The cultural heritage of Europe is one of the key generators of tourism in Europe. Cultural Tourism is believed to account for around 40% of the total number of tourists visiting Europe. Cultural tourism of Europe is also an important means of promoting Europe’s image in the world, projecting its varied values which are the result of centuries of cultural exchanges, linguistic diversity and creativity.
People visiting Europe believe this is their ultimate chance to learn about transnational cultural tourism. Every product of transnational cultural tourism will project Europe as the zenith of preserved heritage and authentic cultural experience. In 1990 the European Commission nominated as a major factor of Tourism development in Europe. Since then The European Association of Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) has been conducting various studies on transnational cultural tourism with a view to developing it.
The OECD report released in the year 2009 states the following factors as the drivers of cultural tourism
- Valorising and preserving heritage
- Economic development and employment
- Physical and economic regeneration
- Strengthening and/or diversifying tourism
- Retaining population
- Developing cultural understanding
With an increasing demand for cultural tourism, the European Union has also realized the need to offer varied cultural attractions and revive their heritage spots for commercialization. Individual countries have started to work towards facing the competition of developing the nation’s cultural tourism rate. Cultural Tourism is not just about destinations but about the journey itself, it’s a journey of discovery and self realisation.
Culturally rich spots in the European Union
Reasons for cultural tourism are resilient as the motives differ across a broad range. Some tourists look for spirituality while some look for creativity. Irrespective of their cultural motives some spots in Europe are a must see as they teach people about the greatness of their ancestors and their tactful way of living.
St. Peter’s Basilica
This Late Renaissance church stands as the central religious point for Catholics from every part of the world. The place where the church is located, the Vatican Hill is the site where Saint Peter, the chief apostle, died and was buried in 64 AD. St. Peter is considered the first pope, thus building the principal shrine of the Catholic Church in this location is explained. Every painting and sculpture in the church is a true feast to the eyes. The destination attracts tourists looking to study art and architecture as part of their travel.
The Colosseum stands in the city of Rome as the greatest architectural accomplishment of the Romans. The amphitheatre that could once accommodate more than 50,000 spectators was the city centre of public entertainment. It was used to stage gladiator’s fights, mythological dramas, battles between animals and even executions. The most striking feature of this magnum opus is its engineering work that could be compared to temporary techniques. The amphitheatre is a standalone subject of study for various cultural aspects of the Romans.
Clunaic sites in Europe
Cluny was the centre of monastic reform in the 10th century and gradually developed into church. The work of this church later led to the regeneration of the medieval world through spreading of Christianity, rethinking social relationships and organising space for an ideal society. Different architectural styles, a unique harmonious shape and its sculptures and paintings of these Clunaic sites that is spread across Western Europe contributes to the wonderful heritage passed on by the monks to future generations.