Perception ofLandscape, Action on Space: Switzerland in the 18th Century Every society is characterized by its own particular conception and symbolic representation of space. Thus 18th century observers display a renewed interest in Switzerland. Travellers describe their experience in terms peculiar to the semiotics ofthe classical ages. Nevertheless, their accounts are already intermingled with a certain subjective outlook which announces romanticism. The spatial archetypes common to all descriptions are often altered with respect to reality and relate to the order of nature and society. The specific character of the Swiss towns provokes reflections on the concept of order, i.e. the organization of space. This discussion on planning is chiefly held on the local and regional scale, and it is led by people anxious to act upon thé économie cycle. However, there is no spectacular application nor can there be encountered any examples of spontaneous and original town-planning. Space does remain a constant in the legal and political discourse. By associating spatial with social change the leading classes of the aristocratic cantons hope to protect themselves from it.