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What Makes a Place Historic?

There are a lot of spots in the world that hold some historical value to a nation or group of people. Sometimes a great author, general, or leader ate at a certain restaurant. Other times a great meeting was held in a location, while other locations were hosts to great battles that changed the course of history.

But what truly makes a place historic, and what are the differences between a place that is historic, and a place that is just old? What qualifies a place to become a historic site, one that is protected from future harm?

Defining History

History comes into play when figuring out if a place has historical significance, like a historic venue in Twin Cities. The place, object, or structure must meet three criteria in order to become historic. They must be old, be durable, and have significance.

Age is one of the most important parts of history, as history is the study of the past. If an object is about 50 years old or older, then it can be considered old enough.  Then it needs to have stood the test of time because no one really wants to see a historic hole in the ground where something used to be.

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The site needs to either remain unchanged, be mostly undisturbed, or must still be used. For example, some culture groups hold objects or places as sacred, because it still matters to them and is often used in rituals.

What makes it Significant?

Once those criteria have been met, the site must be significant. There are three definitions of significance, each appealing to different types of sites. The first is that they must have an association with events or people who were historic, such as a battlefield.

Second, they can have fine craftsmanship or show off an architectural sense of style, such as old buildings. Third, they can have information that can help the present generations understand the past.

So, a historic site needs to have some value to history, needs to allow us to view the past, or needs to help us understand the past. That’s what allows the places to become historic and protected, so everyone can enjoy them no matter what.

Keeping Them Around

Historical sites aren’t just old buildings or patches of land, but they are the physical evidence of the people and nations that came before us. You can read all the textbooks you want, but actually seeing history happen before your very eyes are something else.

Find the local and national historical sites in your area, and take the time to go to them either as part of a tour group or alone. It can be really interesting to read up on history and then see where it took place up close. It’s a lot of fun, and history, whether it’s a large event that impacted a world, or a small decision that shook a small town, is something that needs to be seen.

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