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Cultural routes of the Council of Europe

The network of Cluniac sites is designated a Cultural Route by the Council of Europe.

The Federation presented documents in March 2005 requesting the inclusion of the Cluniac network in the European programme of Cultural Routes. The network was designated a Grand Cultural Route !

This was the first time a monastic network had been recognised.


What are the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe ? The cultural routes embody the fundamental values of the Council of Europe : human rights, cultural democracy, diversity and European cultural identity, exchange and mutual enrichment beyond  borders and the constraints of history.

The programme was initiated in 1987 with the idea of showing in a tangible way, through travel, that the heritage of the various countries of Europe is a cultural heritage common to all.

The first and most famous route was the pilgrim route of Santiago de Compostella. This route has been an inspiration and catalyst for the development of further routes.

The principal objectives of the programme are :

  • to promote an awakening of a European cultural identity and European citizenship, founded on a set of common values focused on cultural routes. These recall the history of the influences, exchanges and evolution of cultures in Europe ;
  • to promote intercultural and inter-religious dialogue through a better understanding of European history ;
  • to preserve and promote cultural and natural heritage to improve quality of life and be a source of social, economic and cultural development ;
  • to place cultural tourism at the heart of sustainable development.
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Introduction to the European Cultural Routes - a 2 minutes video

Introduction to the European Cultural Routes - a 2 minutes video