“Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certified in 2022

 

From the eighteenth century to the twentieth century, the growth in coffee consumption led to an expansion of cafés across the towns and cities of Europe. Cafés quickly became important centres of cultural and political exchanges, appreciated by the emerging middle classes. Despite the closure of many of them, Europe still possesses a rich legacy of still functioning historic cafés. Each one reflects the architecture, art and design of its time, and conveys the stories of prominent patrons of the political, literary and artistic worlds, preserved within its walls.

 

Heritage

As part of our urban heritage, the preserved historic cafés of Europe have survived wars and major social changes. They display a rich tangible heritage, with an abundance of architectural styles from neo-baroque to art nouveau, art deco and the birth of modernism. They are also repositories of intangible heritage being integral to the collective memory of European history embracing a literary, musical, artistic, and often contested political heritage. These historic cafés are places where we can still witness and partake of the traditions and practices of coffee drinking, from its preparation to its serving, and taste associated products such as local cakes and pastries.

 

Travelling today

Historic Cafés Route offers travellers the opportunity to step back in time to enjoy the opulence of cafes developed in its golden age and to discover their important role in the cultural history of Europe. Through events, performances and artistic activities, tourists can experience café culture and understand the significance of these places in otherwise very similar urban landscapes. Above all, the cafes, as living heritage sites, uphold the traditions of European coffee culture and the consumption of cakes and pastries reflecting local products and practices.  

Council of Europe values                                                                                                                                                    Historic cafes reflect the common heritage of Europe, as evidenced by their architecture, design and role in cultural and political history. They carry valuable stories about the emergence of democratic societies, resistance to totalitarianism and social intolerance. Simultaneously, cafés are an expression of the diversity of local practices and traditions related to food and drink. Today, cafés are an ideal place for socialisation and intercultural dialogue for locals and visitors.      

 

Historic Cafés Route
Eleftheriou Venizelou 4, Megaro EBEX, 3rd floor, Room 32
TK-73132, Chania, Crete (GREECE)
[email protected]
 

Vasilis STATHAKIS, President
George LOVERDOS, Manager
 

Official website
www.historiccafesroute.com

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