Konstruktionen av en minnesplats: Bruket av Burmeisterska huset i Visby
2016 (Swedish)In: Bebyggelsehistorisk tidskrift, ISSN 0349-2834, Vol. 71, no 1, 22-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The article deals with how a 17th-century building in Visby, the Burmeister House, has been used as a site of memory since the end of the 19th century. The theoretical starting point is the concept by the French historian Pierre Nora on how historians actively create sites of memory (les lieux de mémoire). We can regard the house as a site of memory to try and understand the historical significance previously ascribed to it and how the house is seen today. A site can be conserved or preserved through alteration, which emphasizes a selection of its characteristics that become tangible expressions of abstract
narratives about the national or local community. This is the case with Burmeister House,
which, after being bought by Visby council in 1904, went from being a private home to a public museum, tourist office, restaurant, and reading room, later becoming a listed building and a visitor centre for the World Heritage Site. Hand in hand with the house becoming a place that provided experiences by way of guided tours, and where various kinds of merchandise were sold, the building underwent a number of major renovations. These were designed to reinforce the impression of a well-preserved merchant’s home from the early period of Swedish control on Gotland. Reminders of the post-18th-century history of the house can be seen in various places. The building has an almost 90-year history as a tourist centre and travel agency, yet we can glimpse this narrative only by way of various “forgotten” objects. An increasingly respectful attitude to the building’s 17th-century wall paintings, viewed through the lens of cultural history, led to the tourist centre moving out in around 1993. At the beginning of the 21st century the building became a visitor centre for the newly designated World Heritage Site of the Hanseatic town of Visby. This led to a shift in focus for this site of memory, away from the building itself towards the conceptualization of the World Heritage Site and notions of Visby’s unique nature. At the end of the article the author discusses problems and possibilities if the building were to be used more actively again. The article draws on records held by the Antiquarian-Topographical Archive, Gotland Tourist Association, Military Archives in Stockholm, Gotlands fornvänner, Museum of Gotland and Region Gotland.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Föreningen bebyggelsehistorisk tidskrift , 2016. Vol. 71, no 1, 22-41 p.
Tourism history, Heritage, Conservation, les lieux de mémoire, World Heritage, memory sites, Burmeister House
History Art History
Research subject Conservation (HGO)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294551OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294551DiVA: diva2:930507