Cultural itinerary is proving to be a very fertile concept. It provides an exceptional framework for the dynamics of mutual understanding, a pluralistic interpretation of history, and a culture of peace. It is based on population movements, encounters and dialogue, and the exchange among and cross-fertilization of cultures in time and space (2.a).

The concept of cultural route or itinerary:

  • refers to a value set whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that give it its MEANING;
  • illustrates exchange and dialogue among countries or regions;
  • reveals a multiplicity of dimensions that extends and enriches its primary function (4.b).

Identification of the cultural itinerary is based on an array of important points and tangible elements that attest to the significance of the itinerary itself (4.d).

Conclusions of the Meeting of Experts : 'Itineraries as Cultural Heritage,' Madrid, 1994.

Within the framework of the World Heritage Convention, cultural routes or itineraries fall under the Convention Guidelines, and especially under Article 19, which considers 'the series as a whole rather than the constituent elements individually.'



  • To promote respect for and appreciation of the various types of human cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, with a view to bringing peoples and cultures, whatever their origin, into contact with each other.


  • In light of the current trend tending to make cultures uniform, to strengthen cultural identities themselves in order to achieve intercultural enrichment, and at the same time overcome the obstacles of historical lack of understanding, and search for factors in achieving rapprochement and harmony among peoples. This implies above all respect for different cultural interpretations of a given heritage.


  • To seek to establish cultural openness and a professional interrelationship between the sciences and the humanities, promote the capacity for dialogue and the willingness to understand that no shore of knowledge, like no shore of culture, is remote from or alien to the sphere of knowledge as a whole.


  • To understand cultural routes or itineraries as a means of strengthening the collective responsibility of peoples toward cultural assets.


  • To enrich the domain of reflection and analysis in its historical and cultural aspects through cultural routes or itineraries.


  • To recognize that knowledge is an ongoing process of cause and effect that should be continuously explored for the sake of achieving understanding of and respect for all aspects of human activity given concrete expression in cultural routes or itineraries, which form an integral part of cultural heritage.

Tenerife, September 8, 1998