Bundesamt für Naturschutz


Literatur NatGesIs

Therapeutic landscapes: theory and a case study of Epidauros, Greece




Gesler, W.M.




Environment and Planning D: Society and Space


11 (2)


171 - 189


A new direction for medical geographic study is suggested, the analysis of places which have attained an enduring reputation for achieving physical, mental, and spiritual healing. The reasons for the efficacy of these therapeutic landscapes can be examined by using themes derived from the traditional landscape ideas of cultural geography, humanistic geography, structuralist geography, and the principles of holistic health. These themes are categorized as inner/meaning (including the natural setting, the built environment, sense of place, symbolic landscapes, and everyday activities) and outer/societal context (including beliefs and philosophies, social relations and/or inequalities, and territoriality). By using a methodology termed an 'archaeology of discourse' in which written and oral documents are examined, the themes are used to investigate the healing reputation of the Asclepian sanctuary at Epidauros, Greece. Study findings have policy implications for health-care practice today.

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