genius loci

“Ancient peoples believed that places had souls. The soul of a place could be found in the genius loci, the guardian spirit whose personality summed up the special characteristics of the location. A proper relationship to the genius loci was necessary in order for a person to dwell there responsibly. In return, the genius loci would nurture and protect the people of the place.
Even in the modern world the basic truth of this ancient relationship still holds: Places that are accorded the respect we have traditionally given to souls are better places as a result. And the people who live there have a better life, too, because places that long have been loved and taken care of can take care of those who dwell in them.
We no longer live in a culture that recognizes the soul of a place, especially an urban place. We have to do the imaginative work of finding it ourselves.” ~  Elizabeth Vander Schaaf

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