Sacred Wonderland


The Sacred Wonderland: Places, People, and History of Sublime America contemplates the cultural and natural landscapes of the United States through essays, commentary, and photographs. It highlights national parks and other protected areas, but not exclusively.


that which is hallowed, sacrosanct, or inviolable. Though many people regard venerable objects, places, events, and people as inherently sacred, others view the sacred as a matter of interpretation, tradition, or convention.


a place of amazement, admiration, or awe. The popularity of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 fantasy children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland introduced a new term for nineteenth-century Americans to describe the wondrous landscapes of western territories. It was quickly appropriated by railroads and other promotional interests to publicize places like Yellowstone National Park.


previously indicating an experience evoking both terror and astonishment, it became a cliché in nineteenth-century travel writing to describe superlative beauty. Recent philosophical discussions have regarded the sublime as the common connection between aesthetics and ethics.


though frequently used to refer to the United States, America encompasses far more than a single nation. The Americas constitute much of the western hemisphere, though this website concentrates more narrowly on the places, people, and history of the United States.

Created, curated, and maintained by

Thomas S. “Tom” Bremer, Ph.D.