Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe


Europe was constructed on the basis of
centuries of exchanges between people of different backgrounds and beliefs. The traces of this legacy are still
present in the routes that criss cross the continent, and take
no account of borders or nationalities. The aim of the Cultural Routes of
the Council of Europe program is to preserve and enhance this heritage that build a shared intercultural
identity. Since 1987, the program has certified 33
of the most important routes through Europe and beyond. Expanding across 57 countries, these
routes are a journey through civilizations Travelers can visit the trade sites of the
Phoenicians in the Mediterranean, follow the journey of the Roman emperors
along the Danube river, or explore the Viking world from
Scandinavia to the rest of Europe. Routes are also an intersection
of religions, following the steps of Pilgrims
on ancient Catholic routes, exploring the Protestant culture, the Jewish tradition, or the Muslim heritage. Along the journey, travelers can also
trace the progress of artistic revolutions from Prehistoric rock art painting, to the
rise of Art Nouveau, and from the iron making tradition to the
development of ceramics, or even follow in the footsteps of some of
the giants of music or literature. Traveling along these routes is
a sustainable tourism activity, which provides the opportunity to
personally experience the most fundamental European values: human rights, democracy,
mutual understanding between populations, and the preservation of
cultural diversity. The cultural routes of the Council
of Europe are priceless fragments of memory, history and heritage, which are
essential to help us understand who we are and where we come from, so that we can look forward
to our common future together. Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe,
European values through space and time.

Dereck Turner

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