L’idée du sublime – Hastière-Waulsort (Belgium)

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L’idée du sublime – Hastière-Waulsort (Belgium)

The notion of sublime

Very many philosophers, led by Edmund Burke, have considered the subject of sublime, as a category of beautiful, as opposed to beauty. In the context of gardens, where the sublime appeared at the turn of the 19th century, adjectives such as ‘terrifying’ or ‘majestic’ were often associated.
It was a period when men discovered – or rediscovered – nature. Mountains leave a marked impression on us, particularly those of the travellers who have crossed the Alps as they accomplished their ‘Great Tour’. As from the 18th and 19th centuries, wild and imposing nature was no longer bypassed yet, following the example of distant continents, approached and studied. Returning from travels, it was reproduced in gardens, or gardens were – themselves – created in sublime settings.
Such is the case of the historic gardens of Freÿr, created on the banks of an imposing river, at the foot of striking cliffs. The work (the gardens) and its setting (the site) comprise a whole, a set where the amateur can still walk and touch this grand version of nature, arranged by man.
How were they devised and developed, what are their particularities, how should we restore and preserve them, how can we maintain their authenticity or restore all their splendour? Such are the questions that will be covered on this conference morning and afternoon tour, into the very heart of the question.