Enchantment of the underground. Touring mines in early modern Sweden

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In the early modern period, mines were not only nodes of economic activity and playgrounds of technological invention but also sightseeing stops for curious travellers fascinated by the subterranean geography. Three such travellers – Charles Ogier, Jean-François Regnard and Aubry de la Motraye – toured mines
and associated metal foundries while sojourning in Sweden in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Their narratives offer rich reflections on the subjects of beauty and cruelty of subterranean nature, on the metamorphosis of nature into
artefact and on human technological ingenuity in the efforts to harness and transform natural resources. Positioning the travellers’ experiences in the context of contemporary discourses of wonder and curiosity as well as the period’s technological development, and in light of Alfred Gell’s concepts of the enchantment of technology and technology of enchantment, this study
investigates the travellers’ fascination with the mines as travel destinations and as spaces located between nature and culture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Tourism History
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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