Heirlooms Photo (detail): © Elianto Film Giro d’Italia Bike racing in pink The inventors of the Italian stage race Giro d’Italia were inspired by the French: the Tour de France served as the model. Thereafter, many cycling enthusiasts and cyclists from across Europe shaped the Giro, which became more and more international, and has recently often wended its way through other countries. Heirlooms filtered according to country Choose a country or combine several countries and find out which countries are linked by our heirlooms. Photo (detail): © Wikimedia Commons / archive.org Fairy tales Once Upon a time In fairy tales Puss in Boots tread in fine footwear; his story crossed borders: earliest records of it are found in Italy, then via France the story reached Germany. Its details vary, but basically the story remained the same; in a similar way, many fairy tales have roved from country to country. Photo (detail): Günter Flegar © picture alliance/Westend61 Spa towns Some liked it hot Even the ancient Romans placed their trust in the healing powers of water, and spas would latest establish a firm foothold throughout Europe. The well-heeled travelled to England, Germany, and the Czech Republic to “take the waters”. Spa in Belgium was also a popular resort town – and British tourists imported its name into English. Photo (detail): Christian Deflandre © Musée de la Carte Postale Postcard Greetings from on the road Did you know that the first postcard in the world came from Vienna? It was not yet illustrated. That someday people would be able to send postcards with pictures of their vacation spots we owe to inventions from France and Germany. Photo (detail): © Pilsner Urquell Pilsner beer No risk, no gain Pilsner beer comes, of course, from the Czech Republic. Yet it’s not so matter-of-course as that. The citizens of the city of Pilsen were once so dissatisfied with their beer that they even spilled it out in protest in front of the town hall. Then they had a brilliant idea. Photo (detail): Goethe-Institut © Max Teste Puppets Kasper and his cousins The people of Lyon think that everything began with their Guignol, the French Kasper. But the tradition of puppets is ancient – and very lively. Shaped by the local folk theatre, the figure of Pulcinella emerged in Italy, and thereafter his cousins throughout Europe, including Punch in England and Kasper in Germany. Photo (detail): Marie Kučerová © Stadtmuseum Dačice The sugar cube From round to square In Datschitz in the Czech Republic is a monument that shows a sugar cube. Why? Because Jacob Christoph Rad invented it here. Later a Frenchman, then a Belgian, perfected his idea – which had been brought about by a coincidence. Or rather, an accident. Photo (detail): Jens Büttner © picture alliance / dpa Cooperatives Stronger together Roughly one in four Germans is a member of a cooperative, which might make it seem like they are quintessentially German. Not really, as it turns out: the idea first originated in France before becoming a movement in England. And Spain is currently home to the largest cooperative in the world. Photo (detail): © Skimuseum Holmenkollen Skiing On the hop In Norway, skiing developed into a popular sport as early as the second half of the twentieth century. Many young Norwegians, who went to study abroad in Europe took their skis with them: the sport spread and changed. Today many European languages include the Norwegian word “ski”. Photo (detail): © Johann Maria Farina, Cologne / CC BY-SA 4.0 Eau de Cologne The Emperor’s favourite perfume An Italian invented a fragrance in Cologne, which reminded him of his homeland and which was later given a French name: Eau de Cologne. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the most passionate users – he used to buy over 30 bottles a month. Photo (detail): Hristo Kyuchukov Romani Traces of language Romanes is the language of the Roma. Most of their words come from India. But on the Roma's way to Europe, Romanes came into contact with many European languages - influenced them and was influenced by them. In Bulgaria, Greece and Sweden, for example. Illustration (detail): © Public Domain Rübezahl From mountain spirit to Gandalf Rübezahl is a mountain spirit that terrifies or helps people, depending on the tale. Poles, Czechs and Germans have written his story together. And then a British writer made Rübezahl immortal by dedicating a literary monument to him. Photo: Camilla Jensen Constitutional Monarchy The idea of a crown prince and a king Constitutional monarchy in Europe has a long history; the one in Norway is comparatively young. While the Norwegian royal family is very different from other European royal families, it is at the same time strongly linked to those of Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark, both historically and genetically. Photo (detail): Fernand Letist Saxophone Crescendo across borders The Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone, took it to France and sought to make it known there. A general gratefully adopted the instrument in order to enliven his military band. But before the saxophone could become really successful, it had to take a detour through America. Photo (detail): © British Pathé Miniskirt The iconic invention of the 60s Born out of a youth culture movement in the UK during the swinging sixties, the miniskirt turned the fashion world upside down and influenced not only London but the whole world. The British fashion world was in turn influenced by France and Italy. Photo (detail): Martinus Rorbye © The Picture Art Collection/Alamy Stock Photo Kafenio In the morning a café, at noon a barber Coffee houses – you think of Vienna, of hours buried in thought in the midst of great minds. But in Greece, the coffee house, there called “kafenio”, was a place for not only intellectual encounters but also a hairdressing salon, post office and greengrocer. © Sjoukje Budde Cocoa powder From luxury good to mass hit Brought to Europe by the Spaniards, cocoa was initially a treat for the wealthy. Then a number of inventors from different countries made the bean available to the masses. It all started with a Dutchman. Photo (film still): © Goethe-Institut Athen/Nikos Papangelis The Athens Trilogy Beauty and symbol The Athens Trilogy, three buildings in the heart of the Greek capital, is not only a beautiful sight; it is also a symbol of the inspiration of the still-young state of the nineteenth century. A financier from Vienna, a painter from Poland and architects from Denmark and Germany contributed to its creation. Photo (detail): © Tetra Pak Group Tetra Pak Milk squared Whether milk, juice, wine or soups, the Tetra Pak has it all. A Swede invented the packaging, which soon found its way around the world, and founded the company of the same name. Its headquarters are now in Switzerland, where scientists invented something that paved the carton’s way to success. Photo (detail): © Collection-Champagne-Bollinger Champagne Neither shaken nor stirred James Bond’s champagne brand bears the name of a German: when Jacob Bollinger settled down in Champagne, he could not suspect that his wine would one day be imbibed by the Queen and her secret agent. A Franco-British-German cooperation of a very special kind. Photo (detail): © Adobe The fountain pen A spotless record Contracts, love letters, school essays – ink blots have ruined many a written document over the years. Happily though, in Europe the simple quill pen developed into a sophisticated writing instrument: the fountain pen. © Photo: Fondation Raymond Leblanc Comic book series The fascination of the speech bubble Picture stories with little text for children too lazy to read? You must be kidding! European comics were the first in the world to be successful. From Belgium via France, comic series won many fans, and now hang in museums. In Germany, a European comic magazine even appeared for a while. Photo (detail): © Adobe The fountain pen A spotless record Contracts, love letters, school essays – ink blots have ruined many a written document over the years. Happily though, in Europe the simple quill pen developed into a sophisticated writing instrument: the fountain pen. Photo (detail): © Shutterstock Saffron Magical ingredient One of the most valuable spices in the world: saffron is popular in Europe and an ingredient of many traditional dishes. The plant gives its colour and aroma to the Spanish paella, the French fish soup bouillabaisse and Greek pastries; its history in Europe goes back thousands of years.