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Medieval ‘Cultural Landscapes’: Construction, Perception, and Evaluation – in the Middle Ages and Today

Medieval ‘Cultural Landscapes’: Construction, Perception, and Evaluation – in the Middle Ages and Today

By Gerhard Jaritz

Paper given at the Yeongwol Yonsei Forum (2011)

Introduction: The European Landscape Convention defined ‘landscape’ as an “area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors.”  “It covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas.” Thus, it is the sum of all changes to the environment; “it is where past and present meet.”  The Florence definition comes quite close to the description of ‘cultural landscape’, as it is offered by the UNESCO World Heritage Guidelines: cultural landscapes “represent the combined work of nature and man.”  Any part of the land can be recognized as ‘cultural landscape’, “from a dump site to a thoroughbred horse farm, from the corridor along a multilane freeway to a network of nature paths, from a utilitarian domestic yard to a national park, from a squatter settlement to an elite suburban enclave.” Such discussions about and definitions of ‘(cultuAal) landscape’ are the continuation of a discourse that has mainly started in German geographical research at the end of the nineteenth century.

Click here to read this article from the Yeongwol Yonsei Forum

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