Publication details

The Giant Mountains – as beautiful as the Alps. The origins of the aesthetic discovery of mountains in the Central European context



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Tourism History
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Travellers; Alps; Riesengebirge/Giant Mountains; mountains; travelogues
Attached files
Description This article examines the aesthetic motivation behind the inception of tourism in the mountains. Aesthetic motives played a key role in the development of tourism in the Alps, which in the eighteenth century became a new, ideal type of landscape and a popular destination for artists and scientists, and later for tourists too. What form did this phenomenon take in a different geographical and cultural context? What were its dynamics and specific features? The article traces these motives by analysing texts on the Giant Mountains (Riesengebirge, Krkonoše, Karkonosze), which became a favourite destination for tourists from the German states and the Austrian Empire. At the time these mountains were compared with the Alps, and this article aims to analyse the parallels and differences between the aesthetic appreciation of the Alps and of the Giant Mountains. Together with scientific interest, aesthetic concerns also played an important role in the inception of tourism here. We can see a reflection of contemporary theories of the Sublime and the Picturesque, as well as the ascent of romanticism. The article works with sources from the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, supplementing them with a summary of subsequent developments in the twentieth century.
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