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Accessibility to Cultural Heritage

Nordic Perspectives

image of Accessibility to Cultural Heritage

Accessibility to cultural heritage is about consciousness, knowledge, creativity and balance Heritage has meaning only through its encounter with people. This report shows how accessibility questions are being addressed through practical examples drawn from across the Nordic countries. There are considerable variations in scale, ranging from the remote church on an island in Iceland to the baroque palace in the centre of Stockholm. Most of the cases have found their solutions, some permanent and others temporary, while others represent challenges that are still being worked on. It is important to make people aware of the various choices that have to be taken, especially when the solutions have negative consequences for the heritage. Physical accessibility can shadow for understanding and experience of the site or monument. Access to cultural heritage is too important for brutal and ill-timed solutions. Good and lasting solutions often need time to mature.

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The archaeological environment – the landscapes of the sagas

The Icelandic Vatnsdœla Saga, written in about 1270, tells the story of the first generations of the Hofverja family. The time span of the saga covers the Viking age, approximately 870-1030. The historical landscape stretches from Norway and Sweden in the east, to the Orkney Islands and Scotland in the west and up to the Vatnasdalur in the northern part of Iceland, where most of the saga's events take place. Public interest in landscape and medieval literature has increased during the last few years. "Saga-travels" exploiting the cultural landscapes of the Icelandic sagas have become increasingly popular and considerable efforts have been invested in their development. Many projects are in progress, such as the one concerning the cultural landscape of the Vatnsdœla Saga, principally set in Vatnsdalur and Ting in northern Iceland. The aim of this project is to make the archaeological remains linked to the saga both accessible and comprehensible to the general public.

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