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Die Entstehung einer Legende

  • This paper sheds light on the history of the quotation “I regard the environs of Salzburg, Naples, and Constantinople as the most beautiful on earth”, which is usually attributed to Alexander von Humboldt. The author shows that Humboldt’s alleged praise of Salzburg first appeared around 1870, and thus the quotation cannot be regarded as authentic. As a local legend it was meant to connect permanently the famous name of Humboldt with that of the growing centre of tourism. The circumstances under which the quotation found its way into the literature remain to be investigated; however, it seems clear that this can be seen as a typical example of what Eric Hobsbawm has called „invention of tradition“. Invented traditions – this might comfort the tourist industry of Salzburg – have particularly long lives.

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Author:Robert Hoffmann
Subtitle (German):Alexander von Humboldts angeblicher Ausspruch über Salzburg
Document Type:Postprint
Year of Completion:2006
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2009/09/10
Source:HiN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz, VII (2006) 12
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Romanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 509 Histor., geogr., personenbezogene Behandlung
9 Geschichte und Geografie / 91 Geografie, Reisen / 911 Historische Geografie
Collections:Universität Potsdam / Zeitschriften / HiN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz ; International Review for Humboldtian Studies, ISSN 1617-5239 / HiN VII, 12 (2006)
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works 3.0 unported
Notes extern:The original publication is available at