Pilgrimage Sites – Heritage Sites: The Evaluation of Authenticity of Selected Cases

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Menoufia University,Shebin El Kom

2 Professor of Architecture &Heritage Conservation, Chairperson of the Architectural Eng. Dept. Menoufia University, Cairo, Egypt.


Preserving heritage sites promotes local identities and strengthens their link with local communities. It also raises pride that encourages locals to invite others to visit and celebrate. It is thus crucial to involve all parties in managing heritage sites to ensure sustainability. Such principles are challenging if the subject is a pilgrimage site due to its moral association with different cultures embracing the religion. The presentation/interpretation of the historical attributes in pilgrimage sites is crucial to reflect their religious association as well as to respect historical facts. Accentuating authenticity also strengthens the bond of the believers. The mandate is then protecting those valuable attributes, which are usually marginalized due to the tyranny of some spiritualties and to the admission of large numbers of pilgrims to raise economic profits.
The research evaluates those contradictions in selected pilgrimage sites: Makkah in Saudi Arabia, Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Japan. It applies the Nara Grid to verify the authenticity of their historic attributes and to confirm that the conditions of pilgrimage in the three sites drastically differ from what they originally were. This paper points to the reasons that led to these differences, the impact on the authenticity of values and attributes, and the status of the cultural heritage if managed away from the participatory process. The research aims to draw on the results of scientific analysis of the current situation of those sites to decipher the management deficiencies affecting the authenticity of their historic attributes.


Volume 44, Issue 2
Volume 44 (2) issued on 10/4/2021 in 5 Parts: - PART 1: Electrical Engineering - PART 2: Mechanical Engineering - PART 3: Civil Engineering - PART 4: Architecture Engineering - PART 5: Basic Engineering Sciences
April 2021
Pages 233-244