Landscape shapes culture?

Following from my last post here are some photos taken in both the areas I was talking about. The first five were taken a few miles outside Bamberg, Upper Franconia, Germany.  The second near Whitby, North Yorkshire, England. I have been thinking more about how landscape, topography and climate must have an influence on the development of cultural temperament and personal character. There is definitely a difference in the character of people who live in mountain, island, desert or jungle environments and I’m positive that it is not only economics, religion, language and natural resources that shape them. I also think that climate specifically, could be a significant ingredient in shaping national temperament. I would be interested in learning more about how our natural environment effects us, from our cultural temperament to our personal character, though I could only find a couple of quotes to support this. One from the British travel writer and novelist, Lawrence Durrell who states that ” We are the children of our landscape; it dictates behavior and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it” and the author Terry Tempest Williams, who simple says, in her book Refuge, that, ” Landscape shapes culture”

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About Mark Hodgson

Designer and creative professional based in Jutland, Denmark


  1. Anonymous

    Human society, nature and culture are interacting always and influencing one another. Any change in one is bound to have effect in the other.

  2. Anonymous

    There is bound to be some impact as human society, nature and culture are inter-related.

  3. Anonymous

    I was reading a cycling article about ‘terroir’, the French description for the combined effects of soil and climate and so on, on growing grapes. And how cycling is affected by landscape and climate etc.
    See article here:
    This reminded me of some enlightenment philoposphers who looked at how climate and landscape affect us.
    Which led me to your blog. So if you are still interested, look up Montesqieu & Herder.

    • Thank you Anon… some interesting reading, especially the Montesquieu & Herder, who I wasn’t familiar with. I would love to dig a little deeper when i get the chance. I’m especially interested in how we are shaped as human beings. Even when we leave our culture, landscape, roots I think it is almost impossible to escape the influence that this has on us (at least in one lifetime). If the next generations lived in that new culture would they then retain something of the original character or be totally transformed, (Even after many generations had passed)??

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