Title: From Socialist icons to Post-Socialist attractions: oconicity of socialist heritage in Central and Eastern Europe


Geographia Polonica Vol. 92 No. 4 (2019)



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The 1989 fall of the Iron Curtain marked the beginning of new economic, socio-cultural and political realities for the former socialist states in Central and Eastern Europe. Along with the economic restructuring from statecentralised to market economy, democratisation and liberalisation initiated a transformation of the socialist urban space, which was characterised by the changing role of its iconic landmarks. This conceptual paper examines these post-1989 changes, which range between the removal of these landmarks and their transition into market led iconic and flagship attractions. The paper identifies the changing role of tourism from a topbottom orchestrated to a market led activity, which explains the transformation of some of these landmarks. It introduces a new framework for studying this process by suggesting that iconisation, de-iconisation and re-iconisation processes are interrelated to other strategies and approaches to the transition of the socialist urban landscape into a western market economy. The paper identifies avenues for further research and provides some recommendations for improving the management of similar processes.


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