Lonely Planet Writer

Europe's most endangered heritage sites are in the spotlight

Twelve monuments and sites have been added to this year’s shortlist for the Europe’s most endangered heritage sites. The nominees stretch across ten different countries and their existence is under some form of threat; some from neglect, mismanagement, clashing developments or simply a lack of resources.

The full 2018 shortlist. Image by Europa Nostra CC BY 2.0

The shortlist was narrowed down by a panel of experts, with knowledge of areas like history, architecture, conservation and archaeology. Each of the sites was chosen both for their unique cultural value and for the immediacy of the danger they face. The experts also believe that each of the sites has the ability to provide sustainable socio-economical development in their local communities.

The Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria. Photo by Evgeni Dinev CC BY 2.0

2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the list was announced by Europa Nostra, one of the continent’s leading heritage organisations. They advocate that sustainable investment in these kind of sites can have benefits at local, regional and even national levels.

“This shortlist is, first and foremost, a call to action,” said Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President of Europa Nostra. “We urge public and private stakeholders at local, national and European levels to join forces to rescue the heritage gems which tell our shared story and which must be saved for future generations.”

The Castle of Sammezzano, Tuscany, Italy. Photo by Paebi CC BY 2.0

The 7 Most Endangered programme has run every year since 2013 and while it doesn’t raise any direct funding for the sites involved, its aim is to raise awareness of the hidden cultural gems that are in danger of disappearing all over Europe.

The shortlist of twelve will be reduced down to seven with the final list announced on 15 March. You can view the full shortlist online here.