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The Pile Dwellings and The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018
2018 has been chosen by the European Union as The European Year of Cultural Heritage (ECHY). Under the common theme of “sharing heritage”, cultural heritage sites are intended as places of encounter, where people can experience a vivid common heritage, that crosses the existing modern borders of our era. The UNESCO World Heritage Site “Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps”, with its 111 individual sites from six different European countries, fits in perfectly with this common theme. These relics of the early European farming communities illustrate the dual nature of cultural heritage, being both local and European.


Pile dwellings: an almost invisible World Heritage Site
Pile dwellings can be found in many lakes and marshes around the Alps. Whereas each site is distinctively shaped by its local circumstances, they are nevertheless all part of a common phenomenon. The archaeological finds, like ornaments, ceramics, weapons and tools, are often excellently preserved and provide us with an insight into a network of prolific exchange over long distances and close ties between the communities of the various regions. 
Nowadays, the pile dwellings are either hidden beneath the water level, the coastal area or in moors. Thus, in contrast to their exceptional cultural value and their transregional occurrence, the pile dwellings remain almost invisible in most places.


Encounters in exercise - Experience pile dwellings on the move
True to its theme "Sharing Heritage", the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 will offer the opportunity to collectively experience the world heritage of the pile dwellings by the means of the PalaFITtes Tour 2018. Whether young or old, as an individual or as a team, be it amateur or professional sportsman, everybody can participate and connect the 111 pile dwelling sites in a relay race from May to September 2018. The choice of locomotion is all yours: you can take part in the tour on foot, by bike, by horse, by boat, or by any other type of movement, that is driven by your body.
In addition, the Night of the Museums series, open workshops, series of lectures and lake festivals will give you ample opportunities for cultural encounters and exchange. Thus archaeology, history and the extraordinary value of our common cultural heritage can be experienced collectively as European citizens.