Once upon a time... there was interpretation… Interpretation is about conveying an intention in the heritage information communicated. There is an aspect of personal choice in what one wishes to reveal, to share with the public: interpretation conveys a real intention and has a goal to achieve.

The art of storytelling to convey a sense of place and a strong idea

Through this concept, adapted to natural environments in the USA in the 20th century, the aim is to:

  • help you feel the sense of place, the emotion that emanates from a site, its heritage and history 
  • translate the knowledge of specialists, to give keys to understanding the interest of a heritage site, its importance and its value
  • give a wider meaning to the term "heritage", making it a "subject for reflection"

Thus, heritage interpretation is an ambitious challenge to move from a feeling, to an understanding, then to the act of preservation. The script must convey a story in which the public is the actor: it begins with a tangible specificity to express an idea with a universal dimension.


A word from the expert Catherine Cayre, director of Cairn Interprétation

"Heritage interpretation is a way of changing the way we look at the world around us. It proposes a "reading" of the world that sheds light on our past, gives meaning to our present, and invites us to imagine the future. This quest for meaning seems to me to be essential to help us face the challenges and changes that await us in the decades to come.

"The Calanques National Park is a fascinating place because it is really at the heart of all these issues: it is a space of connection and interaction between the land and the sea, between the urban area and the natural environment, between the action of humans and the history of life on the planet. It is a place that has something very powerful to teach us, a place that can inspire us...

"My role will be to help the Park field agents to create an original interpretation of this area: to identify a strong idea that emanates from it, to find ways of arousing curiosity, of challenging visitors, of provoking both enthusiasm and reflection. And also to renew - and perhaps re-enchant? - the inhabitants' perspective on "their" Calanques".


Interpretation in the Calanques National Park

The density and richness of the interrelationships that make up this territory seemed to us to be the major specificity to be highlighted, particularly in order to reveal the richness of these links woven between living beings, and thus to move away from the current "picture postcard" view.

This powerful idea also allows us to address a strong "political" issue, namely: what new relationship with living beings can we weave to preserve a "viable" future for all? As a prism through which all heritage will be approached, this powerful idea must become the backbone of all future heritage interpretation projects in the National Park.

Once this powerful idea was defined, it was structured in a complete interpretation plan combined with variations (5 in this scheme), a common thread and a visual identity.

All these elements are gathered and presented in a very concise document with seven rich associated focuses. It is a sort of methodological guide, presenting the fundamentals necessary for the implementation of all future interpretation projects on Calanques National Park territory: from the drafting of simple content to the establishment of an interpretation plan.




The National Park teams are at your disposal to discuss your heritage interpretation projects.

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