Adi Weidenfeld


From socialist icons to post-socialist attractions: Iconicity of socialist heritage in Central and Eastern Europe

Nikola Naumov, Adi Weidenfeld

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 379-393 | Full text

Further information


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 state centralised to market economy, democratisation and liberalisation initiated a transformation of the socialis turban 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 top bottom 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.

Keywords: iconicity, socialism, heritage, tourism, visitor attractions, Central and Eastern Europe

Nikola Naumov [], Higher Colleges of Technology Fujairah Women’s College Al Qasar, Kuwait Road, Al Faseel, PO Box 1626, Fujairah: United Arab Emirates; University of Northampton Waterside Campus, University Drive, NN1 5PH, Northampton: United Kingdom
Adi Weidenfeld [], School of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business & Law Coventry University, Jaguar Building CV1 1FB, Priory Street, Coventry: United Kingdom