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A brief history of Europa Nostra

Founded in Paris in 1963 as an extension of Italia Nostra’s conservation activities onto a broader European canvas, Europa Nostra was part of a campaign by the Council of Europe to create a common bond between non-governmental organisations working in the heritage field to increase awareness of the risks to the historical environment by insensitive redevelopment, particularly as a result of the Second World War. At the first General Assembly of Europa Nostra in Paris in November 1963, 13 non-governmental organisations in 7 countries were represented.  


On being appointed the third President in 1969, Lord Duncan-Sandys (as he was to become) moved the headquarters to London, where it remained until 1990. In 1975, Europa Nostra played a major role in promoting the Council of Europe’s Architectural Heritage Year – particularly in the Amsterdam Congress at which 18 European countries undertook to save Europe’s architectural heritage.  


The inauguration of the Europa Nostra Awards and Diplomas in 1978 for exemplary pan – European conservation projects brought the organisation recognition by local authorities and amenity bodies alike. Europa Nostra itself was warded Greece’s Olympia Prize in 1982. The international profile of the organisation was further enhanced in 1990 when HRH The Prince Consort of Denmark consented to become its President. In the same year the head office moved to The Hague.  

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