European Heritage Label Network
This action started in 2013. Since than sites have been selected for their symbolic value, the role they have played in European history and activities they offer. The purpose is bringing together the European Union and its citizens. These sites selected by another criteria as the World Heritage sites.
European Heritage sites focus on the promotion of the symbolic European values and the significant role these sites have played in the history and culture of Europe. They also offer valuable educational activities, especially for young people.
48 sites have been designated over the years. In the following each site will be explained.
Ostia – Italy
The Archaeological Area of Ostia antica consists of the remains of a Roman settlement originally located at the mouth of the River Tiber on the west coast of Italy. Due to changes in the river channel and the coastline, the remains are now about 4 km from the sea. Ostia was founded in the 6th century BC, but earlier defensives date from the 4th century. The main function of the settlement was originally to protect of the mouth of river Tiber, but later with the construction of a new harbour by Claudius and Trajan the city developed in an active commercial centre that spread beyond the city walls. As the principal port of Rome, Ostia became a place of great strategic and commercial importance in the Mediterranean area. By the end of the 2nd century AD the city was still thriving and hosted a population of more than 50,000. It went into decline for the middle of 3rd century AD as the focus of the Empire moved eastwards.
Azores – Portugal
Azores’ Underwater Cultural Heritage consists of a network of 30 public dive sites centred on a range of shipwrecks dating between the 15th and 20th centuries. These sites are representative of the overall underwater heritage of Azores which is made up of more than 1,000 documented shipwrecks of which about 100 underwater archaeological sites have been identified. The Azores archipelago was of strategic importance for the transatlantic voyages. The 30 shipwrecks in the application are connected to different aspects of European history and trade from the 16th to 20th centuries: the Silver Route to South America, the transatlantic slave trade, military conflicts such as the American War of Independence and both World Wars, emigration ships from Europe to America, and exploration expeditions such as the famous the Beagle voyage on which Charles Darwin travelled around South America.
Szentendre – Hungary
The city of Szentendre dates back to Roman Times but its today’s appearance has mainly been influenced by Serbian refugees since the end of the 17th century. The character of the city has been shaped by the influence of the cross-border political and cultural connections, the culture-led urban development in which cultural heritage played a major role and enabled the city to function as a bridge between different European cultural areas from East and West, the Balkan and the Carpathian Basin, and Catholic and Orthodox Christianity. The proximity to Budapest has posed a constant challenge to the city.
Wortel, Merksplas – Belgium (Coordinator)
Frederiksoord, Wilhelminaoord, Willemsoord Ommerschans, Veenhuizen – The Netherlands
‘Colonies of Benevolence’ is a transnational application including seven sub-sites in Belgium and the Netherlands, established in the 19th century to reduce poverty through social employment in new agricultural seylements. They were created as a social experiment in what was then the Kingdom of the Netherlands with borders resulting from the Congress of Vienna, at a time when Europe was extremely impoverished. The colonies were established either as ‘free’ – for families who received the chance to run small farms, or ‘unfree’ – as large collective structures for vagrants and orphans. Their original functioning was suspended.
Ljubliana – Solvenia
“Zdravljica” is a poem written in 1844 by the Slovenian poet France Prešeren. It was only published in 1848, afer the abolishment of censorship in the Habsburg empire as part of the Spring of Nations. Written in Slovenian it had an influence in the development of Slovenian identity, and more generally in the promotion of freedom of expression. The continued importance of Zdravlijca was illustrated in 1944 when the partisans resisting Nazi-fascism re-printed “Zdravljica”, and in 1989 after the end of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when “Zdravljica” was sung on various occasions. In 1991 in the new Slovenian Republic, the 7th verse of the poem was chosen as the national anthem. In this verse the poem expresses the ideal of a peaceful co-existence of all nations. A quotation from the poem is stamped onto the €2 coin and also engraved on a memorial erected in 2008 in front of the Justus Lipsius building of the European Council in Brussels, during the Slovenian EU Presidency.
Łambinowice – Poland
The Site of Remembrance in Łambinowice consists of several places along the ‘Road of Remembrance’: the Old Cemetery of the Prisoners of War (POW), the areas of formers Stalags VIII B (344) and 318/VIII F (344) Lamsdorf, the Cemetery of Soviet POWs, the area of the former Labour Camp and its Cemetery, and the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War. The Museum was established in 1964 to commemorate and to study the camps and issues surrounding the POW, established during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71 and used during World War I and World War(WW) II. Over seven thousand POWs from several European naKonalities are buried at the Old Cemetery. During WWII, many anti-Nazi and freedom fighters were imprisoned in the camps. After the wars, the camps were used for migrating civilians.
Stuttgart – Germany (Coordinator)
Wroclaw – Poland
Brno, Prague – Czech Republic
Vienna – Austria
The Werkbund Estates in Europe 1927-1932 is a transnational site, comprising 4 countries (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria) and 5 towns (Stuttgart, Wroclaw, Brno and Prague, Vienna). After World War I from 1918 on, across Europe there was an urgent problem of a wide-spread lack of suitable housing. In response under the banner, New Objectivity, avantgarde architects from different parts of Europe wished to find affordable solutions that met social need with well-designed, high quality buildings. The first Werkbund Estate, Weissenhof, was built in Stuttgart in 1927, and it inspired others to adopt modernist principles to similar projects. The other estates followed from 1928 to 1932. All faced difficulties in conveying their progressive ideas to a broader public. Under the Nazi regime the buildings were derided for their modernism. Post WW II, with some Werkbund Estates behind the Iron Curtain, the estates went in separate ways. In 2013 a network of the estates was formed to promote exchanges of good practise and advice for their preservation. The Werkbund Estate in Zürich (Switzerland) is part of the 2013 network.
Chambon-Sur-Lignon – France
Lieu de Mémoire au Chambon-sur-Lignon is a memorial place opened in 2013, presenting the rescue operations provided by the locals during World War II. From December 1940 to September 1944 the inhabitants of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and the villages of the surrounding plateau provided shelter for an estimated 5,000 people, of Jewish origin (among them many children), as well as Spanish republicans, anti-Nazi Germans, members of the French resistance and others. The site consists of an interpretative/history trail on various resistance actvities against the Nazis during WWII; a memorial space with testimonies from former refugees and the Righteous; rooms for exhibitions and educational activities; and a memory garden designed by Louis Benech, the landscape artist. The extraordinary role played by the inhabitants of Chambon was recognised by means of an honorary diploma from the Institute Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) in 1990.
Riga – Latvia
The “Three Brothers” is a complex of three houses in Riga built between the 15th and 17th centuries. Amongst the three is the oldest known surviving stonebuilt house in Riga and a building with a façade based on drawings by Hans Vredeman de Vries. The buildings are characteristic of dwelling houses found in Hanseatic towns in the Baltic Region. Over the centuries they have undergone changes. The most recent intervention took place in the 1950s under P. Saulīis. In this restoration campaign, parts from other destroyed and lost buildings were integrated into the ensemble. During the Soviet occupation of Latvia the complex was one of the first sites to be restored, building on the preservation philosophy and practice originating from the Latvian Republic in the inter-war period. This philosophy which aims to retain a maximum of historic material, and wear and tear, also informed other restoration projects, despite the threats and pressure from the Soviet occupiers. The pivotal role of the site in heritage preservation in Latvia continues as it is the home of the National Heritage Board and the Latvia Museum of Architecture.
Leipzig – Germany
Leipzig’s Musical Heritage is a series of nine locations in Leipzig representing various episodes in its musical history including churches and educational institutions, ensembles and individual composers. They showcase the range of musical activities which have taken place in Leipzig since the thirteen century. It embodies the dynamic continuity of a specific European tradition in music and civic engagement.
Budapest – Hungary
Built in the 1850’s, the Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest one in the world. Its surroundings include a Museum and archives, a Memorial for 10,000 Jewish Hungarian soldiers who lost their lives in WWI, a garden used as a cemetery for the victims of the Holocaust as well as the Wallenberg Memorial Park. The Dohány Street Synagogue Complex is a symbol of integration, remembrance and openness to dialogue.
Trento – Italy
Fort Cadine, a representative fortification of the defensive system of about 80 such monuments built between 1860 and 1915 in the Trento region, is a reminder of historical divisions, military conflicts and changing borders, and provides the necessary context to better understand the value of open borders and free circulation.
Tolmin – Slovenia
Javorca Memorial Church is a unique piece of Art Nouveau built in the mountains by soldiers of the WWI Isonzo Front to remember fallen soldiers regardless of their origin and culture. Today the church and its cultural landscape continue to symbolise this call for reconciliation and the unifying power of collaborative artistic creation and construction.
Alsace-Moselle, Haut Rhin – France
Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Rhinelandpalatinate – Germany
The former Natzweiler Nazi concentration camp and its c. 50 satellite work camps operated between 1941 and 1945 on both banks of the Rhine which then belonged to the Third Reich and situated in present-day France and Germany. In the Natzweiler-network of camps, prisoners from almost all European countries were subject to Nazi terror. Most of the prisoners were originally resistance fighters who were exploited in forced labour. It is today both a place of remembrance and citizen’s education.
Sighet – Romania
The Sighet Memorial is housed in a former Stalinist prison in Sighet that was used to imprison schoolchildren, students and peasants from the resistance (1948-1950), political opponents, journalists and clergymen (1950-1955) and common criminals until the seventies. It is today a memorial to the victims of communist regimes and displays the development and effects of communist regimes in Romania and other countries of Eastern Europe and provides insight on replacement of the rule of law and repression by communist regimes throughout the 20th century in Europe, including the resultant death and suffering experienced inside and outside the prison walls.
Marcinelle – Belgium
The Bois du Cazier coal mining site portrays the working classes and immigration to Wallonia (Belgium) in the 20th century. In 1956, the entirety of the site, from the pithead to the slag heaps, was the scene of a disaster in which 262 people of 12 different nationalities died. Whilst mining activity stopped in 1967, the site is since 2002 a museum dedicated to the coal, iron and glass industry. It recalls the European solidarity as demonstrated in the aftermath of the 1956 disaster which triggered the creation by the European Coal and Steel Community of a health and safety body.
Schengen – Luxembourg
Schengen is a village situated at the banks of the Moselle River, in the border triangle of Luxembourg, Germany and France. It is here that the Schengen Agreement and the Schengen Implementation Convention were signed on a river cruise ship in 1985 and 1990. In the village, several places recall the Agreement, including the European Centre of Schengen with its Museum. Schengen has become the eponym of free movement in Europe since the signature of the Schengen Agreement.
Maastricht – Netherlands
The Maastricht Treaty (1991-1992) was a milestone for the European integration: it was in Maastricht that the then 12 Member States agreed to proceed with the economic and monetary Union, leading to the introduction of the Euro, to reinforce the democratic representation and to extend the competences to new areas such as culture. The Province building in which the treaty was negotiated and then signed on 7th of February 1992 is today its visitor and exhibitions center.
Hušnjakovo/Krapina – Croatia
In 1899 at this site were found the largest number of Neanderthal fossil bones in Europe, some nine hundred human remains from about eighty individuals, as well as bones of various animals dating back to 125 000 BC. Experts from all over the world have conducted research on the collection and their interpretation of the Krapina findings influenced different scientific theories about human development, the genesis of our civilisation and about how human communities in Europe lived during the Pleistocene period. Next to the archaeological site, the Krapina Neanderthal Museum presents today and in an interactive way the origin of life on Earth and the evolution of humankind.
Olomouc – Czech Republic
The Archdiocesan Museum is devoted to the conservation of works of art of the Olomouc Archdiocese. Its collections are shown in the Chapter Deanery at the Premyslid Castle, a location representing thousand years of history, from the remnants of the Bishop’s and Prince’s Palaces to Baroque and Rococo. The Olomouc Premyslid Castle and Archdiocesan Museum are a focal point of Moravian presence in European history. It is an early centre of Christianity, a place that preserves and highlights the high level of artistic patronage of the archbishops of Moravia, and a fine example of heritage conservation in the region.
Sagres – Portugal
The Sagres Promontory is a rich cultural and historical landscape located at the south-west corner of the Iberian Peninsula. It comprises a series of significant archaeological remains, urban structures, and monuments testifying its strategic location and importance over the centuries. The Promontory became the headquarters of Prince Henry the Navigator for his projects of maritime expansion during the fifteen century, a key location of the Age of Discoveries that marked the expansion of European culture, science, exploration and commerce both towards the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, setting European civilisation on its path to the global projection that came to define the modern world.
Vienna – Austria
Initiated in 1240, the Imperial Palace is a complex of buildings and gardens which used to serve as the residence of the Habsburgs, a ruling family of large parts of Europe during some 700 years. The Habsburg Empire was a multi-ethnical and a multi-religious empire that had a strong political, administrative, social and economic impact on territories that include or are part of today’s Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia,… Today, the Imperial Palace is home to the seat of the Austrian Federal President, five world-class museum organisations as well as other cultural institutions.
Tartu – Estonia
The historic ensemble of the University of Tartu is a campus designed at the beginning of the nineteenth century under the motto “A university in the city, a university in the park”. It embodies the ideas of a university in the Age of Enlightenment. Linking science and learning and reflects the European tradition in education. Established in 1632 by the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, and though it changed hands between the various political powers in the region including Sweden, Poland, Germany and Russia, Tartu University has always remained a beacon of progressive ideas.
Budapest – Hungary
The Franz Liszt Academy of Music was established in 1875 by the outstanding composer and musician himself. It is a multi-faceted institution: an educational institution, an international university of musical arts and a venue. It brings our music heritage to the fore whilst holding true to its spirit of openness, creativity and innovation and its European and international character. The Academy is housed in a 1907 building by Flóris Korb and Kálman Giergl, which is considered to be a masterpiece of Hungarian Secession. It integrates inter alia the Franz Liszt Memorial Museum and Research Centre, the Kodály Institute and the Kodály Museum.
Mons – Belgium
The Mundaneum is a landmark in the intellectual and social fabric of Europe. Its founders, Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet, were advocates of peace through dialogue and sharing knowledge at European and international level with the means of bibliographic enquiry. The Mundaneum’s aim was to gather all information available in the world, regardless of its medium (books, newspapers, postcards…), and to classify it according to a system they developed, theUniversal Decimal Classification. The Mundaneum provide the foundations of present-day information science and is considered today as precursors of Internet search engines.
Lužná – Pustki, Poland
Wartime cemetery No. 123, established in 1918 on the Pustki hill, is the scene of one of the largest battles of World War I on the Eastern front between the Austro-Hungarian and German armies and the Russian Army: the battle of Gorlice, also called the Verdun of the East. The cemetery is the final resting place for soldiers from these three armed forces, coming from territories that are part of today’s Austria, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Slovenia,.. and from different religious and linguistic backgrounds. The World War I Eastern Front Cemetery No. 123 is a place of remembrance embodying the idea of ecumenism, with its identical treatment of the fallen, regardless of their military, ethnic or religious affiliation.
Strasbourg – France
Since its creation after the Second World War, the European District of Strasbourg is the home to the Council of Europe, its European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament of the European Union. It bears witness to European integration, the defence of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Athens – Greece
The Heart of Ancient Athens is a complex of up to a hundred monuments constituting an architectural ensemble of outstanding significance over a period of more than 3,000 years. It is an outstanding example of ancient architectural development. The Heart of Ancient Athens comprises a historical landscape where events which helped shape some of the most essential aspects of European identity took place, from the development of classical art and theatre, to democracy, philosophy, logic, equal rights and sciences.
Cluny – France
Founded in 910, the Abbey of Cluny grew to become the spiritual and administrative centre of one of the largest monastic networks in European history, facilitating the circulation of people, books, artistic ideas and scientific knowledge across national borders. Consequently, the Cluniac order exerted an important influence on the Christian world of Western Europe throughout the Middle Ages.
Barcelona – Spain
Founded in 1318, the Archives of the Crown of Aragon served as a centralised deposit system for the administrative, economic and political memory of the Crown of Aragon’s monarchy. Over the following centuries, the archives drew their stocks from the documents that were generated by the administrative apparatus of the State and other entities, allowing us today to reconstruct the history of the region and of great events in European history. The Archives of the Crown of Aragon are one of the oldest archival institutions in Europe and comprises some of the most valuable collections of documents from Medieval Europe.
Lublin – Poland
The Union of Lublin, established in 1569, tied together the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, creating the so-called Commonwealth of Both Nations, characterized by a single monarch, a common parliament and one currency. The Union of Lublin is an exceptional case of the democratic integration of two countries, which led to the peaceful and inclusive coexistence of people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Münster and Osnabrück – Germany
The Peace of Westphalia describes the totality of the peace treaties that were negotiated and agreed upon in the cities of Münster and Osnabrück in 1648. These Treaties brought an end to the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), in which all major European powers were involved and which was not only a conflict between states, but also between religions. Moreover, the conflict also concluded the Dutch War of Independence (1568-1648) from Spain. The Peace of Westphalia was a seminal event in the development of the state and of international law. It’s a key event as peace was achieved through diplomatic negotiations, not through force. The principles there developed remain in effect and decisively shaped the order of today’s Europe.
Coimbra – Portugal
The General Library of the University of Coimbra was established before 1513 and contains one of the most remarkable and innovative library buildings of Europe of the early eighteenth century, the Joanina Library. The library has defined itself as a “public library” for centuries. It was one of the first libraries in Europe to provide subject catalogues (1743) and never allowed any censorship in darker periods. It holds many documents of European significance.
Warsaw – Poland
The 3 May 1791 Constitution adopted by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth reflects enlightenment influences which gave primacy to reason, law and freedom. It was the first constitution democratically adopted in Europe and is a symbol of the democratic and peaceful transformation of a political system.
Hambach – Germany
Built in the Middle Ages, Hambach Castle gained outstanding importance in the 19th century. Following a period of political repression, around 30,000 people from Germany, France and Poland came together at the castle on 27 May 1832 to celebrate the Hambach Festival (Hambacher Fest). The attendants spoke out for fundamental rights and political freedoms and for equality, tolerance and democracy in Germany and Europe, making the castle a symbol of the struggle for civil liberties in Europe.
Lisbon – Portugal
The Charter of Law of Abolition of the Death Penalty was approved in 1867 and is preserved in the National Archives of Torre do Tombo in Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the first examples of the permanent suspension of the death penalty being codified in a national legal system in Europe. It promotes values that are today part of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Madrid – Spain
Serving as a residence, a conference venue and a place for the exchange of ideas, some of the leading personalities of European inter-war arts, philosophy and science gathered here for debate and dialogue. Upholding the values of free-thinking, cooperation and exchange, the Residencia de Estudiantes remains a centre renowned throughout Europe for encouraging exchange, dialogue, communication and understanding among generations, cultures, and disciplines such as the arts, humanities and sciences.
Kaunas – Lithuania
During the interwar period, the city of Kaunas developed into the modern, vibrant and dynamic cultural centre of the country. Many Lithuanians, who studied in other European countries, brought back new knowledge and ideas to Kaunas, where a fruitful mix of modernist tendencies and old traditions prompted the country’s prosperous development in the city’s architecture of the period. Kaunas of 1919-1940 has an urban landscape exuberantly reflecting Europe’s interwar architecture and the modernism movement representing today the outstanding heritage of a flourishing golden period when the city of Kaunas was temporarily the capital of Lithuania.
Cerkno – Slovenia
The Franja Hospital was a secret World War II hospital run by the Slovenian partisans as part of a broadly organized resistance movement against the occupying Nazi forces. It is a notable symbol of human fortitude and medical care, and of the solidarity and companionship in hardship – between the local population, hospital staff and wounded soldiers of different nationalities including enemy combatants – that existed during the Second World War. Today, it has been turned into a museum promoting solidarity, democratic values and human rights.
Scy-Chazelles – France
Robert Schuman (1886-1963) is considered as one of the founding figures of the European Union, a “Father of Europe”. Through his Declaration of 9 May 1950, commemorated annually as Europe Day, he laid the foundations for the European Coal and Steel Community and for all the European institutions to come. The document paved the way towards post-war European integration. He bought the house in 1926 and, from 1960 onwards, spent the years of his retirement there. Today it hosts a museum and contains many objects that belonged to Robert Schuman and which prove his attachment to the European ideal.
Pieve Tesino – Italy
Museo Casa De Gasperi is the birthplace of Alcide de Gasperi (1881-1954) who served as Foreign Affairs Minister and Italian Prime Minister from 1945 to 1953 and who supported Schuman’s plans which led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community. De Gasperi is recognised today as one of the “Fathers of Europe” and an inspiring force in the creation of the European Economic Community. His house is now a museum highlighting his contribution to the construction of Europe after World War II.
Gdańsk – Poland
The historic Gdańsk Shipyard was the birthplace of “Solidarność”, a social movement and trade union that united citizens in peaceful fight for freedom and human rights. This place is crucial to the origins of democratic transformations in Europe. The movement’s origins date back to the workers’ strike of 1970, which was bloodily suppressed by the socialist authorities. Ten years later, a new wave of strikes prompted the government to give in and sign the historic August Agreements in 1980 with Lech Wałęsa. From this moment on, “Solidarity” continuously promoted democracy and civil liberties in Poland and triggered similar social movements across Eastern European countries in the 1980s.
Sopron – Hungary
The Memorial Park commemorates the civil initiative of the Pan-European Picnic peace demonstration held on 19 August 1989. The temporary opening of the Hungarian-Austrian border during the demonstration gave nearly 600 citizens of the German Democratic Republic the opportunity to flee to the West, an event which marked the beginning of the destruction of the Iron Curtain. Having divided Europe ideologically and economically into two separate areas, the fall of the Iron Curtain led to the reunification of Germany and the EU’s Eastern enlargement in 2004. The Memorial Park stands for the post-1989 borderless and unified Europe.
The Hague – Netherlands
The Peace Palace traces the history of peace in Europe. Before the Palace opened in 1913, the Hague was host to the First World Peace Conference in 1899 – the culmination of the nineteenth century peace movement nurtured by many European intellectuals. The Peace Palace hosted international peace conferences from 1913 onwards, which aimed to regulate the arms race and to settling international disputes through arbitration. This work continues today as the Peace Palace is the seat of many judicial institutions (the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Academy of International Law); it embodies the values of peace and justice and is often called “the seat of international law”.
Tallin – Estonia
The Great Guild Hall was commissioned by the Great Guild and built in 1410. This association of German Hanseatic merchants was one of most important trading organisations of the Medieval Era and played an important role in the history of trade and cultural exchanges in medieval northern Europe. The Great Guild Hall, a typical example of Hanseatic architecture, is a public building in which countless trade and social exchanges have taken place since the Middle Ages. Today the Hall hosts the Estonian History Museum which presents Estonian history in its European context.
Petronell-Carnuntum – Austria
The Archaeological Park Carnuntum in the east of Austria brings Roman history to life. Carnuntum was an important Roman settlement founded in the middle of the first century AD at a crossing point of trade routes on the Danube. It became one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. The 400 years of Roman life in Carnuntum reflect a period of history that deeply influenced and shaped Europe’s development.
Hooghalen – Netherlands
Camp Westerbork served as a refugee camp for Jews persecuted by the Nazis until 1942, and then became a transit camp from which Jews, Roma and Sinti were deported to Nazi extermination and concentration camps. After World War II, Dutch nationals suspected of collaborating with the Nazis were imprisoned in the camp. Later, it hosted people returning to the Netherlands from the former Dutch colony of the East Indies, among them a large group of Moluccans. Camp Westerbork has links to crucial topics in European history such as occupation, persecution, migration, decolonisation and multiculturalism. A museum and monuments of remembrance can today be found on the site of the former camp.
The legal basis describes how a site could receive the European Heritage Label. It is a two-stage process, which starts in the domicile state of trhe respective site. For the contact details of the National Coordinators please check the website of the EU Commission.
If you plan to apply: