More tours in Tours

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Tours is the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. For tourists it is a stop-off during their visit to the Loire Valley. For locals it is the place they live with varying levels of permanency. For students who study there, it is a place of temporary (yet often strong) affiliation. Each of these groups contributes to the city as a living formative influence and each of them uses the city in a different way. Therefore, the city is partly characterized by its users. Furthermore, Tours is a Roman city Caesarodunum; it is a pilgrimage route; it is a Medieval city; it is the birthplace of the Renaissance in France; it is the city for royal ceremonies with French axial symmetry; it is a bombarded city scarred by wars, especially the last one and finally, it is the city that has been rebuilt. Tours is all that, but also none of that. It is the city of today, yet still comprises all those layers that have been added down the centuries. Accordingly, the city is partly characterized by the contradictions of past and present. At last, Tours is a part of the Loire Valley UNESCO Heritage Site. This institutionalized protective measure should help some areas to deal with inevitable changes in the modern world, but there is a risk of preventing further development by preserving and monumentalizing the existing situation. Ironically, what we try to protect now, we wouldn’t have even had if we had preserved it in today’s way centuries ago!
Sustainability in heritage protected areas : Book of Proceedings of the 5th AESOP European Urban Summer School Tours, France, from 1st – 8th September 2014
All rights reserved