30 – 31 Octubre, 2014

The first meeting of the European Quarry Landscape Network was on the 30-31st of October, 2014, thanks to the support of the city of Teruel.

The commitment of everyone, the variety and the quality of the presentations made the meeting a success and the new Network will be an important mechanism to extend our work.

Summary meeting


The European Quarry Landscapes Network brings together historic quarries and landscapes formed by quarrying across Europe.
European quarries are rich cultural landscapes which also enjoy special natural conditions and habitats, and rich geological and fossil evidence. Stone quarrying is an ancient industry but still a very important one. Stone is at the beginning of European art and architecture, and quarries are vital today for the conservation this heritage.
Some quarries have been worked since classical times, providing the stone for Europe’s greatest buildings and urban settings. Though sometimes abandoned or used as waste dumps, they are rich, evocative landscapes, combining man and nature in a unique manner.
The Network is an initiative of the city of Teruel, Spain.
From the Teruel quarries came the clay to make the bricks and tiles to build the 12th century Mudéjar art of Aragon, now a World Heritage site. Influenced by Islamic traditions and European Gothic styles, this building tradition is characterized by an extremely refined and inventive use of bricks and glazed tiles.


The European Quarry Landscapes Network is part of the Teruel Life + project sponsored by the city of Teruel. It is based around the restoration of the ancient clay quarries and their cultural landscape, integrating them into the urban environment and promoting sustainable mobility. The project has the support of the LIFE + Programme of the European Commission, the financial instrument for the environment of the European Union. The project area is part of the Urban Environment LIFE + Programme and will be implemented during the period June 2012 to December 2015.

The project is led by Florencio Conde / Project director, Ayuntamiento de Teruel. The project partners are: Enrique Álvarez Areces / Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME) . Timothy J. Anderson / Consultant archaeologist. José Bravo / LITHICA – pedreres de s’hostal . Philippe Cayla / University of Nantes, Président Association l’Ardoise. Lidia Catarino / Research Group CHARROCK. Juan Manuel Ceballos-Escalera / Conservador Parque Regional. Pilar Gegundez / Lafarge Spain. David Gwyn / Consultant Archaeologist Govannon Consultancy. Tom Heldal / Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) N-7491 Trondheim. Stephen Hughes / Vice-President ICOMOS UK. Dolores Pereira / Universidad de Salamanca. Gian Luigi Pillola / Universitá di Cagliari. Luis Sousa /Universidade De Trás-Os-Montes E Alto Douro, Department of Geology. Norbert Tempel / Westphalian Industrial Museum. Ian Thomas / Honorary President, National Stone Centre. Christian Uhlir / CHC – Research Group for Archaeometry and Cultural Heritage Computing

Quarry landscapes

Old quarries don’t have to be filled in when stone extraction ends. Across Europe there are examples of new uses which preserve the landscapes, keep the geology visible, value the history of the site and create new local activity.

Auditoriums and theatres

The natural acoustics and powerful atmospheres created by quarrying adapt well for performances of music, theatre and other cultural events. The Val d’Enfer (France) has a tradition of illuminated shows which began by Jean Cocteau in the 1960s. At Leithagebirge (Austria) the ‘Symposium of European Sculptors’ has been held since 1959. Fertőrákos Kőfejtő (Hungary) has seasons of concerts, opera and theatre as well as tours of the quarry itself. A summer music festival is celebrated the Donosa marble quarry (Spain).


Stone quarry museums may be large institutions, such as the Moseløkken Stenbrudsmuseum (Denmark), the National Slate Museum of Wales (UK), the Kalkwerk Lengefeld (Germany) and the Museu do Mármore (Portugal), or smaller museums dedicated to the artisan traditions of working natural stone, like the Museé de la Pierre (Belgium), Museo di Pietra Serena (Italy) and the Musee de l’Ardoise de Renaze (France).

Interpretation centres

Interpretation centres encourage visitors to explore quarries and to appreciate their cultural and natural qualities. The centre helps visitors discover the landscape. Examples include natural parks such as the Volkanpark Osteifeld (Germany), Luberons (France) and Hoge Kempen National Park (Belgium), as well as smaller sites such as S’Hostal, (Spain).

Landscape parks

Many quarry restoration projects by the stone and cement industry include interpretation and environmental education programs. Good examples are the Ecopôle du Forez wetlands park (France) and the Mosaic Trust at Austerfield (UK), or La Martinenca (Spain). On a more spectacular scale is the Eden Project (UK), which attempts to replicate various ecosystems in a cluster of domes on the floor of an old china clay quarry.

Tourist routes and networks

Nearly a dozen historic quarries and museums are part of the European Industrial Heritage Route (ERIH), which is the largest international network promoting industrial tourism. Routes have been developed in Portugal to encourage tourism of the quarries and their landscapes: the Vila Real granite quarries – Rota da Pedro – and the marble quarries of Estremoz – Rota do Màrmol. They include strategies of local development, research and tourist promotion.

Sports and outdoor activities

Quarries are often incorporated into walking or cycling networks. There is an olympic BTT route in the former Yepes – Ciruelos quarry (Spain). Las Arcillas in Teruel (Spain) will incorporate cycle routes through the quarry to integrate the landscape with the town. The walls may be suitable for rock climbing, as at Ballykeefe (Ireland).


Historic quarry database

A database of more than 50 historic quarries and stone quarry landscapes exhibiting contemporary techniques and approaches to study, research, conservation and interpretation.

European quarry network

A central objective of the project is to establish a stable network including public institutions, industry, universities and research centres, museums and heritage agencies concerned for historic quarries.

European congress

The first international meeting of institutions and experts (October, 2014). The aims of the meeting include establishing a sustainable structure for the network, exchanging experiences in conserving and re-using historic quarries, and the presentation of guidance on the selection of quarries for World Heritage Sites.

Guidelines for the publication of the presentation



TICCIH/ICOMOS quarry guidelines report
Teruel Life+ Recovery of the natural periurban area "Las Arcillas"
European Quarry Landscapes draft database


James Douet
Project coordinator
Barcelona, Spain
T. +34 666 521 811

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