What is historical travel?

Uggla finalImagine following the historical Silk Road across Asia, or to look for traces of the legendary “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau in New Orleans. You might go for a museum bonanza in Berlin or visit the amazing world heritage mosque-cathedral of Córdoba, Spain. 

All this is historical travel. In general, it means going where history was made, such as to historical sites, and to where history is presented, such as to museums.

Why? For the joy of it. For the personal development of it. And because since we are humans, we are interested in trying to understand the world and the remarkable variations and stories of how people have lived before our own days.


The magic of travelling
Travelling takes you away from what’s familiar to other worlds where things are different. To actually go somewhere, to see what it’s like, to meet and talk to people, to taste the food, ride the local bus and to pick up the mood of a place means putting oneself in a new, different position which expands your understanding of the world and of who you are.

Historical travel
While travelling is about opening yourself to these mind-boggling impressions of the world, historical travel is about purposely adding the element of history to those experiences.

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Historical travel is deep travel
Historical travel wants to get into the historical dimension of things. It might mean going to places ignoring what is most obviously to be seen there today, taking interest instead in lost histories almost lacking visible remains.

We must take interest in less obvious histories and in difficult, contested histories. We should actively seek the hidden, the forgotten and the new perspective on sites and stories.

Historical travel aims to be conscious travel
Much earlier world travel and travel writing was caught in ethnocentric, nationalist or imperialistic narratives. Reconstructed historical travel must seek the understanding of things more on their own terms, avoiding these pitfalls.

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Historical travel must be critical
Fabricated contemporary mythologies and highly political uses of history are taking over historical sites, monuments and narratives. Historical travel as presented on this site will aim to give perspective on and debunk such mythologies.