The winners of the 2022 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s top honour in the field, were celebrated on the evening of 26 September with a prestigious ceremony held at the iconic State Opera of Prague. The European Heritage Awards Ceremony was held in the presence of Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra, and Ondřej Chrást, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, on behalf of Minister Martin Baxa.

The ceremony assembled some 600 heritage professionals, volunteers, lovers and supporters from across Europe, including a large group of young people. The ceremony was the highlight of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022 that is taking place in Prague from 25-27 September, as part of the official programme of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the ceremony, the high representatives from the European Commission and Europa Nostra proudly announced the five Grand Prix laureates and the Public Choice Award winner. These top winners were selected from among this year’s 30 outstanding heritage achievements from 18 European countries.

The 2022 Grand Prix laureates are:

Grand Prix laureate for Innovation
This Horizon 2020 research project produced a comprehensive, intelligent computational system that goes beyond current technologies to improve our understanding and knowledge of Europe’s silk heritage.

Symphony, SPAIN
Grand Prix laureate for Digital Transformation
With an immersive audiovisual experience, Symphony raises greater awareness and appreciation for the heritage of classical music among new generations using state-of-the-art technologies.

Rivers of Sofia, BULGARIA
Grand Prix laureate for Social Cohesion and Well-being
By means of pop-up architectural interventions and cultural and educational events, this initiative made the artificial river beds of Sofia publicly accessible spaces for the first time in 80 years. By increasing the visibility of the river in Sofia, this initiative has helped create a socially cohesive environment in the city.

Va’ Sentiero, ITALY
Grand Prix laureate for Sustainability and Climate Action
This three-year grassroots expedition was undertaken by a group of young enthusiasts who walked and documented the entire 8000km length of the Sentiero Italia, the longest hiking route in the world. 3000 participants from 10 countries and many local communities took part. This initiative is a powerful and inspiring example of how to encourage slow, sustainable engagement with natural heritage and landscapes.

Costa Carras †, Athens, GREECE (posthumously)
Grand Prix laureate for International Relations
For over 50 years, Costa Carras worked tirelessly in favour of Greece’s and Europe’s cultural and natural heritage to create a more sustainable, inclusive and beautiful world for present and future generations. He was a visionary conservationist, an eminent historian and a true European leader who connected and inspired people across the world through heritage.