European Charter of the Architectural Heritage (1975)


Council of Europe

The Council of Europe declared 1975 the European Architectural Year, leading to the adoption of this Charter, which aims to develop a common European policy for the protection of architectural heritage. The document defines the nature of the European architectural heritage, its importance to the European community, and threats to the heritage from ignorance, neglect, and deterioration as well as economic pressures, motor traffic, inappropriate restoration, and property speculation. The Charter calls for an integrated conservation approach with the following components:

  • sensitive restoration techniques,
  • the effective use of laws and regulations,
  • appropriate administrative support, and
  • adequate technical and financial support (including tax incentives).


The Charter encourages development of training facilities and fostering of traditional crafts. Cooperation with the public and coordination between European nations is seen as an important element in the conservation of Europe's architectural heritage.