of sin and guilt, this miry swamp of despondency tries to suck down those who lack courage as they approach the Saviour at the Wicket Gate.
Valley of HumiliationThis is just beyond the Hill Difficulty. It is a slippery slope and where Christian meets Apollyon in the place called Forgetful Green.
Valley of the Shadow of DeathThe King's Highway runs along this Valley, which is flanked by a treacherous marsh on one side and a deep pit on the other (Ps. 23:4).
VanityThe King's Highway passes through this place, in which a fair is held.
Wicket GateThe gate through which pilgrims may embark on their journey on the straight and narrow way to the Celestial City.

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