The Iron Curtain Trail
How did the Iron Curtain Trail come about, anyway? Who came up with the idea? Michael Cramer is regarded as the "father" of the long-distance cycle path connecting the countries. The German politician had already initiated the "Berlin Wall Cycle Path" in the German capital as transport policy spokesman for the Greens.
While this cycle path was being built between 2002 and 2006, Michael Cramer moved to the European Parliament as a member of the Green Party. As Chairman of the Committee for Transport and Tourism, he was committed to extending his concept of the Berlin Wall Cycle Route to the entire area along the former East-West border of Europe.
Among other things, in 2005 he called on the member states to support the Iron Curtain Trail as a showcase project for sustainable tourism. Since then, the 10,400 kilometre long cycle path has received significant support from the European institutions and is being promoted by the EU as a model for sustainable cultural tourism.
Where once fortifications and fences bordered countries, cyclists today experience impressive nature that has remained untouched for decades. From north to south the journey leads through very different landscapes and cultural areas. Twenty countries are on the way, including 14 EU member states. Each section tells its own piece of border history. On the way, cities and museums open up insights. Memorials and memorials commemorate the Iron Age.
Hardly any other long-distance cycle path in Europe combines explorations of history and culture with impressive nature experiences in such a multi-faceted way.