European Route of Industrial Heritage

The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is a network (theme route) of the most important industrial heritage sites in Europe. This is a tourism industry information initiative to present a network of industrial heritage sites across Europe. The aim of the project is to create interest for the common European Heritage of the Industrialisation and its legacy. ERIH also wants to promote regions, towns and sites showing the industrial history and market them as visitor attractions in the leisure and tourism industry.[1]


The concept of using a European Route of Industrial Heritage was born in 1999; it was recognised there had be no single event to shape the European landscape greater than the industrial revolution. That changed the working culture of all Europeans, and gave common experiences to communities across Europe whether it be deep mine coal workng in the Rühr or South Wales. Four countries, Great Britain, Belgian, Germany and the Netherlands successfully applied for EU Interreg IIC (North-Western Europe) funding to draw up a master plan. The plan demonstrates the economic potential as a primarily marketing brand. It also shows a possible structure. Its reasoning was that many individual sites had great footfall others had a very low profile. They used the analogy of small shops gathering together in large shopping centres for joint promotion. In the language of EU proposals the hubs are called anchor points; these could be cities or existing industrial sites with a developed tourism infrastructure. [2]

The plan culminated in the Duisburg Declaration [lower-alpha 1]

With the plan adopted its implementation was funded by Interreg IIIB-north-western Europe, and the scheme rolled out; starting in the northwest and progressing south and east. ERIH is a registered association under German law. When funding ran out there were 850 member attractions which has risen to 1,850 sites across the EU28 countries. In October 2014 further funding was obtained from the EU Creative Europe progamme . The European Route of Industrial Heritage has been a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 2019.[3]

Anchor points

The – virtual – main route is built by the so-called Anchor Points. These are Industrial Heritage sites which are the historically most important and most attractive for visitors. The route leads through 13 countries thus far (in 2014): United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.[4]

The anchor sites in are:

Nation Location Site Theme(s)
Amsterdam Heineken ExperienceHeineken Brewery Production and Manufacturing
Augsburg Textile and industrial museum (tim) Textiles
Birmingham Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Production and Manufacturing
Blaenavon Big Pit National Coal Museum Mining, Landscapes
Blegny Blegny-Mine Mining
Bocholt TextilWerk Bocholt LWL Industrial Museum Textiles
Calais The International City of Lace and Fashion Textiles
Carbonia Italian Centre for Coal Mining, Culture Mining, Landscapes
Chemnitz Chemnitz Museum of Industry Textiles, Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication
Copenhagen Visit Carlsberg / Carlsberg Visitors Centre Production and Manufacturing
Cornellà de Llobregat Museu Agbar de les Aigües Water
Cromford Derwent Valley Mills Textiles, Landscapes
Delmenhorst Nordwolle Textiles, Housing and Architecture
Dortmund LWL Industrial Museum Zollern II/IV Colliery Mining, Housing and Architecture
Duisburg North Duisburg Landscape Park Iron and Steel, Landscapes
Dundee Verdant Works Textiles
Duxford Imperial War Museum Duxford Transport and Communication, Industry and War
Elsecar Elsecar Heritage Centre Mining
Enschede TwentseWelle Textiles
Essen Zollverein XII Colliery & Coking Plant World Heritage Site Mining, Housing and Architecture
Euskirchen LVR Industrial Museum Mueller Cloth Mill Textiles
Falun Falun Mine, World Heritage Site Mining, Landscapes
Furtwangen German Clock Museum, German Clock Route Production and Manufacturing
Gent Museum of Industrial Archaeology and Textile Textiles
Goslar Mines of Rammelsberg World Heritage Site Mining
Gräfenhainichen Ferropolis - Town of Iron Mining, Iron and Steel
Grimeton World Heritage Grimeton Transport and Communication
Grossouvre Charcoal halle of Grossouvre Iron and Steel
Haarlemmermeer Steam Pumping Station De Cruquius Water, Housing and Architecture
Hamburg Hamburg Museum of Work Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication
Hoorn Hoorn-Medemblik Steam Tram Museum Transport and Communication
Hoyerswerda Lusatia Mining Museum, Knappenrode Energy Factory Mining, Application of Power, Landscapes
Kerkrade Discovery Center Continium, Kerkrade Mining, Production and Manufacturing
Kongens Lyngby Brede Works Textiles, Production and Manufacturing, Housing and Architecture
Lage Westphalian Industrial Museum Brick Works Lage Production and Manufacturing
Lanark New Lanark Textiles, Housing and Architecture
Lichterfeld Overburden Conveyor Bridge F60 Mining, Iron and Steel, Landscapes
Llanberis National Slate Museum Production and Manufacturing, Housing and Architecture, Landscapes
Łódź Manufaktura, Museum of the Factory Textiles
London London Museum of Water & Steam Application of Power, Water
Marcinelle Bois du Cazier Mining
Medemblik Netherlands Steam Machine Museum Production and Manufacturing, Application of Power
Narvik Museum Nord, Narvik Transport and Communication
Northwich Lion Salt Works Mining, Salt
Oberhausen Gasometer next to CentrO Iron and Steel, Application of Power
Oslo Norwegian Museum of Science, Technology, Industry and Medicine Textiles
Ostrava Michal Mine Mining
Papenburg Meyer Shipyard Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication
Peenemünde The Peenemünde Historical Museum Production and Manufacturing, Application of Power, Landscapes
Pendeen, Penzance Geevor Tin Mine Mining, Landscapes
Petite-Rosselle Carreau Wendel Museum Mining
Pilsen Pilsner Urquell Brewery and Museum Production and Manufacturing
Prato Campolmi Factory, Lazzerini Library, Textile Museum Textiles
Redruth Heartlands Mining
Rjukan Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum Application of Power
Sheffield Kelham Island Museum Iron and Steel, Production and Manufacturing, Application of Power
Solingen LVR Industrial Museum Hendrichs Drop Forge Iron and Steel
Southampton Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum Production and Manufacturing
Spillum Norwegian Sawmill Museum Production and Manufacturing
St Austell Wheal Martyn Production and Manufacturing, Landscapes, Mining
Swansea National Waterfront Museum Mining, Iron and Steel, Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication
Tarnowskie Góry Tarnowskie Góry silver mine Mining
Telford Ironbridge Gorge Museums Iron and Steel, Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication
Terrassa Catalan Museum of Science and Industry Textiles, Transport and Communication, Application of Power
Tychy Tyskie Brewing Museum Production and Manufacturing
Tyssedal Norwegian Museum of Hydro Power and Industry Application of Power, Landscapes
Völklingen World Heritage Site Voelklingen Iron Works Iron and Steel, Application of Power, Landscapes
Wakefield National Coal Mining Museum for England Mining
Waltham Abbey Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication, Landscapes
Zaandam Zaanse Schans Application of Power, Water
Zabrze Guido historic coal mine Mining
Zehdenick Mildenberg Brick Work Park Production and Manufacturing
Zevenaar Brick Works De Panoven Production and Manufacturing
Zwickau August Horch Museum Production and Manufacturing, Transport and Communication
Żywiec Żywiec Brewery Museum Production and Manufacturing

Regional Routes

Regional Routes (like the Route der Industriekultur in the Ruhr) cover regions as where industrial history has left its mark. Currently (2017) there are seventeen:[5]

Styrian Iron Trail
Industrial Valleys
Euregio Maas-Rhine
Saar Lor Lux
Euregio Maas-Rhine
United Kingdom
Southwest Yorkshire[6]
South Wales[7]

European Theme Routes

Thirteen European Theme Routes show the diversity of industrial landscapes all over Europe and the common roots of industrial history:[9]

  • Application of Power
  • Housing and Architecture
  • Industry and War
  • Iron and Steel
  • Industrial Landscapes
  • Mining
  • Paper
  • Production & Manufacturing
  • Salt
  • Service and Leisure Industry
  • Textiles
  • Transport & Communication
  • Water


  1. The Declaration of Duisburg
    In this era of great changes to our European nations and cities, Industrial heritage is an important witness to our common history and identity.
    The common history of European industry has played and will continue to play an important part in the culture and identity of our European nations and it offers possibilities to create both shared and individual identities.
    The accessibility of our cultural heritage is a key element in experiencing this identity and it helps us to understand better our common roots.
    The sustainable development of our industrial heritage helps to secure the economic and social regeneration of municipalities.
    Historical continuity creates a sense of belonging and respect for the historical environment.
    “The European Route of Industrial Heritage” is a project that underlines the importance of our shared industrial past. It will create accessibility to Europe’s industrial heritage for the inhabitants of our nations and will help identify the locations where sustainable redevelopment has to take place.
    In our professional involvement with industrial heritage, we are aware of its major importance for the future of spatial planning, cultural heritage tourism and recreation and for the individual identities of nations.
    We embrace the ERIH concept with its network of Anchor Points, Transnational Theme Routes, and Regional Routes as a convincing programme for transnational cooperation and regional tourism development.
    Therefore ERIH - The European Route of Industrial Heritage – is our common concern.
    Duisburg, 1 December 2001 


  1. European Route of Industrial Heritage home page
  2. "ERIH's History and Goals - ERIH". Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  3. "Creative Europe". Creative Europe - European Commission. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  4. Anchor Points. The milestones of European industrial heritage
  5. "Regional Routes – ERIH". (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  6. "I want to go there! – ERIH". (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  7. "I want to go there – ERIH". (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  8. "european route of industrial heritage".
  9. "European Theme Routes – ERIH". (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-24.
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