Prehistoric trade routes between Northern and Southern Europe were defined by the amber trade. The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. As an important raw material, sometimes dubbed "the gold of the north", amber was transported from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italy, Greece, the Black Sea, Syria and Egypt thousands of years ago, and long after.
A small section led southwards from Antwerp and Bruges to the towns Braine-l’Alleud and Braine-le-Comte, both originally named "Brennia-Brenna".The route continued by following the Meuse River towards Bern in Switzerland.
The Swiss region indicates a number of alpine roads, concentrating around the capital city Bern and probably originating from the borders of the Rhône River and the Rhine.
Three routes in northern France may be identified leading from an amber finding region or delta at the mouth of the River Openia towards Bresse and Bern, crossing the Alps to Switzerland and Italy.
Routes connecting amber finding locations at Ambares (near Bordeaux), leading to Béarn and the Pyrenees. Routes connecting the amber finding locations in northern Spain and in the Pyrenees were a trading route to the Mediterranean Sea.