For the last decade, the research carried out by the International Scientific Committee for Cultural Routes (CIIC) of ICOMOS, through its numerous international scientific meetings as well as its publications, along with the work carried out by its members in the most diverse regions of the world, have led to the establishment of scientific bases for the identification of Cultural Routes and a methodology of work in this specific field.

Given the increasing importance and complexity of the vast territorial ensembles involved in the field of cultural heritage, these efforts have taken, on the one hand, the form of identifying and systematically researching several Cultural Routes of notable importance; and on the other, of firming up and making more precise the specific conceptual and operational factors which are embodied in the current project of developing a Charter for Cultural Routes.

Also, thanks to the interest shown by various member country delegations to the World Heritage Committee, the newest version of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO, approved in February of 2005, has recognized Cultural Routes as one of the four WH categories established to date.



- “Cultural Routes of the Mediterranean area: commerce and civilisation; an intercontinental scope” (1997)

- “Intercontinental Cultural Crossroads; Cultural Routes, Legislation and Cultural Tourism”. (1998)

- “The wine and the vine routes in the Mediterranean Cultural Heritage”.  (1999)

- “Hispano-Portuguese Bastioned Fortifications Across Five Continents”. (1999)

- “Methodology, Definitions and operative Aspects of Cultural Itineraries”(1st part:. 21-22 May 1999)

- “Methodology, Definitions and operative Aspects of Cultural Itineraries” (2nd part:. October 1999)

- “1. Intangible Heritage and Cultural Routes in a Universal Context; 2. Steps towards making a Pre inventory of Cultural Routes: a) Strategies and Teams; b) Projects and Contents”. (2001)

- “Conceptual and substantive independence of Cultural Routes in relation to Cultural Landscapes”. (2002)

- Scientific workshop on conceptual and operational aspects with the participation of  officers of the CIIC and some oustanding specialists, as well as representatives of the UNESCO (2003).

- The intangible values of Cultural Routes. Analysis of the intangible aspects in the drafting of a Charter on Cultural Routes (2003)

- “Identification, Promotion, and Inventory of Cultural Routes: Fortifications and port cities as components of cultural routes; control and use of land; trade routes; pilgrimage routes”. (2004).

- Presentation and discussion of a fith approach for the drafting of a Charter on Cultural Routes (2005). Also, a great number of experts of the CIIC presented their research work in Section 4 of the Scientific Symposium held during the 15th GA of ICOMOS. 



The following books containing research work carried out by the CIIC’s members and minutes of its scientific conferences have been published with the financial support of different institutions:

- The wine and the vine routes in the Mediterranean Cultural Heritage (1999)

- Public Works of the Camino of Santiago in Galicia (2000)

- T he Intangible Heritage and other aspects of Cultural Routes (2002)

- Cultural Routes. Identification, Promotion, and Inventory: Fortifications, ports and cities as components of Cultural Routes. Cultural Routes of control and use of land, trade and pilgrimage (2005).



As required by its Statutes, the CIIC has held official meetings every year. Elections for its Board of Directors took place in 1999, 2002 and 2005.



This program/Plan was approved in the official meeting of the CIIC held in Xi’an (China), 18 & 19 October 2005.

Continue work begun on theoretical bases and field research, with the goal of finishing the project of creating an International Charter for Cultural Routes and fulfilling all administrative requirements so that it can be presented for approval at ICOMOS’ General Assembly in 2008.

Publicize the principles and operational guidelines contained in the aforementioned project, which now embody more than a decade devoted to their formulation and which

are the result of a theoretical approach collated with field experience gained through numerous research projects around the world.

Apply ourselves to the ongoing task of identifying Cultural Routes in all regions worldwide and carrying out their corresponding inventories, through the use of multidisciplinary teams convened for this purpose as well as the methodological tools established by the CIIC.

Work to arouse interest on the part of the governments of affected countries in the identification and appropriate treatment of Cultural Routes. Encourage cooperation among the countries which share such Routes. Assist in the preparation of proposals that will support an appropriate level of management. Help ICOMOS raise awareness and interest on the part of UNESCO and other international organizations so that they will also collaborate to realize these objectives.

In order to accomplish the above objectives, we consider it appropriate to include the following measures, amongst others, in the present program:

Support the work of the experts within the CIIC who to date have contributed their work of research and promotion of Cultural Routes. Continue to encourage others to join in this task.

Publicize widely amongst ICOMOS members and other interested parties the work carried out by the CIIC, as well as its theoretical and methodological principles, by distributing pertinent information, by continuing its program of publications, and by organizing training courses, exchange programs, and a series of scientific meeting whose purpose will be to draw attention to and debate these principles.

Intensify the collaboration already begun with other Scientific Committees of ICOMOS.

Promote the aforesaid activities and projects via the existing cooperative agreements with various Universities and Research Centers. Additionally, work to create new centers designed to carry out research and promotion of Cultural Routes in various regions worldwide.

In order to carry out these objectives, the CICC hopes, during the next three years, to be able to count on the financial aid which the Spanish Committee of ICOMOS has been accustomed to provide for it (a center with administrative and meeting spaces; administrative/secretarial services including staff and communication tools; translation of documents into three languages; and economic assistance for scientific meetings already in the planning stages). The CIIC is also hoping to be able to count on the support of institutions that will continue, as they have done up until now, to finance its publications and help with the expenses of its international conferences. In order to make these meetings a reality, it counts on proposals made by several members from Argentina (conference planned for Buenos Aires and the Humahuaca Gorge), Mexico (conference in Chihuahua), and others that will be defined by its Board of Directors as well as in upcoming official meetings.



As stated above, the specialists of the CIIC have worked hard throughout the last decade for the drafting of a project aiming at the adoption of an International Charter on Cultural Routes, which have been recognised as a new category of WH by the UNESCO (February 2005). The text was submitted to the international Bureau of ICOMOS (Havana, June 2005) and the Executive Committee (Xi’an, October of the same year) and, after obtaining their necessary acceptance, the draft was handed to the participants at the last World General Assembly held in Xi’an (October, 2005) who adopted a Resolution for this project to be distributed to the national and IS committees of ICOMOS for their study in the next three years.

The last version of this project can be consulted on this web site (See “Documents. Xi’an, 2005”). This document is currently in progress and its publication will be periodically updated. 



According to the request addressed in November 2004 by the President of ICOMOS to the presidents of the national and international committees asking them to make a selection of experts who could be consulted or sent for WH evaluation and /or monitoring missions, a list of specialist accompanied by their CV and relevant data was sent to him with a copy for the international Secretariat of ICOMOS in Paris. It is expected that others experts from the CIIC may be added to this list in due course.