L'itinéraire culturel européen “Sur les pas des Huguenots et Vaudois” invité par la Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes au Salon Destinations Nature à Paris
The Huguenot and Waldensian trail
The routing abounds in numerous cultural, historical attractions as well as its scenic richness and beauty. In numerous Huguenot villages and Waldensian places along the trail the cultural heritage of the religious refugees is waiting to be discovered by the visitor.
The revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in October in 1685 and the prohibition of the practice of the "heretical" religion in France caused a new persecution of the Huguenots. About 250.000 Huguenots left France looking for shelter in other protestant countries in Europe and overseas. A lot of these Protestants were resident in the Dauphiné region in southern France. The first stage of their way led them to Geneva in Switzerland and from there to Germany. The Waldensians largely took the same paths in 1687 for their exile from the Piedmont valleys to Switzerland and Germany as a cause of the persecution by the Duke of Savoy and Louis XIV by the end of 17th century. The return to their valleys in 1689 is known as the "Glorious Return". Nowadays, there is no loss of importance and actuality concerning the history of the religious refugees: Substantial social and political issues are linked to themes such as persecution, displacement, migration and integration.
The cultural long- distance- hiking trail “In the footsteps of the Huguenots and Waldensians” aims to highlight the historical exile of the Huguenots and Waldensians, their step-by-step integration in the host countries as a topic of a common European history and cultural heritage. It also sets the focus on freedom, the respect to human rights, tolerance and solidarity as European core values.