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The Experience of Place and Non-Place Within the Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage

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Title: The Experience of Place and Non-Place Within the Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage
Author: Crowley, Morgan
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Perkins, Nathan
Abstract: The Camino Francés, a 780km pilgrimage in Northern Spain, has been traveled by millions of pilgrims over the last 800 years. In recent decades the route has been increasingly threatened by insensitive development and infrastructure. Surprisingly little research has been conducted on the nature and ecology of pilgrims’ experiences and the landscape necessary to support the roughly 170,000 people that walk the Camino each year. Adapting methods from recreation and leisure science, this autoethnographic research explored the influence of the environment on my pilgrimage experience as I walked for five weeks in the Fall of 2011. Analysis used a variety of qualitative techniques in creating my own narrative. My research suggests that the landscape is essential to a positive and meaningful pilgrimage experience. Future planning and design efforts for this UNESCO route should incorporate the influence of the landscape on the experience of pilgrimage.
Date: 2012-05
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