visible features of an area of land

A landscape means an area of land as one can see it. This includes landforms, flora, fauna and human elements, for instance human activity or the built environment.

Ruwenzori Mountains, Uganda, Great Rift Valley. The mountains formed about three million years ago in the late Pliocene, pushed up by tremendous forces originating deep within the earth’s crust.
Reekie Linn ('smoking pool'): clouds of spray rise above the plunge pool when the River Isla is in spate. It is a waterfall formed on the Highland Boundary Fault where hard metamorphic rocks to the north give way to the softer sedimentary rocks of Strathmore. This view is taken looking upriver towards the Bridge of Craigisla.

According to its meaning, lighting and weather conditions are part of landscape as well. Objects inside the building can sometimes be considered part of landscape as well.



The landscape is determined mainly by the underlying geology. This can be seen clearly in the East African Great Rift Valley. There almost everything in the landscape is caused by or connected with the pulling apart of Africa which is happening there. Even in Great Britain, a geologically quiet place, the whole landscape can be understood by understanding its geological past.[1]One geological place is the rain forest



The word was borrowed as a painters' term from Dutch[2] during the 16th century, when Dutch artists began to become masters of the landscape genre. The Dutch word landschap had earlier meant simply “region, tract of land” but now meant “a picture depicting scenery on land”.[3]

English Wiktionary
The English Wiktionary has a dictionary definition (meanings of a word) for: landscape


  1. Fortey, Richard 1993. The hidden landscape: a journey into the geological past. Pimlico, London. ISBN 0-7126-6040-2
  2. The word landschap, came from land (patch or area that comes from the Basquish word landa meaning labored earth) and the suffix -schap, corresponding to the English suffix "-ship".
  3. The English word landscape was first recorded in 1598. 34 years passed before the word is used of a view or vista of natural scenery. This delay suggests that people were first introduced to landscapes in paintings and then landscapes in real life.