Cultural Routes

An undiscovered continent!

                                                                                                       Original manuscript of the Cultural Routes

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

The Cultural Routes also provide a concrete demonstration of the fundamental principles of the Council of Europe: human rights, cultural democracy, European cultural diversity and identity, dialogue, mutual exchange and enrichment across boundaries and centuries.

The first example, the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim Routes, served initially as a source of inspiration, then became the reference point for the development of future activities.

XXth Anniversary of the Cultural Routes

European Conference ''The Paths of Santiago De Compostela''
27-30 September - Puy-en-Velay

Called "Meetings of the 'Hotel Dieu of Puy-en-Velay', this event is registered in the restoration plan for the ‘Hotel Dieu’ which plans to host cultural events on a yearly basis.


Ceremony and conference- 5/6 October, Luxembourg

For the occasion of the XXth anniversary, a ceremony of awards (8 new routes) took place in the Centre Culturel de Rencontre of Neumünster Abbey on 5 October.

Il was followed by a conference entitled : ''Cultural routes: political tools for an increased visibility of the Council of Europe's values,'' on 6 October.

These events took place in the presence of permanent representatives of Member Countries of the Council of Europe and delegations of all the Routes, as well as elected representatives fom Le Puy-en-Velay.


  • to promote European cultural identity and citizenship
  • to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue
  • to safeguard and enhance cultural and natural heritage
  • to give pride of place to cultural tourism, with a view to sustainable development

Did you know that...

  • The birthdate of the 1st Cultural Route is 23 October 1987
  • The official slogan of the Cultural Routes is:''An undiscovered continent - our own!"