6th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2022
Historic Cafés Route
The Historic Cafés Route (2022), one of the 3 newly certified Coe Cultural Routes, offers travellers the opportunity to step back in time to enjoy the opulence of cafes developed in the golden age and to discover their important role in the cultural history of Europe.
This Cultural Route hosts three BSEC countries -Greece, Romania and Turkey- with 11 Historic Cafés in total.
From the 18th to the 20th century, the growth in coffee consumption led to an expansion of cafés across Europe. They quickly became important centres of ideas exchanges shaping a culture of equal sociability between men and women, as well as individuals of all social backgrounds.
Historic cafés display a rich tangible heritage, with an abundance of architectural styles from neo-baroque to art nouveau, art deco and the birth of modernism. They are also repositories of intangible heritage embracing a collective literary, musical, artistic, and political memory. These historic cafés are places where we can still partake of the traditions of coffee drinking, from its preparation to its serving, and taste products, such as local cakes and pastries.
Bonus trivia for coffee lovers: The Art of Coffee!
- The Greek Historic Café, Kafeneion “O Εrmis”, in Mytilini (est. 1800), has inspired Thanasis Zisis, a Greek artist, to create a unique painting “hosting” very famous paintings, as well as many artists. You can find the whole description of this artwork, here.
- Netflix has launched ‘’Coffee for All’’ documentary, exploring how coffee brings people together at all levels of society.
- “Moliendo Café” meaning “Grinding Coffee”, is a Venezuelan song that has become popular around the world.
Sources and pictures taken from: https://www.coe.int/en/web/cultural-routes/historic-cafes-route, https://historiccafesroute.com/
Picture No 1: “The Artistic Cafe”, by Thanasis Zisis
Picture No 2: Café Kipos (est. 1870), Greece; the inspiration of the Historic Cafés Route’s creation.
Picture No 3: Brukenthal Palace Café (est.1788), Romania
Picture No 4: Pera Palace (est.1892), Turkey
Picture No 5: “Women Drinking Coffee”, by Leonard Defrance
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