A historic site or heritage site is an official location where pieces of political, military, cultural, or social history have been preserved due to their cultural heritage value. Historic sites are usually protected by law, and many have been recognized with the official national historic site status. A historic site may be any building, landscape, site or structure that is of local, regional, or national significance. Usually this also means the site must be at least 50 years or older.
The U.S. National Park Service defines a historic site as the "location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself possesses historic, cultural, or archeological value regardless of the value of any existing structure".
Historic sites can also mark public crimes, such as Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia or Robben Island, South Africa. Similar to museums focused on public crimes, museums attached to memorials of public crimes often contain a history component, as is the case at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
Historic sites and heritage sites are often maintained for members of the public to be able to visit. Visitors may come out of a sense of nostalgia for bygone eras, out of wishing to learn about their cultural heritage, or general interest in learning about the historical context of the site.Many sites offer guided tours for visitors, conducted by site staff who have been trained to offer an interpretation of life at the time the site represents. A site may also have a visitor center with more modern architecture and facilities, which serves as a gateway between the outside world and the historic site, and allows visitors to learn some of the historical aspects of the site without excessively exposing locations that may require delicate treatment.
A tourist attraction is a place of interest that tourists visit, typically for its inherent or an exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, offering leisure and amusement.
In the broadest sense, cultural resource management (CRM) is the vocation and practice of managing heritage assets, and other cultural resources such as contemporary art. It incorporates Cultural Heritage Management which is concerned with traditional and historic culture. It also delves into the material culture of archaeology. Cultural resource management encompasses current culture, including progressive and innovative culture, such as urban culture, rather than simply preserving and presenting traditional forms of culture.
Cadw is the historic environment service of the Welsh Government and part of the Tourism and Culture group. Cadw works to protect the historic buildings and structures, the landscapes and heritage sites of Wales, so that the public can visit them, enjoy them and understand their significance. Cadw manages 127 state-owned properties and sites. It arranges events at its managed properties, provides lectures and teaching sessions, offers heritage walks and hosts an online shop. Members of the public can become members of Cadw to gain membership privileges.
Lowell National Historical Park is a National Historical Park of the United States located in Lowell, Massachusetts. Established in 1978 a few years after Lowell Heritage State Park, it is operated by the National Park Service and comprises a group of different sites in and around the city of Lowell related to the era of textile manufacturing in the city during the Industrial Revolution. In 2019, the park was included as Massachusetts' representative in the America the Beautiful Quarters series.
A living museum, also known as a living history museum, is a type of museum which recreates historical settings to simulate a past time period, providing visitors with an experiential interpretation of history. It is a type of museum that recreates to the fullest extent conditions of a culture, natural environment or historical period, in an example of living history.
The National Historic Preservation Act is legislation intended to preserve historic and archaeological sites in the United States of America. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices.
Cultural heritage tourism is a branch of tourism oriented towards the cultural heritage of the location where tourism is occurring.
Heritage interpretation refers to all the ways in which information is communicated to visitors to an educational, natural or recreational site, such as a museum, park or science centre. More specifically it is the communication of information about, or the explanation of, the nature, origin, and purpose of historical, natural, or cultural resources, objects, sites and phenomena using personal or non-personal methods. Some international authorities in museology prefer the term mediation for the same concept, following usage in other European languages.
A heritage centre, center, or museum is a public facility – typically a museum, monument, visitor centre, or park – that is primarily dedicated to the presentation of historical and cultural information about a place and its people, and often also including, to some degree, the area's natural history. Heritage centres typically differ from most traditional museums in featuring a high proportion of "hands-on" exhibits and live or lifelike specimens and practical artifacts.
The Rooms is a cultural facility in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The facility opened in 2005 and houses the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Cultural heritage management (CHM) is the vocation and practice of managing cultural heritage. It is a branch of cultural resources management (CRM), although it also draws on the practices of cultural conservation, restoration, museology, archaeology, history and architecture. While the term cultural heritage is generally used in Europe, in the USA the term cultural resources is in more general use specifically referring to cultural heritage resources.
An interpretation centre, interpretive centre, or visitor interpretive centre is an institution for dissemination of knowledge of natural or cultural heritage. Interpretation centres are a kind of new-style museum, often associated with visitor centres or ecomuseums, and located in connection to cultural, historic or natural sites.
Atomic tourism or Nuclear tourism is a recent form of tourism in which visitors learn about the Atomic Age by traveling to significant sites in atomic history such as museums with atomic weapons, missile silos, vehicles that carried atomic weapons or sites where atomic weapons were detonated.
The Canadian Register of Historic Places, also known as Canada's Historic Places, is an online directory of historic sites in Canada which have been formally recognized for their heritage value by a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal authority.
A historic house museum is a house of historic significance that has been transformed into a museum. Historic furnishings may be displayed in a way that reflects their original placement and usage in a home. Historic house museums are held to a variety of standards, including those of the International Council of Museums. Houses are transformed into museums for a number of different reasons. For example, the homes of famous writers are frequently turned into writer's home museums to support literary tourism.
The Dawes Point Battery remains is a heritage-listed former artillery fortification and now visitor attraction located adjacent to the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Hickson Road in inner city Sydney, on the boundary between Dawes Point and The Rocks in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia. It was built and modified from 1791 to 1925 by Lieutenant William Dawes, Robert Ross, Francis Greenway, and George Barney. The property is owned by Property NSW, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 10 May 2002.
A local museum or local history museum is a type of museum that shows the historical development of a place/region using exhibits. These museums usually maintain a collection of historic three-dimensional objects which are exhibited in displays. Such museums are often small in nature and generally have a low budget for their running costs. As such, many of the collections are compiled, cataloged, and interpreted by amateur historians as well as professionals.
A national heritage site is a heritage site having a value that has been registered by a governmental agency as being of national importance to the cultural heritage or history of that country. Usually such sites are listed in a heritage register that is open to the public, and many are advertised by national visitor bureaus as tourist attractions.
A heritage asset is an item that has value because of its contribution to a nation’s society, knowledge and/or culture. They are usually physical assets, but some countries also use the term in relation to intangible social and spiritual inheritance. The term is found in several contexts:
The conservation and restoration of archaeological sites is the collaborative effort between archaeologists, conservators, and visitors to preserve an archaeological site, and if deemed appropriate, to restore it to its previous state. Considerations about aesthetic, historic, scientific, religious, symbolic, educational, economic, and ecological values all need to be assessed prior to deciding the methods of conservation or needs for restoration. The process of archaeology is essentially destructive, as excavation permanently changes the nature and context of the site and the associated information. Therefore, archaeologists and conservators have an ethical responsibility to care for and conserve the sites they put at risk.