European Route of Megalithic Culture
Certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" in 2013
Big stones – literally megaliths – were widely used by prehistoric communities to build monuments, burial places, and sanctuaries. Megalithic tombs, dolmens and other monuments represent the oldest surviving indigenous architecture of Europe. Understanding this heritage is essential to trace our very origins.
Megalithic monuments are among the most widespread remains of man in time and space. Some of these monuments have been interpreted as observatories, through which it is possible to chart the movement of celestial objects, as they are all oriented towards the movement of the sun. Some, such as Stonehenge, have been perceived as tools for the prediction of solar and lunar eclipses.
Europe has a vast megalithic heritage, which can be explored through many different routes covering Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Great Britain. In order to discover this heritage, tourists can participate in several hiking and cycling activities that promote a strong connection with the land. The traveller can thus explore not only the megalithic monuments but also the manifold features of the surrounding landscape.
Council of Europe values
The Megalithic Routes project is committed to the principles of “low-impact tourism”, avoiding irreversible measures that affect the natural environment. This is achieved by using existing roads and nature route ways as well as promoting mobility in harmony with nature. Consequently, a key principle of the route is to highlight and preserve the essential link between nature and culture. The route is also involved in working with museums, schools, universities and charities to develop specific programmes for children and young people.