What are some of the Good Practice examples in Europe?

Can these good practice examples serve as ideas for other rural regions?

Good innovative practice examples are often difficult to uncover and even harder to apprehend and describe. Many practice ideas occur simply by chance, are the work of dedicated individuals or are regionally specific. One of the greatest challenges is uncovering the features that make these good practice examples successful and then adapting them for implementation elsewhere. These innovative ideas can shape and improve our governance of the landscapes and historic places but they must be discovered, understood and then communicated clearly.

Read here ALL about the GOOD PRACTICE analized in HISTCAPE PROJECT!




We are proud to announce that Histcape Final Guidebook is available here!

Cooperation across Europe is critical for our environment, economy and culture.  By working together, exchanging experiences and sharing innovative solutions, Europe´s rural regions can improve and protect their communities, livelihoods and values. The HISTCAPE team made up of 11 European countries working together created this Guidebook. In it you will find 13 Good Practice examples developed in-depth to answer pertinent questions related to cultural heritage, landscapes, education, sensitive tourism and new technology.  There are also chapters on project methodology, implementation of pilot actions, general guidance, lessons learned and a bibliography for further reading. For their work on this publication and the project the INTERREG IVC Secretariat would like to thank the HISTCAPE team.

Michel Lamblin, Programme Director, INTERREG IVC

Small rural communities have come under serious threat over recent decades, facing depopulation, lower income levels and high unemployment – developments that are adversely affecting the demographic balance and sustainability in rural areas. The acceleration of this trend directly threatens the existence of substantial portion of Europe´s historic assets. In the HISTCAPE project 12 partners worked together to identify good practice and policy recommendations to help solve the problems currently faced by rural communities and regions. This guidebook is intended to help European regions improve the effectiveness of regional policies relating to cultural heritage for Europe’s rural areas and empower local communities to act.

Alexandra Kulmer, project coordinator

Improving the quality of life in remote communities is directly related to the survival and enhancement of their culture, built heritage and landscapes. Conservation of these places creates a spirit of home while interlinking generations to connect them to their past and reinforce a sense of belonging.  But these unique places and their values are extremely fragile thus must be vigorously protected.  Successful rural development aids in this protection.  This publication describes the experiences of the HISTCAPE project partners and our attempt to assist rural communities in safeguarding their cultural heritage and landscapes.

Rand Eppich, editor



Project Closing Letter

The HISTCAPE project has built upon the diversity and specificities of partners’ experiences. Through interregional co-operation, the partnership has identified more than 50 good practice examples related to cultural heritage protection, landscape management and economic valorisation of heritage assets.

These good practice examples were analysed and exchanged within Interregional Workshops and through Study Visits in the partner regions. Policy recommendations and new policy instruments were created and tested in six pilot actions. In this way, the project has contributed to the improvement of cultural heritage and landscape policies in all partner regions. More than 2.500 stakeholders were informed about the project outcomes and results through newsletters and information materials and have participated in open conferences and other events held in each partner region.

The final project results are also summarized in a BROCHURE and soon will be published in the Final GUIDEBOOK on the preservation of rural heritage values. This guidebook includes good practice, methodology, policy recommendations and guidelines for rural communities and European regions and will be made available for you on the project website very soon.

HISTCAPE was a continuous learning experience. Through the exchange of experience at interregional level, new knowledge and skills were created in the regions that will ensure the future implementation of the strategies developed in the project. The HISTCAPE project has created a network of heritage management authorities, development agencies, researchers and communities to foster the interregional exchange experience and policy learning. This network will continue its co-operation also after the end of the project and we intend to work together on the implementation of new project ideas in the future.

At this place, I would like to take the chance and thank the INTERREG IVC Programme for making possible this project.

Furthermore, I would like to thank all partners, experts and stakeholders that have participated in the exchange of experience process and together have created an exceptional value for the participating regions and beyond.

Sincerely yours, 

Alexandra Kulmer - Rural Development Styria

HISTCAPE Project Coordinator 



Presented articles and summary of the FINAL CONFERENCE can be found here!



The FINAL CONFERENCE of the HISTCAPE project was held in Posreda Castle, Slovenia, on September 16, 2014.

This international open event served as a conclusion for the project, but the HISTCAPE projects soul does not finish here, it goes further away. The symbolic title of conference “The Legacy of the HISCAPE Project” explains the character of its content.

International speakers discussed firstly to wide aspects of Cultural Heritage Preservation and services as well as to the future possibilities to cooperate in the European cultural heritage related projects.

Secondly, “Good Practice” examples were presented, the results of HISTCAPE project.

Finally presentations were made that follow the outcomes of EU FP7 project “European Cultural Heritage Identity Card” (www.eu-chic.eu). The HISTCAPE project partners recognized them as a basis for good practice development with and potential implementation in HISTCAPE partnering countries. 

Here you can find some of the results and presentations held in the Open Conference:





University of Ljubljana as partner of the project HISTCAPE hosted the final open conference of the project, entitled “Legacy of the HISTCAPE project”, with the aim to present the final results of the project to the widest public. 

Conference program is available here.

Proceedings of the final HISTCAPE Open Conference can be found here.

Castle PosredaConference took place in the medieval castle Podsreda, which was first mentioned in 1213 and is considered as one of the best preserved Romanesque castles with outstanding Renaissance elements in Slovenia. 




Castle Laubegg, Ragnitz, Austria

This event aimed to deepen the understanding of European concepts and good practices in the field of vacancy reduction and revitalization of historic towns. International speakers presented innovative concepts and connect them to the Styrian policy for the historic towns and villages in rural areas.

The conference was completed with a study visit for HISTCAPE Partners to the Municipality of Wildon, one of the HISTCAPE pilot action municipalities in Sytria.

See the brochure for the International Conference here 

open conference austria

It was hosted by the Landentwicklung Steiemark, Region of Styria, Austria. 

International Open Conference, 25th March 2014

Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães in Braga, Portugal

The conference focused on the Rural Landscape from the approach of “a Living Heritage Resource”. The Open Conference offered a broad overview of the heritagethrough several outstanding cases located in Northern Portugal. There were many informative presentations highlighting the rich cultural and landscape heritage of the region.

Read more about this and other HISTCAPE news... in the latest NEWSLETTER - SPRING 2014

Open Conference, 23th October 2013

Palacio del Licenciado Butrón, Plaza de Santa Brígida, Valladolid, Spain

This event aimed to delve deeper on the good practice presented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Castilla and León under the project and at the same time, it wanted to link with the initiatives of other partners which are directly related to the subject. The conference was completed by a study visit to the mining Valley of Sabero.

Topics covered included

  • Intervention Plan of Cultural Heritage in Castilla&Leon Plan of Industrial Heritage in the province of Leon
  • Integral intervention Plan in the mining valley of Sabero
  • Presentation of Industrial heritage of the region of Western Macedonia
  • Special Protection Plan of Poza de la Sal, characteristics, advantages and rural development

Details may be found here!

Open Conference, 11th September 2013

Landscape, Sustainable Development and Planning. Arcevia, Italy. 

The full Programme of the event is available here.



KEY TOPIC: Cross-sectoral strategies that safeguard the future of European Cultural Heritage

Architectural monument ‘Mathias Kapelle’ and cultural landscape MoselThe subject of the international HISTCAPE-conference “Representing Public Interest? Cultural Heritage amidst the Tension of Conflicting Values“ is based on a clause in the Monument Protection Act of Rhineland-Palatinate. T o summarise the statement of the act it is written that historical and cultural heritage needs to be protected, if this represents the public interest.  Speakers from European, National and from Rhineland-Palatinate Institutions are going to give answers on the central question: How it is possible to practically implement the obligation to act on behalf of the public interest, under the pressure of today’s challenges? They will present examples from their fields of work and will use those to explain how cultural heritage can be preserved through innovative and cross-sectoral approaches.  Read more on the subject of cross-sectoral strategies.

Intro - Main Topic


“Future Construction” with Max Dudler, Tuesday 4 June, 19:00

A public event with discussions, questions and exchanges closed the International Conference.  Read more...

"It is an odd thing with these monuments. On the one hand a historic monument gives visual representation of the gap between the past and the present day but on the other hand it also reminds us of our duty to deal with our history. That is why the task and topic 'Construction in existing buildings' leads me to search for a kind of architecture that continues history without reconstructing or restoring it. This quest of searching for something new, which would not be possible or thinkable without the old, is what I call 'Further Construction' "

Max Dudler

STUDY VISIT to the UNESCO-World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Wednesday 5 June

Within the Framework of the one-week HISTCAPE meetings in Rhineland-Palatinate, the Partners visited the towns of Oberwesel, Boppard and Braubach in the Middle Rhine Valley to learn about examples of best practice.

A special delegation of the Rural Development Styria (HISTCAPE Lead partner) attended to support their work on the project.

Museum Sabero in the autonomous region Castilla y Leon, Spain.

Museum Sabero in the autonomous region Castilla y Leon, Spain.Additional Information:

Heritage Europe: In parallel to the above mentioned programme a bureau meeting of “Heritage Europe“ took place on 4th June at fortress Ehrenbreitstein. The organization was founded in 1999 by the Council of Europe as part of the initiative “Europe-A Common Heritage.  Today Heritage Europe represents more than 1000 historic towns, villages and regions in 30 European countries.

Interviews (in English) are possible: Registration: hspeechley@historic-towns.or

HISTCAPE – background on the project, its philosophy, partners and GDKE’s involvement. Read More...

HISTCAPE (HISTorical assets and related landsCAPE) is an INTERREG IVC project. The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union's Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.