Hidden qualities and treasures along the Danube discussed by partners from 6 countries in the Serbian city of Sombor
Actions towards raising awareness and creating a sustainable cultural and tourism strategy leading to social and economic benefits for the region and collecting ideas related to the diverse movable and immovable cultural heritage along the Danube River brought together experts from six Danube region countries. Representatives of universities, research and development centers, local municipalities, cultural NGOs, tourist boards and agencies from Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Romania visited the Serbian city of Sombor on June 15-17, 2021 in the framework of an international meeting of partners of the project (DANube Urban Brand+: Building Regional and Local Resilience through the Valorization of Danube’s Cultural Heritage” (DANUrB+)). BlueLink Foundation, which is one of them, held a specialized workshop for journalists from the Danube region.
DANUrB + project aims to support local development and increase the attractiveness of Danube river areas for international tourism. It is co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), as well as the national budget of Republic of Bulgaria through the budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.
"We created the DANUrB project to show that there are hidden qualities and hidden treasures along the Danube that need to be explored. And many times these treasures are related to heritage, and somehow they still exist here.”, noted Prof. Balint Kadar, Project Lead and Lecturer at Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
The event in Sombor is the 5th international project’s partners meеting and was attended by over 90 participants – live and online. They discussed the development potential of towns with shrinking population and creating an interractive atlas about less popular towns along the Danube river and objects of cultural and historical heritage. BlueLink and the Serbian NKN will create a documentary about the movable and immovable cultural heritage in towns and sites along the Danube and successful practices for its valorization in an authentic way.
The program of the event included a trip to the town of Sombor and villages in the region. The meeting place was not chosen by chance – the town is famous for its sights, including its old part, the pedestrian zone, the Catholic Church and the Trg Svetog Trojstva (Holy Trinity Square) and the Museum of Milan Konjovic, one of Serbia's notable modernist artists. The very center of the city is a cultural heritage under protection of the State.
“If we lose the old buildings and the greenery, the town won’t be so special anymore – video interview with Dragana Kozoderovic, an urban planner and representative of ASP
"Sombor is a very special town. There are four avenues with six rows of Celtis occidentalis trees. The mayor of Sombor, who lived almost 150 years ago, chose these trees because they can drain a lot of water. At that time the town was almost a swamp”, explained Dragana Kozoderovic, an urban planner and representative of ASP. "The latest urban plan allows for the construction of tall 2-3-floor buildings, and the narrow streets could not stand them. The infrastructure is not suitable, there will not be enough sun. We are currently preparing another urban plan and involving citizens who want to protect the city center. If we lose these buildings and greenery, the city will no longer be so special," added Kozoderovic.
The participants in the meeting also visited the village of Stapar, famous for its hand-woven carpets, whose most characteristic motif is the rose. The tour also included the village of Bachki Monoshtor with a traditional family house preserved from the end of the 19th century. The trip ended with a visit to "Novitet" factory, producing cotton and silk damask. It has 18 working jacquard looms and 2 reel facilities. This is the only functioning such factory in the world, which also functions as a museum.
I believe that these techniques have not only survived, but will be an important economic factor in the future. – video interview with Proffessor Balint Kadar, Project Lead and Lecturer at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
"Technological improvements have not killed the old techniques, somehow didn’t replace what we have here. And it's kind of amazing that this technology is not only here, and the machinery, but it still operates. And it shows how heritage can be a resource, an important resource, because this damask, produced here from cotton and silk is very much requested in speciality industries noted Prof. Kadar. “I believe that these techniques have not only survived, but will be an important economicfactor in the future.“
The DANUrB+ project started in July 2020 to identify the little popular cultural heritage and resources on the Danube periphery and border regions. The expected result is an increase in local development and international tourist attractiveness.
The text was prepared within the project DANube Urban Brand + Building Regional and Local Resilience through the Valorization of Danube's Cultural Heritage (DANUrB +) . The project is co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), as well as the national budget of Republic of Bulgaria through the budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.
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