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The contemporary spiritual journeys. The phenomenon of the religious tourism in the 21 st century and the sacrum in the pilgrimage spaces and buildings.
  • The pilgrimages - the oldest form of tourism - have always been made out of spiritual needs. The places which are visited are sacred in different ways within different religions. Both elements of landscape and places of worship created by men happen to become the purposes of the trips. The places of worship sometimes surround holy relics, sometimes mark the place of miraculous events. Many of these places belong to the World cultural heritage and are worshipped not only by the believers but also by all people sensitive to spiritual values in space, on the basis of the principle of mutual respect.
  • Old, traditional purpose places of religious travellers preserve sacrum "out of definitionquot; thanks to the remembrance about the event, to the tradition and the holiness of the heritage. Nowadays not only the time of reaching the chosen place but also the way of traveling have changed. Starting from Christians: very few believers decide now to follow medieval guidelines and travel on foot, as Paolo Coelho described in his famous novel "The Pilgrim ". We also witness the change in the spatial rank of many sanctuaries localized in big metropolies and cities - often the starting point of their development as they were, now reduced in meaning to local temples sunk in the urban sea.
  • New buildings in the places of worship space are being built and they also become part of the pilgrimage purpose. Is the sacrum detectable there? What is it that moves people in contemporary spaces serving as miraculous and sacred? Is it possible to translate the experience of old-time pilgrims and their ecstatic feelings on entering the sacred place to the language of a contemporary sanctuary or an old one but surrounded by the new urban tissue? What is the essence of the spirituality of the space crossed by a pilgrim on the route home - pilgrimage purpose - home? Is there a chance to enhance the spirituality with the use of the means used by and being at the disposal of contemporary architects and urban planners?
  • The religious tourism is a phenomenon described in a very detailed way by both geography of religion and sociology of religion. It seems that architects and urban planners have been dealing with it talking about the relations of cultural tourism, which religious tourism is part of, with widely interpreted heritage. We want to go a step further.
  • We want to analyze the problems of creating sacrum, so longed by pilgrims, with the use of new architectural and urban ways, so that it sounds with the language and rhythm of contemporary space.
  • We want to discuss the methods appropriate for designing holy urban and town spaces as well as managing them, to create a forum for an exchange of thoughts of people involved in tourism organization from the design and economy point of view. We hope that the conference will be a venue for the professionals in the field of preservation of the historical heritage as well as for the designers of new sanctuaries attracting pilgrims.
  • The threats of the 21st century make the pilgrimages more and more attractive for people, not only for people having religion. Is there a chance for the places of worship calling pilgrims to become interfaith ecumenical bridge which will help to make peace among humankind on the Earth in the face of global conflicts? Maybe the presentations we will listen to during the conference will help us dream about this utopian vision too...
  • You are welcome!

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