The Nature of Cultural Heritage Sites


ln the late 1990s holidays close to nature often take people to places that are demarcated as cultural heritage sites. Here people can sample the past in their search for a Iife in harmony with nature. The development of these living museums where visitors can try their hands at old crafts, get a taste of what life was like in the past, and witness people's lives in a local setting, goes hand in hand with ecological perspectives, green tourism, and natural products. The purpose of this article is, first, to present the tendency to use history and culture as a new escapeway to nature, and second, to discuss the nature of cultural heritage politics. In the quest for fixed values, clear identities, and adequate ways torelate to nature, there is a tendency to criticize our own modern society with the aid of history. The critical attitude to modern civilization found among many of the visitors could be an expression of alternatives and resistance and an active way to discuss and test contemporary environmental issues. Cultural heritage sites have a potential as alternative places where lasting values could make them useful for trying out new attitudes to nature and culture in the future.

How to Cite

Svensson, B., (1998) “The Nature of Cultural Heritage Sites”, Ethnologia Europaea 28(1), 5-16. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


Download PDF



Birgitta Svensson (University of Lund)



Publication details



All rights reserved


File Checksums (MD5)

  • PDF: b64856012c49b0bb883a5e1d9474ec7a