The 7 Most Endangered programme identifies endangered monuments and sites in Europe and mobilizes public and private partners on a local, national and European level to find a viable future for those sites.
The 7 Most Endangered programme was launched in January 2013 by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as associated partner. It was inspired by a successful similar project run by the US National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 7 Most Endangered is not a funding programme. It is a catalyst for action and promotes “the power of example”. The 7 Most Endangered is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, as part of Europa Nostra’s networking project ‘Sharing Heritage – Sharing Values’.
36 threatened monuments and heritage sites from 23 countries across Europe have been selected for the 7 Most Endangered. The first list was published in 2013, the second list in 2014, the third list in 2016, the fourth list in 2018 and the fifth list in 2020.
In 2016, the Venice Lagoon in Italy was declared the most endangered heritage site in Europe.
You can nominate endangered heritage with the support of an organisation in your country that is already a member of Europa Nostra or directly by joining our pan-European network, as a member or associate organisation or as a new individual member.
Members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 can also submit a nomination for the programme.
An international advisory panel, comprising specialists in history, archaeology, architecture, conservation and finance, meet to discuss the applications and to shortlist the most endangered monuments and sites. The final list of 7 sites is selected by the Board of Europa Nostra. The monuments and sites are selected while taking into account their outstanding heritage and cultural value as well as the imminent danger that they are facing. The engagement of local communities and the commitment of public and private stakeholders to saving these sites are also considered crucial. Another main criterion is the potential of these sites to act as a catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development.
Heritage and financial experts from Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute undertake missions to the 7 sites, together with the nominators. The multidisciplinary teams assess the sites and help formulate a feasible action plan for each of them, in close cooperation with national and local public and private stakeholders.
The results and recommendations of these missions are summarised in technical and financial reports.
The programme partners assist with the implementation of the technical and financial reports.