Where was the world's first factory? Where was the largest steam engine built? And where can you find the most up-to-date colliery of its time? Industrialisation changed the face of Europe. Consequently it has left us a rich industrial heritage. A gigantic network of sites spread all over Eruope. It only has to be brought back to life -which is what the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is doing. Come with us on an exciting journey of discovery to the most important sites in Europe's industrial history.

Read more about ERIH and it's route system of Anchor Points, Regional Routes and European Theme Routes:

What is ERIH?

ERIH is the European Route of Industrial Heritage, a network of the most important industrial heritage sites in Europe. It is the common link between them all. From disused production plants to industrial landscape parks and inter-active technology museums.

Anchor Points

Anchor Points form ERIH's virtual main route.
The name says it all. Many features are anchored here. Primarily the overall route framework. Anchor Points cover the complete range of European industrial history. After that, they tell tourists what they can see at a local level. Visitors of all ages can relive their industrial heritage through fascinating guided tours, exciting multi-media presentations and outstanding special events. Last not least, all the anchor points are simultaneously starting points for a variety of regional routes.

Regional Routes

Regional Routes open up the industrial history of a region.
Each region has its own specialisms and in this respect European industrial heritage is just like food. Its strength lies in the fact that it unites many different traditions within a single idea. The Regional Routes link landscapes and sites which have left their mark on European industrial history. Germany's Ruhrgebiet, for example. Or South Wales, a key region in the "world's first industrial nation". Both these areas comprise a number of less significant industrial monuments - the small cogs in the large machine.

Europ. Theme Routes

Theme Routes illustrate the European connections.
Such as "The treasures of the Earth": what, where, when and how were they extracted from the ground? Or "Textile manufacturing": what were the milestones along the way from fibre to factory? Theme Routes focus on specific questions relating to European industrial history and reveal - offen in connection with the biographies - potential links between radically different industrial monuments all over Europe. The result is a "circuit diagram" showing the connections between the main themes of European industrial heritage.