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Culture: Nine Europe's historical sites up for the European Heritage Label

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Ahead of the launch event of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, nine sites celebrating and symbolising European ideals, values, history and integration have been recommended by the independent panel for inclusion on the European Heritage Label list.

The 9 sites are:

  • Leipzig’s Musical Heritage Sites (Germany)
  • Dohány Street Synagogue Complex (Hungary)
  • Fort Cadine (Italy); Javorca Church (Slovenia)
  • Former Natzweiler concentration camp and its satellite camps (France and Germany)
  • Sighet Memorial (Romania)
  • Bois du Cazier (Belgium)
  • Village of Schengen (Luxembourg)
  • Maastricht Treaty (The Netherlands)

This brings to thirty eight the number of sites which have received the European Heritage Label over past four years. The full report of the independent selection panel in charge of assessing the applications on the basis of the established criteria is available.

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said:

"European Union is built on values such as peace, freedom, tolerance, solidarity. These values must not be taken for granted; we have to work for them every day.

All the sites on the European Heritage Label list promote these values and remind us of all those who fought to establish and preserve them. I look forward to celebrating the 9 sites that will be added to the list and will nurture the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018."

Twenty five heritage sites were preselected this year by 19 participating Member States, out of which an independent panel selected the nine sites that are proposed today. The Commission will formally designate the sites in February 2018 and an award ceremony will be held in March 2018 in Bulgaria.

The 9 recommended sites

Leipzig’s Musical Heritage Sites

Leipzig, Germany

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Musician playing a cello
Shutterstock

Leipzig’s Musical Heritage Sites 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 thirteenth century.  This site embodies the dynamic continuity of a specific European tradition in music and civic engagement.

Dohány Street Synagogue Complex

Budapest, Hungary

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Dohany Street synagogue
Budapest Jewish Community

Built in the 1850s', 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.

Fort Cadine

Trento, Italy

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Fort Cadine
Ufficio Stampa Provincia di Trentino

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.

Javorca Church

Tolmin, Slovenia

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Javorca Church
Municipality of Tolmin

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.

Former Natzweiler concentration camp and its satellite camps

Alsace-Moselle, France - Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Natzweiller
CERD

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 now is part of  present-day France and Germany. In the Natzweiler network of camps, prisoners from almost all European countries were subject to Nazi terror. Many 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 Memorial

Sighet, Romania

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Sighet memorial
Comaniciu Dan - Shutterstock.com

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.  The Memorial provides insight on the repression by communist regimes in Europe throughout the 20th century, including the resultant death and suffering experienced inside and outside the prison walls.

Bois du Cazier

Marcinelle, Belgium

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Bois du cazier
JL Deru - photo-daylight.com

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, since 2002 the site has been transformed into a museum dedicated to the coal, iron and glass industry. It recalls European solidarity as demonstrated in the aftermath of the 1956 disaster which also triggered the creation of a health and safety body by the European Coal and Steel Community.

Village of Schengen

Schengen, Luxembourg

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Village of Schengen
Schengen asbl village of Schengen

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 Treaty

Maastricht, the Netherlands

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Signature of the Maastricht Treaty
European Communities - Christian Lambiotte, 1992

The Maastricht Treaty (1991-1992) was a milestone for 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 February 1992 is today its visitor and exhibitions centre.

More information about the 29 sites already on the list, and videos