Huguenot and Waldensian Trail
“Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certified in 2013
In 1685 an era of persecution began after the King of France, Louis XIV, revoked the Edict of Nantes. 200,000 Huguenots sought refuge in the Protestant lands of Europe and around the world. The Waldensians from the Piedmont valleys also went into exile and followed the same path. This approximately 2,500 km-long international trail traces the historical path taken during this exile.
The exiled Huguenots and Waldesians travelled to Geneva in Switzerland and then Germany, where they were welcomed and could start a new life. Along the way, numerous Huguenot and Waldensian settlements were formed and constitute not only a rich cultural heritage but also an immaterial reminder of the themes of religious persecution, displacement, migration and integration.
Starting in Le Poët-Laval (Drôme, France) or Mialet (Cévennes, France) and from Saluzzo (Piedmont, Italy), Baden-Württemberg and Hesse, going all the way to Bad Karlshafen (Germany). The route also abounds in cultural and historical attractions, as well as its scenic richness and beauty. Participants in this hike can explore various European cultures, discover a shared history, enjoy convivial moments through the acceptance of others, and continue to develop a sense of self-awareness.
Council of Europe values
The hiking trail aims to highlight the historical exile of the Huguenots and Waldensians and their step-by-step integration in the host countries as a component of our common European history and cultural heritage. It also puts the spotlight on freedom, respect for human rights, tolerance and solidarity as European core values.
"Huguenot and Waldensian Trail" International Union
c/o Communauté de Communes du Pays de Dieulefit
8 rue garde de Dieu
FR-26220 Dieulefit (FRANCE)
Gérard DANGLES, President
Laure ALVAREZ, Project Manager