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Cultural Routes in Southeastern Europe – Transnational Project (2000)


The project was funded by the King Baudouin Foundation (following a competition for the PRIX EHD 2000); the work of the network of experts and the workshop for the project were funded by the Open Society Fund – Programme “East-East”.




The BNC of ICOMOS was the initiator, methodological guide and chief coordinator of the project encompassing all the countries in South-Eastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Croatia and Yugoslavia.


The direct aim of the project was to identify the first network of cultural routes in South Eastern Europe as a base for integrated development of regional cultural tourism and of the related services and infrastructure. The long term objective was to stimulate a coordinated regional policy with a view of generating new resources for sustainable development of the region through cultural tourism, development of private initiatives, creation of jobs, livening of problematic areas etc.

The first expert network of 50 specialists from all of the countries in the region was created as united by an action plan. A common methodology for the identification of the cultural routes was devised, a data base was created and the first maps of regional thematic cultural routes (on the themes: ancient monuments, fortresses, religious centres and monasteries, vernacular architecture and monasteries, folk architecture, World heritage) were made.

The project was highly assessed by the Council of Europe, ICOMOS and the Pact for Stability in South Eastern Europe. It was awarded in 2002 the Great Award and the Prize for Culture of the Delegation of the European Union in Bulgaria. It is foreseen that the Project develops at the national level – in the form of different cultural tourism products, as well as at the European level – within the scope of the European network of cultural routes.



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