Following a seven-month application process, EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail has joined the list of 38 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. This is the first time that an entire EuroVelo route has been recognised in this way!
The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe aim to illustrate European memory, history and heritage and contribute to an interpretation of the diversity of present-day Europe. The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) decided to certify the Iron Curtain Trail on 30th April 2019. The route will receive an award to mark the certification during the “Cultural Routes Annual Advisory Forum” to be held in Sibiu, Romania from 2nd – 4th of October 2019.
ECF Advocacy and EuroVelo Director, Ádám Bodor, was thrilled with the news that the route had been recognised in this way:
“Having grown up ‘behind’ the Iron Curtain, I experienced first-hand the division of Europe. I therefore take great pride in the role EuroVelo 13 is playing in bringing communities together along the former border.”
The Iron Curtain Trail was an initiative of Green MEP Michael Cramer who had previously established the Berlin Wall Trail in the German capital. He is still actively involved in the development of EuroVelo 13 and together with his team he worked with ECF in preparing the successful application to the EPA. Commenting on the decision, Michael Cramer said:
“I am very happy that the Iron Curtain Trail has become a certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. Thirty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, it is important to keep alive the memory of the peaceful revolution that changed Europe’s history for good. The route stretches beyond the boundaries of the EU and is therefore exemplary for the all the members of the EPA.”