Newsletter Autumn 2012


Autumn 2012

Welcome to the second Newsletter of the HISTCAPE Project.  This newsletter looks back at our first two Open Conferences held in Lativa and Estonia and trails the first links we are making with related projects in the field of heritage and restoration of historical assets.  The first HISTCAPE brochure detailing the project and its aims has been produced and is available on our website. 

We are also pleased to announce that our next Open Conference is to be held in Nympheo, Florina, Western Macedonia, Greece - 7th November 2012. The conference's focus is "Sustainable Heritage Management Solutions" - the full programme is available below and on our website.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Brian Smith, Heritage Europe

Reports from the 1st Open Conference's held in Vidzeme and Saaremaa - June 2012

Vidzeme - Dikli Palace Hotel

At the open conference "Historical Assets and Related Landscapes", which took place in Dikļi – one of the most beautiful venues in Vidzeme - experts and government representatives expressed their views and judgements on the sustainable management of Vidzeme’s cultural heritage and the value of its landscape.

At the conference a number of valuable insights were shared about the landscape and its importance as a local identity builder as well as protection principles and the different cultural uses of historic sites. Conference participants came to the common conclusion that the characteristic landscape of Vidzeme must be protected.

In order to achieve the project goals it is important for Vidzeme to learn from partners’ experiences.  For example, project partners “Marche region” and Vidzeme’s planning region have both started work on new regional development programs which include a sustainable landscape/development strategy. To date Vidzeme Planning Region has developed a document "Landscapes of Vidzeme, their evaluation and characteristics", but this document does not include recommendations for the sustainable management and development of landscapes – an issue hopefully to be addressed as part of the project. 

Saaremaa - Kaali Visitor Centre

An International Conference on the Islands’ Silurmiaa Geopark was held at Kaali Visitor Centre, Saaremaa on 27th June 2012.  The conference was organized by the Association of Municipalities of Saaremaa in the context of Interreg IVC project HISTCAPE.

The Silurimaa Geopark covers the entire island of Saaremaa which has many important historic windmills within a picturesque landscape. There are three geopark routes running from the east to west; north to south and along the southern coastline.  At the centre of the geopark is the Kaali Visitor Centre.  Guides are in development for local tourists visiting the area.

The goepark’s mission is to develop geotourism, promote environmental education and enable research assignments to take place.  A key goal for the future is to join the European Network of Geoparks, which was created by UNESCO in 2000. The NGO now been operating for just over two years.

Krista Täht-Kok, senior geologist, Geological Survey of Estonia said "Geoparks need to serve local interests and contribute to the local economic development of the area and should be lead by the local community and local government“. 

The European network of geoparks was established in 2000 through a German, Spanish, Greek and French co-operation.  There are now over 70 geoparks worldwide.

Geoparks have been created to preserve valuable sites and landscapes and in turn counter the negative effect of young people migrating from the country to the cities in search of work.

Promoting HISTCAPE

The 7th Austrian Local Agenda 21 summit took place in Graz 14th-15th June 2012.

More than 200 decision-makers from all over Austria participated in the event under the slogan "More citizens - more value".  Project Co-ordinator Alexandra Kulmer for the INTERREG IVC project HISTCAPE, introduced new concepts and strategies for current challenges in the field of cultural heritage protection and preservation.

Also the stand at the LA 21 fair gave further opportunity to inform local and regional stakeholders about the HISTCAPE project.

Find out more

Bursa, Turkey, 6-9 September 2012

Sponsored by: City of Bursa, Union of Historic Towns, CEKUL Foundation

Deep in the Kocayayla Mountains in the province of Bursa, Turkey lies the ancient and isolated village of Gelemiç.  Its inhabitants have continued their way of life for over 500 years.  Such places are the ¨heart of Turkish culture¨ and must be sustained and preserved.

The symposium focused on examples of preservation and regeneration in historic villages.  The attendees also visited important historic sites and recent projects within the City of Bursa.  After the symposium there were exhibitions of traditional theatre, music and dance which provided time for lively discussions.

HISTCAPE was presented by project partners Tecnalia arranged by Heritage Europe.  The presentation included project goals, methodology and partners as well as an overview of preservation problems.  Ideas were shared and contacts made for future collaboration. This provided sources of additional good practice, an objective overview and the means for wider dissemination.

For more information contact: Rand Eppich ( ) or Heritage Europe.  A full report on the symposium is available on our website.

For more information on CEKUL Foundation

Open Conference:
Old Mansions of Kozani
9th September 2012
Kozani, Greece

This HISTCAPE partner team from Greece atended an open conference in Kozani, the capital of Western Macedonia about the town's old mansions.

Professor Moutsopoulos (the most important scholar on the mansions of Western Macedonia) presented on the architectural value of these mansions.

The editor of Eleimiaka magazine (Mr Iliadelis) talked about the phographic record by Mr Kountouras Argyris, who had the foresight to photograph many of these old mansions before they were demolished.

These photographs are now exhibited in Kozani.

HISTCAPE – an open platform for discussions and exchange of experience

Exchange of experience is the key pillar in the HISTCAPE project. Fifteen good practices in the field of cultural heritage protection and landscape policy have been identified and were presented at the first interregional workshop.

AlexandraNot only will the partnership benefit from this knowledge but also local and regional stakeholders can make use of it and are invited to participate in open conferences and international events. So far HISTCAPE has held two open conferences where stakeholders had the chance to actively participate and discuss current issues in cultural heritage protection and landscape policy. 

All good practices identified, strategies and policy recommendations developed will be published on our project website. 

Furthermore stakeholders can get involved by joining our group on LinkedIn where the first online discussion will take place shortly.

Join our Group

To widen out communications a LinkedIn HISTCAPE Group has been created - please visit our page and put in a request to join - and then feel free to join in the discussions. 

Topics for discussions are being sought - so if you would like to discuss a certain topic - please let us know. 

Join our LinkedIn Group Today

Good Practice:  The Imperial Palace (Kaiserpfalz), Ingelheim


The Ingelheim Kaiserpfalz was built at the end of the 8th century by Charlemagne as a palace complex and was used by him and 17 other medieval kings as a ruling seat until 1375.

During the Middle Ages, the empire was not ruled from one capital city or a fixed residence; instead, kings were permanently on the move.  Palaces were spread all over the empire, forming a sort of network.  The Kaiserpfalz is one of the most significant examples of this medieval kingship system. 

In 1992 the Kaiserpfalz area was granted protected status, following which a research programme was launched.  In 1999, a heritage tourism outline was approved, indicating that the remains of the Kaiserpfalz would be exposed.   

Research and Funding

In co-operation with the Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz (Bureau for the conservation of historic monuments in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate), the town of Ingelheim set up the Kaiserpfalz Research Centre to explore and develop the monument, and increase its value.

Funding has been provided by the town of Ingelheim, with support by the European Commission, Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz (German foundation for the preservation of historical monuments), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, as well as other valuable partners and sponsors.

Tourist Development

The three main areas – Aula regia, the Saal Church, and Heidesheim Gate – are each examples of different periods in the Kaiserpfalz’ construction. In each of these areas, there are information boards, glass cabinets, and PC terminals, informing visitors about the respective era. 

A monument of European value

The Ingelheim Kaiserpfalz is not only an important historic monument for the town and region – it is also a key priority for the municipality.  Moderate, quality-oriented tourism, which doesn’t overwhelm the area but takes into account the monument and its special needs is what the town is striving for.

Local visitors are not just being informed about the Ingelheim palace as an isolated monument - it is being portrayed as a ruling seat embedded in the empire of Charlemagne. An empire which encompassed most of today’s Europe.  Learning about this kingdom dissolves the present borders and one realises that Europe was united more than a thousand years ago.  For further reading...

Photo Credits:
Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim/Montage:Maßwerke GbR
Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim / Foto: M. Schlotterbeck


A great way to get involved in the HISTCAPE project is to come along to one of our events.  There are a series of Open Conferences being held in each of the partner regions, the next being held by our Greek partners, in Nympheo, Western Macedonia, in November.

7th November 2012

Open Conference (Half Day) - "Cultural Heritage in Western Macedonia"

Nympheo, Florina, Greece

The conference will focus on best practice identified at Nympheo.  Nympheo or Nymfeo (Νυμφαίο) is one of the most beautiful settlements in Greece.  Along with its excellent location it has preserved its unique character through carefully executed restoration programs.

A full programme can be downloaded here.

Alternatively there are to be three Major International Conferences – the first of which is being hosted by our project partners from Lithuania in March 2013. 

For further details on all HISTCAPE events please check out our website.

4-5 October 2012

Dubrovnik Croatia Annual Conference - "Delivering Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Historic Towns"Minceta Tower - Dubrovnik

Heritage Europe jointly organised this major International Conference with the City of Dubrovnik in partnership with the Croatian Association of Historic Towns, the Turkish Union of Historic Towns, and the Council of Europe.

The conference looked at ways in which historic towns can practically deliver the 3 main priorities of the EU 2020 strategy.

The HISTCAPE project was presented to Heritage Europe's Bureau members during the conference by Heritage Europe's Secretary General, Brian Smith and over 150 brochures were distributed to conference attendees.



Links to other related EU funded projects can be found below. We hope these will be of interest to you. Let us know if there are other related projects we can add!

"European World Heritage Vineyards" - a project dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of highly valuable cultural wine growing landscapes.

Climate Change, Cultural Heritage & Energy Efficient Monuments.

The project aim is reduce the energy consumption of historical buildings without destroying their cultural value and identity.