Workshop Format// Formats des Ateliers

Paper in a panel / paper dans un panneau

Title// Titre

Panel 7. Paper 7.3: Small Sacral sites as both religious features and landscape networks in Central Europe

DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/d61g-7a29

Organizer/Presenter/author Information // Informations sur l'organisateur / le présentateur / auteurs

Elizabeth Brabec, University of Massachusetts - AmherstFollow

Biographical Information // Informations biographiques

Elizabeth Brabec is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also Director of the Center for Heritage and Society, a research center focused on the role of heritage in contemporary society. She is a contributing member of the ISCCL (International Scientific Committee for Cultural Landscapes), She was also appointed to the Climate Change and Heritage Working Group of ICOMOS, which published its report in 2019 "The Future of Our Pasts.".

Keywords

small sacral architecture; rural sacred sites; Bohemia; pilgrimage routes

Abstract // Résumé

Though often overlooked due to their scale, networks of small sacral Christian architecture in the form of local churches, pilgrimage churches, chapels and small sacral sites, hold a significant importance in rural cultural landscapes in Europe and beyond. The networks are significant in their social stratification, diversity, distribution and abundance across cultural landscapes. The most significant development of networks of small sacral architecture in central and eastern Europe was during the Baroque under Catholicism, although the tradition builds on the marking of sacred sites during earlier periods of history throughout Europe.

A case study of the cultural landscapes of sacred sites in Bohemia, Czech Republic, illuminates the social layers that these sites produced, and identifies critical issues of documentation and challenges of interpretation of these networks. Sacred sites in Bohemia form three networks of cultural landscapes that are distinct from each other and only minimally connected: the sacred landscapes of the ruling class connecting family churches, crypts, shrines and hermitages; the networks of pilgrimage sites and routes; and the networks of small sacred sites, chapels and churches that dotted the agricultural landscape. These networks individually and collectively connected nature and culture in both intimate and large scale landscapes.

Small sacral sites are often accompanied by monumental single trees or a compositionally organised group of trees to create a sacred composition of nature and culture. They were important landmarks, indicators of place and landscape features of spatial organization for the residents of rural communities. At the other end of the range of scales, the monumental composed landscapes of the ruling class, covering upwards of 30 kilometers in length, connected religious sites (hermitages and pilgrimage chapels), family churches and crypts, and important natural sites, particularly natural water features.

This session elaborates on the origin, historical development and landscape values of small sacral Christian architecture, as well as their relation to separate natural features that create part of the sacral composition. The session explores the issues of documentation of these networks of sites, and the challenges that interpretation of connected sites over such large land areas creates.

Bibliographic References // Références Bibliographiques

Cummings, Vicki, and Alasdair Whittle. 2003. Tombs with a View: Landscape, monuments and trees. Antiquity 77: 255.

Horsfall, Sara. 2000. "The experience of Marian apparitions and the Mary cult." The Social Science Journal 37 (3):375-384.

Tóth, Attila, Axel Timpe, Richard Stiles, Doris Damyanovic, István Valánszki, Alena Salašová, Agata Cieszewska, Elizabeth Brabec. 2019. Small Sacral Christian Architecture in the Cultural Landscapes of Europe, 22(1): 1-7.

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Panel 7. Paper 7.3: Small Sacral sites as both religious features and landscape networks in Central Europe

Though often overlooked due to their scale, networks of small sacral Christian architecture in the form of local churches, pilgrimage churches, chapels and small sacral sites, hold a significant importance in rural cultural landscapes in Europe and beyond. The networks are significant in their social stratification, diversity, distribution and abundance across cultural landscapes. The most significant development of networks of small sacral architecture in central and eastern Europe was during the Baroque under Catholicism, although the tradition builds on the marking of sacred sites during earlier periods of history throughout Europe.

A case study of the cultural landscapes of sacred sites in Bohemia, Czech Republic, illuminates the social layers that these sites produced, and identifies critical issues of documentation and challenges of interpretation of these networks. Sacred sites in Bohemia form three networks of cultural landscapes that are distinct from each other and only minimally connected: the sacred landscapes of the ruling class connecting family churches, crypts, shrines and hermitages; the networks of pilgrimage sites and routes; and the networks of small sacred sites, chapels and churches that dotted the agricultural landscape. These networks individually and collectively connected nature and culture in both intimate and large scale landscapes.

Small sacral sites are often accompanied by monumental single trees or a compositionally organised group of trees to create a sacred composition of nature and culture. They were important landmarks, indicators of place and landscape features of spatial organization for the residents of rural communities. At the other end of the range of scales, the monumental composed landscapes of the ruling class, covering upwards of 30 kilometers in length, connected religious sites (hermitages and pilgrimage chapels), family churches and crypts, and important natural sites, particularly natural water features.

This session elaborates on the origin, historical development and landscape values of small sacral Christian architecture, as well as their relation to separate natural features that create part of the sacral composition. The session explores the issues of documentation of these networks of sites, and the challenges that interpretation of connected sites over such large land areas creates.