- August 2013
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- This article reflects on the concept of "national landscape" and on the importance of identity symbolic values in the beginning of landscape and nature conservation policy in Spain. The emblematic case of the Montana de Covadonga (the first National Park created in Spain) is examined in more detail. The paper is divided into three main sections. The first one raises some theoretical and general considerations on the role of identity symbolic values within the first steps of nature conservation policies in Spain and other national contexts. Secondly, the cultural-historic processes and discourses which converted the Montana de Covadonga landscape into a Spanish national symbol and into a site of memory, leading to its declaration as a National Park in 1918, are reviewed. The third section examines the ideological identity disputes and controversies concerning the creation of that National Park, some of which led to the declaration of the Sitio Nacional del Monte de San Juan de la Pena in 1920. The article approaches the creation of the first Spanish Natural Parks as apart of the nationalization policies inspired by the concerns of the "Regeneracionismo". More precisely, the beginning of natural conservation policy in Spain may be considered as part of the efforts carried out by certain intellectual and political leaders in order to institutionalize new spaces of collective identity grounded in landscape and nature (and, more particularly, in some natural landscapes endowed with a strong historic symbolic meaning as regards to the "birth of the nation'). According to the research conclusions, the ideological controversies raised around the first Spanish Natural Parks can be understood as a reflection of the plurality of competing national conceptions existing in Spain, as well as of the difficulties in reaching a consensus on the country's national symbols.
- paisajes nacionales; conservación de la naturaleza; parques nacionales; españa; covadonga; san juan de la peña