May 2011.- The European Cemeteries Route has been recognized with a Special Jury Award within the 2011 Ulysses Award that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) awards annually. The Ulysses Prize and Awards Ceremony will take place on 2nd June 2011 in Vilamoura, Portugal, during the UNWTO Algarve Global Forum on Tourism and Science: Bridging theory and practice.

The UNWTO Ulysses Awards are granted to projects undertaken by public institutions in tourism (governmental, public-private partnerships), tourism enterprises and non-profit institutions (NGOs, civil society, etc.), which merit distinction for their innovative contributions to tourism policy, governance, and other areas of tourism, such as the environment, cooperation for development, new technologies, social corporate responsibility, etc. In awarding these distinctions, the UNWTO seeks to recognize and stimulate innovative knowledge creation, dissemination and application in the area of tourism and to bring to light the latest advances in this area, which has a transversal effect on governance and society at large. In this sense, the European Cemeteries Route, an initiative of the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe (ASCE), brings together funerary heritage of the past, cemetery issues of the present and challenges of the future, engaging and sharing the richness of these elements with all publics. Members of the route offer guided tours, events and interpretation activities with the aim of informing visitors and making them aware of the important funeral heritage that exists throughout Europe. For the first time, this Route offers a consolidated cultural product where history, art, memory and nature are brought together in a different way.

The European Cemeteries Route is comprised of 60 cemeteries in 46 cities of 18 European countries. The main objective of the Route is to promote European cemeteries as a fundamental part of the cultural heritage of humanity, preserve the material and immaterial heritage in these sites and encourage knowledge sharing.

In January 2011, ASCE officially kicked off the Route with a training workshop for its members whereby managers of the cemeteries addressed the issue of ‘Remembrance in European Cemeteries – Heritage and Cultural Tourism’. This workshop, funded through a matching grant from the European Commission under its Europe for Citizens Programme and the sponsorship of Cemeteries de Barcelona, presented members with new tools and techniques for promoting their cemeteries as cultural destinations and defined an implementation plan for 2011-2012.


ASCE is a global non-profit network comprising public and private organizations that care for cemeteries considered of historical or artistic importance in Europe. As part of its mission, ASCE provides a basis for sharing experiences and developing common projects to bring awareness of the association among institutions on a national and European level. ASCE was founded in 2001 in Bologna and has experienced an important growth in the last years; it is now the largest association of cemeteries in Europe with 120 members in 100 cities across 22 countries.

Stiftung Historische Kirchhöfe und Friedhöfe in Berlin-Brandenburg
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