Jewish Heritage Europe

Religiana: New web portal on religious heritage tourism launched

Tourists in the Scuola Spagnola, Venice


Religiana, an ambitious new web portal on multi-faith religious heritage tourism, has just been launched, powered by the Future for Religious Heritage network of religious sites in Europe.

The launch was announced at the FRH’s biennial conference, held in Paris this week.  (JHE Director Ruth Ellen Gruber gave a presentation at the conference about JHE and its work.)

The stated aim of Religiana is to provide a platform that will highlight churches, synagogues, and other sites of religious heritage across Europe, providing information, photos, and links that tourists can consult in the same way they consult Tripadvisor.

There are hundreds of thousands of religious heritage sites across Europe, and Religiana so far has just begun with 1,000 churches.  But it intends to broaden to include synagogues, mosques, and other sites.

There will also be itineraries and “top ten” and other lists, as well as other thematic and special features. Jewish Heritage Europe is looking forward to cooperating with this vast project and also to contributing and exchanging material and expertise.

Tourists in Prague outside the Old-New synagogue. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

The Religiana web site states:

Europe is home to several hundred thousand churches, chapels, mosques, temples, abbeys and other religious sites. For visitors, they are places of cultural, artistic and historical wonder. For local people, they are places of community heritage, shared space and local history. Many contain hidden artistic gems.

Religiana, a project created by Future for Religious Heritage, is a comprehensive resource to promote and protect European religious heritage. Featuring information on buildings from across Europe, Religiana serves two purposes: it promotes these buildings as beautiful and unique places to visit and facilitates visits by sharing practical information with users; whilst also helping preserve European heritage through highlighting restoration and financial needs.

75% of Europeans believe that religious heritage buildings occupy an essential place in their cultural heritance. Religiana not only allows greater numbers of people to experience and appreciate these sites, it helps promote the maintenance and restoration work that these buildings may require in order to stay open.

The project is just getting under way … we look forward to watching — and taking part — in how it develops!

Click to access the Religiana web site

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