The 7 Most Endangered Programme is a civil society campaign to save Europe’s endangered heritage. It raises awareness, makes independent technical assessments, proposes recommendations for action and seeks to rally support to save the selected endangered sites. Being on the 7 Most Endangered List often serves as a catalyst for action and as an incentive for mobilisation of the necessary public or private support.
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 supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, as part of Europa Nostra’s network project ‘European Cultural Heritage Agora’.
50 threatened monuments and heritage sites from 28 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, the fifth list in 2020, the sixth list in 2021 and the seventh list in 2022.
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 selection is made on the basis of the outstanding heritage significance and cultural value of each of the sites as well as on the basis of the serious danger that they are facing. The level of engagement of local communities and the commitment of public and private stakeholders to saving these sites are considered as crucial added values. Another selection criterion is the potential of these sites to act as a catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development as well as a tool for promoting peace and dialogue within their localities and wider regions.
Teams of experts representing Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute, together with the organisations that nominated the sites and other partners, will assess each case by collecting information and by meeting with key stakeholders. These multidisciplinary teams will provide expert advice, identify possible sources of funding and help mobilise wide support to save these heritage landmarks. At the end of the assessment process, they will formulate and communicate a set of recommendations for future action.
The programme partners assist with the implementation of the technical and financial reports.