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genius loci

Pron. [gen-i-oo s loh-kee]



1    The prevailing character or atmosphere of a place.

1.1  The presiding god or spirit of a place.


Consult the genius of the place in all;
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th' ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,
Now breaks, or now directs, th' intending lines;
Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.


- Alexander Pope, 1731