Experiencing historic waterways and water landscapes of the Vistula River Delta
The paper gives insights into the characteristics of Vistula River Delta water landscapes, referring to the process of creating land out of water by Polish, Dutch and German settlers. Based on this, the paper presents an integrated strategy formed upon studies in cultural geography and aesthetics, and focused on enhancing the unique characteristics of the region and its rediscovery by tourism. The long process of constructing Vistula River Delta landscape out of water, marshlands and alluvial deposits resulted in creating a unique polder territory structured by canals, dikes, systems of water locks and bridges. Patterns of canals and surrounding landscapes changed in time along with the development of hydro-engineering constructions, leading to the emergence of a unique cultural identity. After decades of negligence the Vistula River Delta landscape is currently being re-appreciated. New challenges arise, however, imposing questions on possible strategies for sustainable tourism that will lead to the discovery of historical waterways and their related landscapes in their natural-cultural unity, and not only provide visitors with knowledge about the region but also with the direct experience of this water–dependant territory. Developing a water-connections strategy by means of rivers and historic canals allows people to stay directly on water, participate with its rhythms and flows, and get insights into the unique topography negotiated between land and water. It will not only stimulate tourism but also contribute to the better appreciation of the heritage understood as a consequent continuous process of negotiating the boundaries between the river and inhabitable space – nature and architecture.
Lucyna Nyka. (2018). Experiencing historic waterways and water landscapes of the Vistula River Delta, 173-191.
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