Preservation, Tourism and Nationalism : The Jewel of the German Past book cover
1st Edition

Preservation, Tourism and Nationalism
The Jewel of the German Past

ISBN 9780754643241
Published July 28, 2006 by Routledge
360 Pages

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Book Description

Since its discovery by German romantics and nationalists, Rothenburg has been an established icon of the German nation and its medieval past. By tracing Rothenburg's historical development as a place of national importance, this book examines the cultural politics of historical preservation and tourism in general. In exploring the shifting practice and importance of tourism in Rothenburg and how this relates to broader debates about German culture and identity, Preservation, Tourism and Nationalism offers an important and original perspective on the changing dynamics of romanticized historical landscapes and how events are used to further national, cultural and political agendas. It also analyses the changing practices of historical preservation, and in particular, how historic preservation in Rothenburg reflects a desire to make it more historic and more German. With important insights into what it means to be German, how Germans relate to the past and how the answers to these questions have changed over time, this richly illustrated and detailed volume offers an important narrative of the rise, evolution and contestation of memory in German culture.

Table of Contents

Contents: Landscape, nation, and Rothenburg; A new beginning; Reinventing the Middle Ages; Preserving the past; Unprecedented growth and crisis; The most German of towns; Reclaiming the past; Almost a fairy tale; Epilogue: Beyond the clichés; Bibliography; Index.

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Dr Joshua Hagen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography at Marshall University, USA. His research interests include historical preservation and places of memory; geographies of national identity and territoriality; and architecture, urban design, and political authority.


’Landscapes of memory have become a significant field of study for cultural geographers, historians, students of architecture and many others over the recent period. For anyone interested in such landscapes, or indeed in urban conservation more generally, this book is a must. Focused on the evolution of just one medieval German town, the book examines the contested meanings which have been read into its ever-changing and yet seemingly enduring townscapes and raises important questions about identity, authenticity and our apparently irrepressible urge to conserve the past.’ Denis J.B. Shaw, University of Birmingham, UK ’It is the way...the author views the context of Rothenburg’s tourism that gives this book its high value.’ Tourism Recreation Research ’...scrupulously researched...scholars working on issues of memory and tourism in other disciplines will find it valuable as well...the author’s analysis of the overlapping local and national stakes of preservation is also very valuable and invites cross-national comparison with similar cases in Europe and beyond it...his study is a terrific stimulus to further consideration of how tourists have contributed to the making and remaking of nations...’ H-Net Review ’Joshua Hagen gives us a picture of Rothenburg’s last two centuries in great detail. The long time perspective is one of the book’s major assets.’ Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography ' excellent and ambitious book that cultural geographers and historians of tourism, German, and historic preservation will enjoy reading and discussing.' H-Net