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Beach promenade in Étretat

A promenade ( French: se promener  ~ to walk) is a spacious and lavishly developed pedestrian path . These pedestrian areas are referred to as promenades in particular if they offer great strolling quality and interesting visual relationships. The promenades that have been laid out are therefore primarily used for strolling and only secondarily for pragmatic pedestrian traffic functions. Often they are bordered by green strips and / or rows of trees, in some cases promenades are laid out on a higher level ( wall , support structure , footbridge, etc.) for a better view . The word is used synonymously with esplanade or pedestrian zone .

Significance in society and science

Warnemünde beach promenade

Promenades have a social meaning: They serve to create a public space and as a forum . People meet here to stroll, to “see and be seen”, but also for discussions and conversations. Last but not least, promenades are always a place to make contact, but in contrast to the gloomy street promenade they serve more as a serious “marriage market” under the supervision of “good company” . The promenadology (also walk swiss economy and English Strollology ) is engaged in the acquisition and conceptual classification of the environment by promenading. Originally anchored in urban and landscape planning, the science of walking projects has repeatedly been viewed in the context of contemporary and historical art exhibitions. The pictures of Carl Spitzweg are well known , who in the middle of the 19th century repeatedly depicted families on Sunday walks in the area.

Historical origins and modern examples

Promenade in Constance

In the 19th century, the razing of city fortifications and the relocation of port facilities made it possible in many cities to create promenade paths on the former fortresses and ramparts. The promenade in Münster and the similarly developed Vienna Ringstrasse can still be seen in the cityscape today. The military necessity to include strategically favorable elevations, viewpoints, trenches, waterways and lakes and the central location between the city center and the suburbs became popular excursion destinations as well as the location of cultural institutions on these original promenades. In addition, the rapid development of artificial street lighting in the 19th century enabled safe use in the evening too. In Italy, the Corso is still the epitome of a central promenade, as is the custom, in the sense of a shame company, to show up there in good clothes and as intact a family as possible in the early evening. In the mixed promenade, however, servants in the 18th and 19th centuries let their instincts run unchecked when the stately dogs were taken out or taken for a walk .

Beach promenades such as the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes , the famous Promenade des Anglais on the Mediterranean coast in Nice or the Barcola promenade in Trieste still play a central role in city life and in the real estate market. An outdated German name for such promenade is the term Wandelbahn . In the glamorous seaside resorts of the turn of the century, such as Binz , Westerland , Brighton or Scheveningen , the walkways or lakeside promenades were the focus of social life.

On cruise ships, the term promenade deck is used for a generally accessible viewing deck that is used to see and be seen .

Modern examples are the Rhine embankment promenade in Düsseldorf, built in 1990 , the former Aker Brygge harbor district in Oslo , the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town , the port city in Hamburg and the London Docklands . The newly built operas in Oslo and Sydney open up former port areas for strollers and those interested in culture.

Further examples


Famous settings of “Promenaden” are the interludes of the pictures at an exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky .

Web links

Commons : Promenade  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Promenade  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Strandpromenade  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The sociologist Lucius Burckhardt (1925–2003) founded it together with his wife Annemarie Burckhardt in the 1980s as part of his teaching activities at the Kassel University . Burckhardt developed promenadology from parts of sociology and urbanism .
  2. The name already indicates the role this system played in the history of travel .