From September 20th to 22nd 2023, the European Federation of Mining Routes of Santa Barbara participated in the 12th Annual Forum of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes. The event, held at the EC1 Science and Technology Center in Lodz (Poland), within the city’s historic thermal power plant, provided an important platform for discussing and sharing challenges and opportunities related to post-industrial heritage.
This year’s edition, with its theme, addressed an increasingly important issue in the conservation and valorization of industrial archaeological heritage. The European Federation of Mining Routes of Santa Barbara was represented by a delegation consisting of Tatjana Dizdarevič, representing the Idrija Mercury Heritage Management Centre (Slovenia); Maria Angeles Tomás Obón and Naiara Loras, representing the Comarca Andorra-Sierra de Arcos (Spain); and Andrea Tarozzi and Margherita Concu, representing the Foundation CMSB.
Members of the MINES.B Federation participated in Forum sessions, which were essential for their training. They had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of issues related to the promotion of post-industrial heritage and gain valuable insights from experts. One of the main themes highlighted was that of mining heritage, with Poland itself hosting some of the most important european mines.
The importance of post-industrial mining heritage was underscored. There is indeed a growing interest among tourists in discovering this reality that has marked the history of Europe – the great mining epic. Mining areas have become captivating tourist destinations where visitors can immerse themselves in the history of mineral production and industrialization. These places have evolved into not only open-air museums but also testaments to the determination and courage of communities that worked in these mines for generations.
Moreover, the Forum has been an occasion for the members of MINES.B to meet in person. A meeting was held on the 21st of September with the European Association of Francigena Ways, which is providing support to the Federation during the candidacy process. This in-person meeting was a crucial moment for establishing strong relationships and discussing the most important issues related to their collaborative work.
Currently, the partners are working on the preparation of the candidacy dossier, which will detail their mission, activities, and commitment to promoting sustainable tourism and intercultural understanding. The certification cycle they are aiming for is scheduled for 2025, and the Federation is determined to meet all the requirements and expectations of the CoE.