Cultural route
ERIH united in solidarity with the people of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to assault Ukraine with armed forces is a flagrant violation of international law, causing death and despair to millions of people. This strongly contradicts the common European values that are the bedrock and essence of the ERIH network, being a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. We strongly condemn the destructive and hostile war and join the overwhelming majority of the global community in calling for immediate peace negotiations.

In solidarity with Ukraine, we have removed the descriptions of Russian sites on our website until further notice. At the same time, we bow our heads to the many people in Russia who reject this war or even risk their personal freedom by publicly opposing it.

In such times, it is hard to continue with business as usual. Nevertheless, we consider it important to continue networking right now in an effort to unite peoples and promote peace in response to war and violence. With this in mind, our first newsletter in 2022 arrives today, with topics ranging from the newly approved funding by the EU's Creative Europe programme, to an encouraging ranking of ERIH's PR activities compared to other European Cultural Routes as well as new content on the website. We are also pleased to announce two new Anchor Points and a new Regional Route.

The topics at a glance:

  • ERIH Funding: EU funding scheme "Creative Europe" approves application
  • ERIH Benchmark: Online communication strategies of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe compared
  • ERIH Network: Two new Anchor Points and one new Regional Route
  • ERIH Online: New content on the website
  • ERIH Print: " European Industrial Heritage. The International Story" in a new edition
  • ERIH Calendar: Save the date
ERIH Funding: EU funding scheme "Creative Europe" approves application

ERIH successfully applied for a three-year Creative Europe Networks grant to promote its networking. From January 2022 to December 2024, the EU has granted 80 percent funding for network projects, with ERIH contributing the remaining 20 percent. ERIH's focus is on the implications of the "European Green Deal" for industrial heritage as well as the sector's sustainability in the wake of the pandemic and its effects. The new project period is divided into six work packages designed to pursue and further develop established formats and to implement new ventures.

In a first kick-off meeting in February, a project management group (PMG) was constituted to take over the general controlling. This PMG once again relies on active member participation, with appropriate appeals being prepared. Invitations for ERIH members to get involved will also be issued for projects such as WORK-it-OUT, ERIH on TOUR (successor to Twinning of Sites), Linking Europe and others. Lobbying industrial heritage on EU level remains important, too. As a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, ERIH will share its experience as well as maintain and expand its contacts in various expert groups, in the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 network and in other relevant programmes.

ERIH work packages 2022-24

Education and professional training, as well as knowledge transfer, will continue to be top priorities. The European Academy of Industrial Heritage is going to propose lectures at further universities ( gladly accepts suggestions and applications via email). All of these activities will particularly target the younger generations. In addition, the key instrument of the ERIH Industrial Heritage Barometer will remain an integral part of our work. In just a few weeks' time, the Ruhr Regional Association will again be calling for participation in this year's online survey, its results being all the more meaningful the more sites take part. An upgrade is scheduled for both internal and external communication. This applies in particular to our social media efforts, which will be extended to include additional channels and content. To this end, we will be refining our communication strategy on an ongoing basis.

ERIH Benchmark: Online communication strategies of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe compared

How do the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe deliver their content, information and services on their respective websites? That question was at the centre of a scientific study conducted by four researchers from UNESCO as well as two universities in Switzerland and Finland, which was presented in December at the 1st academic workshop held by the University Network for Cultural Routes Studies. To provide a basis for comparison, the authors identified 47 indicators for a total of 34 websites and assigned them to six categories, including "information about the route", "news, events, projects" and "tourism".

As a result, the ERIH website scored 33 out of a total of 47 indicators listed in the study. This puts ERIH in first place of the 34 websites studied, together with the "Liberation Route Europe". The researchers state in detail: Both top-ranking websites "were among the last routes to be certified (both in 2019), and are characterised by a strong network of members at different levels (public and private organisations, corporate members and individuals) ... [They] provide several, constantly updated and easy-to-find information about current activities and future events, and about how to take part in their organisation. These websites also constitute a tool for users to create a personal experience of the route, thanks, for instance, to interactive maps and audio-guides, educational materials and travel packages that can be bought on the website."
Presentation "Online communication strategies of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe"

ERIH Network: Two new Anchor Points and one new Regional Route

Since December last year, two new Anchor Points were added to the ERIH network: the Grand Hornu World Heritage Site in Belgium and the Fortuna visitor mine in Germany. Grand Hornu, a large-scale neoclassical complex from the early 19th century, including a workers' settlement with over 400 cottages, used to be one of the largest collieries in Belgium and has become a jewel of European industrial heritage with high-profile cultural facilities. In the Fortuna mine, visitors explore what it was like to work in a 20th century ore mine 150 metres below ground, with original and operable machinery, and further trace the ore's processing and miners' everyday lives in the well-preserved historic surface facilities. We are pleased to see the network grow and warmly welcome both sites.
Grand Hornu World Heritage Site 
Fortuna Visitor Mine

Grand Hornu WHS | Fortuna Visitor Mine

Growth can also be seen regarding the ERIH Regional Routes: "TECHNOTRASA - surová krása" (Technical Route - Rough Beauty) currently aggregates eight sites in the Czech Republic's Moravian-Silesian Region, including the two ERIH Anchor Points Dolni Vitkovice and Michal Mine. The still important coal and steel region boasts a history rich in tradition, dating back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century. The Regional Route - the first in the Czech Republic - is still under construction on our website and will be extended to include more sites.
Moravian-Silesian Technical Trail | TECHNOTRASA

ERIH Online: New content on the website

The ERIH website also continues to grow: since the last update, descriptions of 100 more sites have been added, as well as 45 new biographies of people who contributed to shaping the age of industrialisation. Thus, the total number of industrial heritage sites presented online by ERIH exceeds 2,100.

Furthermore, new entries have been included in the section on the industrial history of countries: in addition to six revised country portraits, the website now contains industrial history profiles on Kazakhstan, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. This means that the website features articles on all 51 countries that are partly or entirely considered part of Europe from a political, cultural or geographical point of view.
Industrial History of European Countries  

Another important upgrade relates to the link lists. The Service/Links section now includes the entry "XTRA: Industrial Heritage for Kids". If you are looking for specific sites explaining and presenting industrial heritage in a child-friendly way, you will find a growing selection of links here. As always, we appreciate your comments and suggestions to, especially with regard to websites that make educational and training opportunities available for download. Thank you very much!
XTRA: Industrial Heritage for Kids

ERIH Print: "European Industrial Heritage. The International Story" in a new edition

The ERIH brochure "European Industrial Heritage. The International Story", provides ERIH sites with an inspiration as to how they can illustrate and explain the European context of industrialisation. Like the ERIH Theme Routes, it outlines the history of individual industries as an exciting European narrative, yet not comprehensively, but rather as an incentive for a more in-depth approach to the topic. Last year's edition is now available in reprint and can be requested from the ERIH head office.
Brochure "European Industrial Heritage. The International Story"


ERIH Calendar: Save the date

Once again, the ERIH dance event "WORK it OUT" is setting an example for a Europe that we all share. This year it is scheduled for 11 September 2022.

The ERIH General Assembly, along with the Annual Conference (both hybrid) will take place from 19 - 22 October 2022. The venue is Esch-sur-Alzette (European Capital of Culture 2022) in Luxembourg.

Other events dealing with industrial heritage (tourism)