These paths are made for walking: Leisure mobility, European space-making and German cultural landscapes since the 19th century

Looking at the history of walking, walking/hiking associations, and national or transnational walking routes, this project geographically takes German states in relation with one another as a point of departure and investigates historically how bourgeois mobility and mobility for leisure simultaneously or diachronically produced and negotiated multiple spatio-temporal conceptions of the nation between Heimat and European unity / cosmopolitanism since the end of 19th century. So doing, it argues that walking associations were agents of European integration avant la lettre. To do so, the project focuses on some of the most important yet understudied German hiking associations –Wandervereine or Wanderverbände– as well as their long and not necessarily linear process of Europeanization. It examines printed media created by the associations for public consumption, inner documents from regional, national, and international annual meetings, as well as the hiking material they created. All in all, the project considers how the act of walking European landscapes for leisure is a praxeological factor of historical change since the 19th century.


Geschichte, Europa, European Integration from below, European space-making, Walking, Hiking, Praxeology, Mobility, Heimat, Cosmopolitanism
01.06.2023 - laufend
Institution der EUF
Seminar für Geschichte und Geschichtsdidaktik