Historic Cafes, have been placed, as an element, on the country’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, by order of Mrs. Lina Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sports.
This is an official acknowledgement of the efforts made by the International Cultural Organization “Historic Cafes Route”* to defend, preserve, highlight and promote the intangible cultural heritage of Historic Cafes, which have always been the custodians of the tradition of Cafes and of the creation of culture though them.
The inclusion in the national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage is the first step for the inscription on the International List, considering there are already countries that, together with Greece, are interested to submit an application for international registration. It is worth mentioning that the application for inscription on the International List has been an initiative put forward by Greece. Historic Cafes are an integral part of the urban heritage, and most of them have survived wars and social change. Actually, they often participated, directly or indirectly, in the process of bringing about such social change. Moreover, they often follow interesting architectural styles and are an integral part of the collective memory, while also preserving and promoting literary, musical, artistic and often controversial political traditions. Historic Cafes host performances, seminars, artistic events, conferences and various other activities, thus functioning as cradles of civilization and promoting urban cultural growth. Additionally, Historic Cafes, as monuments of living cultural heritage, support the traditions of the culture of coffee, traditional drinks and alcoholic beverages, but also the consumption of local traditional products and the preservation of their brewing practices. In that way, Historic Cafes continue to be beacons of cultural heritage and social osmosis, connecting the past with the present and the future as an alternative to a “modern” homogenization and levelling down lifestyle, which is also a purely economic approach. Thus, Historic Cafes have important stories to tell about the emergence of democratic societies, resistance to totalitarianism, social intolerance and human rights. At the same time, Historic Cafes reflect the rich diversity of local values and traditions inherent in the intangible heritage of the drink and food culture. And of course, today, as always, Historic Cafes offer local residents and foreign visitors the ideal place for socialization and intercultural dialogue. Over time, the pulse of every country, the heart of every city “beats” in the Historic Cafes, which reflect the local identity and individual and collective tradition. The best thing to do to get to know a destination, is to visit one of its Historic Cafes. For it is there life “happens”, it is there you grasp the day-to-day reality of different peoples. The manners, the customs and the traditions of a country are reflected in the Cafes, which become daily carriers of exchanges and contacts. * The International Cultural Organization “Historic Cafes Route” is an innovative thematic Cultural Route, to be certified by the Council of Europe, which, to date, sees the participation of the following 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. The term “Route” narrates, in an interactive manner, the flowering, mainly of the European culture through the Cafes, highlighting the peculiarities and the unique characteristics of each one of them.
You may read the relevant Press Release of the Ministry of Culture and Sports here: www.culture.gov.gr/el/Information/SitePages/view.aspx?nID=4095&fbclid=IwAR35v2FWB8HA2jb_8IKkq3CypElzxQesfuYKoKSF9HLDzI23R63FqdtTsGI