Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Architecture without Frontiers



Incorporated into the programme in October 1987

Formally awarded certification as a "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe": 16 June 2004




La CortinadaFrom the Belgian Ardennes to the broad basins of the Saarland, from Trier to Metz, along the Moselle River and in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, particular architectural styles developed over the centuries have produced a habitat that reflects a set of shared characteristics, particularly in rural areas.


The traditional rural habitat is often a form of architecture without architects made up of farms and simple houses, reflecting the culture of the past. It can be regarded as a region’s identity card, with building methods adjusted to life’s needs, the demands of work, the climate, the landscape and the available building materials.


Four transfrontier circuits, totalling two thousand kilometres, linking France, Germany, Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, were traced out by the international association Rurality-Environment-Development (RED). The focus was on four main architectural styles, one per circuit, drawing the public’s attention to the importance of preserving, maintaining and breathing life into a shared everyday heritage which represents a strong cultural bond that transcends today’s frontiers.


Better still, however, is the fact that the route’s organisers have succeeded in involving architects, rural development officials and inhabitants themselves by means of competitions focusing on new uses for this heritage, the quality of new constructions built in traditional styles and using traditional materials, and the importance of the quality of the landscape. In so doing, they have been able to provide a tangible response to the requirements of the Council of Europe’s Landscape Convention.








Ruralité-Environnement-Développement Association (R.E.D)

Rue des Potiers 304

B-6717 Attert

+32 63 230490

+32 63 230499