Reformation is a substantial component of the history and culture of central Europe. However; until now it has hardly been used and acknowledged as regional resource. The project European Cultural Route of Reformation (ECRR) emphasizes and focuses on this diverse cultural heritage and its value. The main goal is to activate and use the legacy of Reformation as cornerstone of a common European identity, highlight this legacy’s value and by doing so encourage and foster regional development.
The twelve project partners represent the broad span of regions related to Reformation heritage, including the legacies from (pre‐)reformators like Jan Hus, Primoz Trubar and Martin Luther, to the traces and tracks from Bible smugglers and other Counterreformation events. A diverse range of actors is represented in the partnership including development and marketing agencies, public administration, a research institute, a tourism board and clergy. The Association for Rural Development Thuringia (Erfurt, Germany) is the leading institution of this project, that is co-financed by Interreg Central Europe in the frame of the European Regional Development Fund ERDF.
The common aim is to establish a Cultural Route of Reformation, with touristic points of interest in diverse countries and consolidate it to run beyond the project’s lifetime. To guarantee a sustainable and long lasting management of the Route, the partnership will develop a management structure, an action plan and a common brand. With this Reformation sites and legacies included in the Route should be promoted and advertised. The membership in the Route is open to all Reformationrelevant regions in Europe. The final endeavor of the project is to apply for the certification of the Route as European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe.
To construct the Route on a solid and durable base, the partners will examine and assess inputs and experiences from already certified Cultural Routes. The knowledge and competencies of local and regional actors from tourism, clergy and culture for a sustainable management of Reformation cultural heritage will increase in the frame of workshops. In addition to that, a Mentoringprogramme within the project partnership will be established to facilitate and encourage the exchange of experience and learning among experienced and less experienced regions. In seven regions additional investments for digital information points and information plates will be undertaken. With all these measures the European Cultural Route of Reformation will contribute to a sustainable development of the regions and helps promoting and supporting responsible and sustainable tourism, as well as protecting and valorizing the cultural heritage of Reformation.
Several contemporary highlights will support the project to fulfill its goals. On this regard, the project aims at benefitting from the 500th Reformation Jubilee as platform, exploiting synergies with the Year of Sustainable Tourism (2017) and the European Year of Cultural Heritage (2018).