Experiencing Dalmatia: What Constitutes the Sensory Landscape Identity of the Dalmatia Region?



The article addresses the concept of landscape identity considered from a new perspective – a perspective of five fundamental human senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Landscape identity is mostly understood as a phenomenon based on its distinguishable visual characteristics. However, human environment is a multisensory medium, rich in information from all fields of perception. Equally, a man is a multisensory being and experiences his environment with multiple senses. The underlying assumption is that human identification with places does not only arise from the interaction with their visual, but also with their auditory, olfactory, tactile, and even gustatory properties. As a research area, the Dalmatia region in Croatia has been chosen. By the content analysis method, applied on samples of lyric poems and promotional (mostly tourist) materials, the aim was to examine what features, visual and non-visual, the social conception of Dalmatian landscape is based on. The results show that landscape identity of Dalmatia, in terms of sensory perception, is rather diverse. Understanding landscape identity as a sensory multidimensional phenomenon opens many new questions and possibilities in the field of landscape theory and practice.


landscape; environmental perception; senses; sensory landscape identity; Dalmatia

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096