Tours + Routes

TRANSROMANICA as Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

TRANSROMANICA was officially recognized as a “Major European Cultural Route” by the Council of Europe in August 2007.

The Cultural Routes programme was launched by the Council of Europe in 1987. Its objective was to demonstrate in a visible way, by means of a journey through space and time, how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe represented a shared cultural heritage.

TRANSROMANICA as Cultural Route provides a concrete demonstration of the fundamental principles of the Council of Europe: human rights, cultural democracy, cultural diversity and identity, dialogue, mutual exchange and enrichment across boundaries and centuries.

To learn more about the key objectives of the programme and the operational framework, please visit the website of the Council of Europe.
The website of the European Institute of Cultural Routes presents activities and events along the Cultural Routes.

The 29 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe

(and their year of incorporation into the Cultural Routes Programme)

Cluniac Sites in Europe (incorporated since 2005)

Cluny started out as a centre of monastic reform, but gradually its task turned to regenerating the world by consecrating churches and changing the social relations and structure of their surrounding areas. By the early 12th century, Cluny was at the head of some 1400 Cluniac establishments in western Europe: France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Belgium. Varied architecture, a distinctive musical form, sculptures and paintings all form part of the fabulous heritage handed down to us by the monks, of which each Cluniac establishment has a part. The Federation of Cluniac Sites was founded in 1994 with the threefold objective of forging close links between sites, enhancing their Cluniac heritage and supporting their initiatives through action in the fields of education, culture and tourism.

Iter Vitis Route (incorporated since 2009)

The vine routes in Europe, involving 18 countries, has its origins in the role of the agricultural landscape linked to wine production as an element of European identity. It brings together European citizens from the Atlantic to the Caucasus, and from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, representing the diversity of European identity. The aim of this route is to focus on the wine-growing landscape as a sustainable tourism destination. This entails narrating the history and the life of the people, big and small local histories, through characteristic features: those that are visible (small walls, species of vine, mountains, hills, etc.) and those that are less perceptible (production conditions, vintages, use and consumption, savoir-faire,conflicts, and so on).

Megalithic Routes (incorporated since 2013)

The Route of Megalithic Culture serves as a platform for scientists, museums as well as tourism experts from Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden to underline the outstanding importance of the megalithic culture for European history, to rediscover and promote the tourism value of its monuments and, in this way, improve their protection as part of the common cultural heritage. The origin of shared spiritual concepts in Europe as a basis for the emergence of a boundary-bridging identity is a phenomenon that started in the Neolithic period more than 7 000 years ago.

Réseau Art Nouveau Network (incorporated since 2014)

Appearing in the late nineteenth century, Art Nouveau spread rapidly in Europe through international exhibitions, travelling artists, letters and journals. The common impulse of many European artists to revolutionize previously used formal vocabulary makes it a decidedly European movement. Each country’s creative centres brought their own flavour to the style by appending local specificities (Jugendstil in Germany, Liberty Style in Italy, Style Sapin in Switzerland, Modernisme in Spain, Sezessionsstil in Austria …) in the field of architecture and decorative arts. Since 1999, the Réseau Art Nouveau Network has developed and maintained an active cooperation between many European participants involved in the study and preservation of European and International Art Nouveau heritage, as well as its promotion.

The ATRIUM Route (incorporated since 2014)

The ATRIUM cultural route (Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes in Europe’s Urban Memory) takes a new look at an “uncomfortable” urban and architectural heritage in Europe. The totalitarian regimes of mid-20th century Europe had a major impact on urban landscape. These regimes founded new cities and rebuilt parts of existing cities often using the most advanced projects in architectural and urban design available While the route repudiates all totalitarian ideology (see Art. 2), it promotes a new look at this architectural heritage. The Route has its headquarters in Forlì in northern Italy, includes five other towns in northern Italy, all strongly characterized by architecture from the Fascist period (Forlimpopoli, Bertinoro, Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole, Predappio and Cesenatico), and has member in five other countries: Croatia (Labin and Rasa), Bosnia-Herzegovina (Doboj), Rumania (Iasi), Bulgaria (Sofia and Dimitrovgrad) and Greece (Thessaloniki).

The Casadean Sites (incorporated since 2012)

The “European Network of Casadean Sites” is a French association created on the 13th of October 2001, to mark the thousandth anniversary of St. Robert of Turlande, founder of the abbey of La Chaise-Dieu. Born in La Chaise-Dieu in 1050, the Casadean congregation, following the rule of St. Benedict, spread rapidly, and prospered throughout Western Europe. For over seven centuries, the abbey was the head of a large network of abbeys and priories. With the Cluniac and Cistercian networks, La Chaise-Dieu in the Middle Ages was one of the three most important monastic congregations. In all, nearly nine hundred Casadean sites have been identified in five countries: France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland. The Casadean network is also characterised by its strong rural character, as the vast majority of sites are located outside urban areas.

The European Cemeteries Route (incorporated in 2010)

The European Cemeteries Route is composed of 49 cemeteries in 37 cities in 16 European countries. The European Cemeteries Route is an initiative promoted by the Association of Significant Cemeteries of Europe (ASCE), a not for profit organisation founded with the main objective of preserving cemeteries of special historic and artistic importance in Europe. This route refers to cemeteries as places of life, because it offers places that, as urban spaces, are directly linked to the history and culture of the community they belong to and where many of our references are found. Cemeteries represent unique settings in which to find part of our historical memories, reminders of periods of our local history that communities should not forget and do not want to, and that we have the
duty to preserve and transmit to future generations.

The European Route of Ceramics (incorporated since 2012)

The success of Europe’s ceramics industry has not just defined the economic development of the regions in which it is based, but has also produced a heritage, a social history and has contributed to the creation of a strong identity. The European Route of Ceramics invites visitors and tourists to a fascinating journey through space and time. It offers the discovery of a common heritage, intenselyoutward-looking and inseparable from the early European exchanges, but also deeply anchored in territories. It also reflects technical advances, artistic trends and ideological aspirations of each period of time, from the original use of terracotta to the mostcontemporary pieces. The Route aims at creating a European network of local circuits, linking cultural and industrial sites focusing on ceramics (factories, museums, etc.).

The European Route of Cistercian Abbeys (incorporated since 2010)

The Cistercian Order has a rich history continues today, in the heart of the evolution of the Roman Church and the European states. The “white monks” were exemplary builders who participated in the development of rural areas, masters of the most advanced agricultural techniques – as shown by their legacy of barns, cellars, mills and foundries – and who from the Middle Ages onwards contributed to the development of art, knowledge and understanding in Europe. The European Route of Cistercian abbeys proposes to give meaning to the Cistercian heritage our age has inherited, through a rural tourism based on discovery and quality, educational and cultural events and on the use of new digital tools adapted to cultural heritage conservation and promotion.

The European Route of Historic Thermal Towns (incorporated since 2010)

Thermalism has marked Europe from ancient times to the present day. The most well-known sites were built during the 19th century, when a wide range of new medical and health treatments were developed. The prestigious political and cultural elite travelling to Europe’s spas, creating centres of cultural exchange in numerous cities, may be said to have launched health tourism and even modern tourism as we know it. These celebrities made the reputation of these resorts and gave birth to a real trend, the development of prestigious hotels and a variety of leisure activities, ranging from the first casinos to musical theatres, to covered promenades and landscaped gardens for the entertainment of fashionable tourists. This is the story, but also the shared heritage and memory that the European Historical Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) decided to promote and valorise when inaugurating a European cultural route.

The European Route of Jewish Heritage (incorporated since 2010/2011)

Jewish heritage is an integral part of European history and culture. Much of it is rooted in Europe, with a story of migrations,persecutions and precariousness; but also of exchanges, humanism and a profusion of mutual enrichment. The main goals of the European Route of Jewish Heritage are to preserve, to promote and to keep alive Jewish heritage, to develop tourism around these sites and to make Europeans aware of the cultural richness brought by the Jews to Europe.

The Huguenot and Waldensian trail (incorporated since 2013)

The Huguenot and Waldensian trail abounds in numerous cultural, historical attractions as well as its scenic richness and beauty. In numerous Huguenot villages and Waldensian places along the trail the cultural heritage of the religious refugees is waiting to be discovered by he visitor. The cultural long-distance hiking trail “In the footsteps of the Huguenots and Waldensians” aims to highlightthe historical exile of the Huguenots and Waldensians, their step-by-step integration in the host countries as a topic of a common European history and cultural heritage. It also sets the focus on freedom, the respect to human rights, tolerance and solidarity as European core values.

The Prehistoric Rock Art Trail (incorporated since 2010)

Prehistoric Rock Art is an important common historical and cultural reference for all European citizens, it highlights that the peoples of prehistoric times, at particular periods in their history, have formed a single cultural community. This primal Art and the Prehistory of Europe are significant for a past and a common heritage that must be preserved, enhanced and promoted as a cultural resource and for tourism. The project includes more than 100 destinations of the greatest scientific, cultural, artistic and archaeological value, all open to the public. It also contains a wide variety of “Cultural Landscapes”, essential for understanding the first art of Europe, which help to demonstrate the dialectical relationship which existed between Culture and Nature.

The Route of Saint Olav Ways (incorporated since 2010)

The pilgrim ways through Scandinavia are a network of routes through Denmark, Sweden and Norway, many of them the remnants of historic routes leading to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim where Saint Olav lies buried. Since the 1990s, the ways have been improved and signposted, in order to set out on a variety of walk through the spectacular landscape of Scandinavia. The city of Trondheim – or Nidaros – in Norway was a popular destination for pilgrims not long after Norway’s King Olav Haraldsson (995-1030) fell in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. From the 11th century, the Saint Olav cult spread throughout the Nordic countries, and to the British Isles and Hanseatic towns along the Baltic Sea.

The Routes of the Olive Tree (incorporated since 2005)

The presence of the olive tree has marked not only the landscape but also the everyday lives of the Mediterranean peoples. A mythical and sacred tree, it is associated with their rites and customs and has influenced their ways of life, creating a specific ancient civilisation, the “olive tree civilisation”. The Routes of the Olive Tree are itineraries of intercultural discovery and dialogue based on the theme of the olive tree, a universal symbol of peace and dialogue. They also involve various cultural events and activities geared towards enhancing the history of this invaluable tree, for the benefit of the olive oil-producing regions.

The Saint Martin of Tours Route (incorporated since 2005)

The Saint Martin of Tours European Cultural Route links many European towns which were part of the life of Saint Martin, as well as those with a significant architectural heritage linked to his veneration (thousands of monuments are dedicated to him, including fourteen European cathedrals). These sites also have an intangible heritage (legends, traditions, folklore) that is still very much alive. The towns and the regions participating in this cultural route make it possible to rediscover a key, long-forgotten cultural heritage. Vectors of cultural, social, sustainable and committed tourism, the Saint Martin Route relates episodes from his life.

The Via Habsburg (incorporated since 2014)

The Route is tracing the roots of the famous Habsburg family. From 996 to 1815 powerful personalities of this major dynasty had a decisive influence on history. They helped form the geography and the fate of Europe. Ententes and disputes, power struggles and territorial conquests, times of war and of peace… this 800 year-old history divided peoples but it also reunited them and forged bonds which have survived intact. This starting point inspired initiators to set up the trans-national “800 years of historic European art and culture on the trail of the Habsburgs-Via Habsburg» project. As a route, it is running through France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

TRANSROMANICA (incorporated since 2007)

A journey along the Romanesque Routes of European Heritage means travelling back into medieval times.Transromanica guides you to castles, cathedrals and monasteries built between the 10th and 12th centuries. Main characteristics of the Romanesque architecture are the use of round arches, thick walls and symmetrical plans, all together giving a harmonious appearance of simplicity. TRANSROMANIcA is a European cultural network connecting the common architectural Romanesque heritage of eight countries between the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. The overall harmony is enriched by regional artistic and architectural features.

VIA REGIA (incorporated since 2005)

The Via Regia route is the oldest and longest road link between Eastern and Western Europe. It goes through Spain, France resp.Belgium on to Germany and Poland to Belarus, Lithuania resp. the Ukraine. Proof exists as far back as the Stone Age that the VIA REGIA corridor, which is situated south of the ice cap and north of the middle mountains zone, was the favourite passage for migrating tribes. During the last 2000 years along this route, merchants, soldiers, kings, pilgrims, migrants, and different kinds of travellers, have marked the character of the road and European history.