Heritage’s contemporary values: The cultural landscape of Terras do Barroso





cultural landscape, Terras do Barroso (Portugal), sustainable management of resources, architecture of the landscape, landscape unit


Divergences over the actions taking concerning lithium mining since 2012, in the municipality of Montalegre and Boticas, in Terras do Barroso (Portugal), highlight a problematic issue linked to the knowledge and the interpretation of the territory.

For many centuries, the isolation and the way of living in highlands were characteristics of the communities of Barroso; leading to an adaptation to the local conditions and to a utilisation of the resources available. On this high plateau, the inter-relation between man and nature defined an ancient landscape, whose balance was established by the combination and interdependence between the local physical conditions and the culture, with its customs, traditions and ways of living.

The aim of this work is to understand the cultural landscape system of Terras do Barroso, as a unit composed over time. The inter-relationships established between the diverse valences, components and evidence analysed for this study are identified through the rationale and operative mapping of the architecture of its landscape.

The relevance of this – established by the need to understand its heritage’s contemporary values, such as cultural landscape – comes at the moment that it is important to articulate a hierarchy of values, from the economic and environmental to the cultural and natural, in order to guarantee the quality of public decisions.


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