Newsletter AUTUMN 2014


University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, would like to welcome you to the 10th and last newsletter of the HISTCAPE project

University of Ljubljana has recently hosted HISTCAPE FINAL OPEN CONFERENCE entitled “The Legacy of the HISTCAPE Project”, which took place on 16 September 2014 at Podsreda Castle, Slovenia. 

Europe is a rich continent: rich in nature and rich in culture. Historically it has always been a crossroad from which civilizations emerged, developed and merged with one another. Europe comprises many unique societies, which are determined by the environment and cultures contained within them, and interconnected through overlapping borders, which are not only ethnic or national jurisdictions, but natural ones where different societies, cultural entities and ecosystems meet.

The process is ongoing, and its direction is prone to the effects of climatic fluctuations and social transformations. Europe has closely related ecosystem services and cultural histories of great value but the economic problems within regions are also similar and need to therefore be integrated into all existing environmental policy. At present, valuable environmental areas are protected under the Natura 2000 Network, which requires local populations within them to change their economic activities and even living habits. This is a challenge that sometimes brings hesitations, but it teaches us how to be successful in spite of demanding sets of rules. Since many protected areas are located in heritage sites they offer opportunities for green economic growth through tourism and the generation of jobs needed for its preservation.  

Europe’s 731 million population, of which 500 million are joined together within the European Union, in great number lives in rural landscapes that are home to a scattered pattern of smaller historic towns and villages.

The HISTCAPE project focuses on the 4500 small heritage assets, rich towns of under 20.000 inhabitants that have traditionally acted as community hubs – a focal point for economic activity and social cohesion. This role has, however, come under serious threat over recent decades with outmigration, particularly of young people as a direct consequence of changing patterns of economic activity - adversely affecting demographic balance and sustainability. The ensuing loss of facilities and services combined with a loss of economic activity has resulted in a lack of investment in these communities. The acceleration of this trend, exacerbated by the recession, directly threatens the existence of much of Europe’s historic assets. The HISTCAPE project addresses this challenge by focusing on the sustainable management of historical assets in small rural towns.

The final conference of the HISTCAPE project encompasses both oral presentations published in the proceedings “HISTCAPE and BEYOND” and poster exhibition. It will be exhibited in different places in Europe starting its tour for two months at Podsreda Castle in Slovenia, where the conference took place on September 16, 2014. The symbolic title of the conference “The Legacy of the HISCAPE Project” explains the character of its content, bridging project results and related research. The first thematic session of the conference presented results of the HISTCAPE project and was entitled “Good practice examples”. The second thematic session of the conference presented invited lectures under the title “Planning the future is to know your past”. The third thematic session of the conference went beyond the project and was related to the wider aspects of cultural heritage preservation and services as well as to the future possibilities to cooperate in the European cultural heritage related projects.

Project Update

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 will be published in a brochure and a 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 

FINAL CONFERENCE, 16th September 2014

Podsreda Castle, Kozjansko, Slovenia 


Entitled “The Legacy of the HISTCAPE Project”, the conference took place on 16 September 2014 at Podsreda Castle, Slovenia. 

The medieval castle Podsreda, venue of the conference, was first mentioned in 1213 and is considered as one of the best preserved Romanesque castles with outstanding Renaissance elements in Slovenia (Fig. 1, 2). The remarkable scenery of the conference was accompanied by some music entries, medieval Cuisine and permanent exhibitions in various castle's premises.  


Fig. 1: Podsreda Castle. Courtyard with renaissance corridors (Photo: A. Guillem)

Fig. 2:  Welcoming conference participants (photo: Kozjanski Park)

Thematic sessions of the conference provided an in-depth insight into the HISTCAPE project results, whilst invited scientific lectures presented natural and heritage preservation topics, decision making and management issues and future cooperation opportunities in the framework of new INTERREG EUROPE Programme and the European framework programme Horizon 2020. Conference gave strong emphasis to the European inter-regional cooperation by promoting collaboration between Slovenian, Austrian and other regions and by creating a link with new European Union member Croatia. Leitmotif of the conference was joint natural and cultural heritage preservation as the basis for cultural heritage services implementation. 

Fig. 3: Conference proceedings.

Fig. 4: Gallery in the castle with posters exhibition (photo: Kozjanski Park)

All conference papers are published in the conference proceedings “Histcape and Beyond” and are available at: (Fig. 3). As part of the conference, the University of Ljubljana prepared a poster exhibition, where all HISTCAPE partners had a chance to present their institution, work, project, action or research. There are 19 posters exhibited in the gallery of the Podsreda Castle (Fig. 4) and the exhibition will go on for another two months after the conference.

Posters are available at:, where also all presentations from the conference can be found.

Welcome addresses in the opening session of the conference were given by Roko Žarnić and Sandra Höbel on behalf of the organizers and the project coordinator, DuÅ¡an Andrej Kocman, mayor of the municipality Kozje, Teo Hrvoje OrÅ¡anič, director of Kozjansko Park, BoÅ¡tjan ŽekÅ¡, senior adviser to the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Ilaria Piazza,  representative from the JTS INTERREG IVC, Klemens Koja, ambassador of the Republic of Austria and Vesna Terzić, ambassador of the Republic of Croatia. Opening session was concluded by invited lectures of prof. Wolfgang Kippes from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and prof. Vlatka Rajčić from the University of Zagreb (Fig. 5). Wolfgang Kippes in his lecture, entitled “On Monuments and Museums”, gave short overview of the conservation theory development and presented some figures on cultural tourism which support economic investment in heritage preservation.  Vlatka Rajčić gave lecture “Croatian Traditional Vernacular Wooden Architecture”, presenting typical traditional Croatian architecture classification with an emphasis on the case of Natura protected area Lonjsko polje.

Fig. 5: Opening session of the conference (photo: Kozjanski Park)

The first thematic session of the conference, entitled “Good practice examples” and moderated by Alexandra Kulmer and Rand Eppich, was devoted to the presentation of the HISTCAPE project results. Rand Eppich presented pilot actions and related good practice transfers, performed in the framework of the project and announced the final project publication/guidelines “Cultural Heritage, Landscape & Rural Development. Good Practice, Methodology, Policy Recommendations & Guidelines for Rural Communities” with detailed description of the contents. All HISTCAPE partners followed with presentations of the results, lessons learned and benefits gained in the project for their regions. The first presentation was given by Gerhard Vötsch from Rural Development Styria, Austria, presenting vacant properties management issues, followed by Isabel Pinilla Baalmodne from Castilla & León Regional Authority, Spain, highlighting some basic heritage assets in the region and details of the PAHIS 2020 plan. Carla Cruz, the next speaker from Northern Cultural Regional Direction, Portugal, presented review of 100 years of cultural heritage protection in Portugal, Kostas Karamarkos from the Region of Western Macedonia, Greece, gave emphasis of the industrial heritage protection in the region and Ingeborg Hoffstadt from the General-Directorate of Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, presented the tangible and intangible heritage accents in the Upper Rhine Valley.  Sonata Dumbliauskiene from the Alytus District Municipality, Lithuania, presented the PivaÅ¡iÅ«nai settlement revitalization based on the tangible heritage preservation, Viktoria Bubukin from the Saaremaa Local Government Association, Estonia gave an overview of the Saarte Geopark program and vision and Atis Treimanis from the Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia, presented the adaptation of HISTCAPE good practice to Vidzeme region resulting in improved regional planning documents.  The session was concluded by Claudio Calvaresi from the Regione Marche, Italy, who presented the Arcevia pilot action implementation.  

Second thematic session, entitled “Planning your future is to know your past” and moderated by Sonata Dumbliauskiene, was aimed to enlighten the scientific background of natural and cultural heritage preservation. Prof. Peter Fister from the University of Ljubljana could not attend the conference due to health issues; however his paper “Methodology of Integral Preservation of Architectural and Settlement Heritage Worth of Space” offers systematic critical overview of the heritage preservation and spatial planning issues in Slovenia.  Alexander Srdić from the University of Ljubljana in his contribution, entitled “Application of Multicriteria Decision Methods in Management of Natural and Built Rural Cultural Heritage“ lectured on the theoretical background of Multicriteria Decision Making Methods (MCDM) and gave some examples of their usage in civil engineering. Barbara Vodopivec from University of Ljubljana in her contribution “Multidisciplinary Contribution to the Complex Decision Making” illustrated potential usage of MCDM, developed for build heritage, and its embedding in the integrated management approach.

Third thematic session entitled “Future natural and cultural heritage interregional cooperation opportunities” and moderated by Karin Drda-Kühn was devoted to the future of heritage research and interregional co-operation in Europe. Ilaria Piazza from the INTERREG IVC Joint Technical Secretariat, Lille, presented achievements of the INTERREG IVC programme and basics of new INTERREG EUROPE program under the title “EU Interregional Cooperation. State of Play and Perspectives”. Roko Žarnić from the University of Ljubljana talked about perspectives of heritage related research in the framework of the Horizon 2020 initiative and entitled his contribution “Cultural Heritage Research Topics within the Challenge 5 of Horizon 2020”. Nikoletta Skordaki and Anais Guillem gave overview of the FP7 Marie Curie project “Initial Training Network for Digital Cultural Heritage. Projecting our Past to the Future”, which aims to educate and train a new generation of researchers, who will be active on the field of digital heritage.  

Fig. 6: HISTCAPE participants of the conference (photo Kozjanski Park)

In the last session of the conference, entitled “Discussion” and moderated by Kostas Karamarkos and Rand Eppich, participants of the conference (Fig. 6) concluded that conference confirmed remarkable results of the HISTCAPE project in each partnering region and presented variety of regional solutions and actions, implemented also on the basis of the project work. HISTCAPE partnership identified need to continue excellent work, devised in the project and strongly support the further cooperation in the framework of the following project, informally called HISTCAPE PLUS. 

Partner News

Historical and cultural heritage of Monastic Order

«Douro Cister» multimedia exhibition

The Northern Portugal Regional Directorate for Culture is promoting a traveling exhibition that intends to promote the historical, cultural, architectural and artistic heritage bequeathed by the Cistercian Order in the Douro region, classified as World Heritage Site. The multimedia installation allows to known how successive communities of Cistercian turned the Douro Valley in an area of ​​culture and knowledge, changing the landscape and territory.


The exhibition is open at the station Casa da Música, Metro do Porto, until November 9.

More info:,0,1166.aspx


1st History - Conference of Western Macedonia

"The West Macedonia in Modern Times' (15th-20th cent.).

Grevena, Western Macedonia. 2-5 October, 2014

The Organization called Society for Western Macedonian Studies (E.DYM.ME.), with co-organizer and helper the Region of Western Macedonia, successfully completed on Sunday, October 5th the works of the first history conference of Western Macedonia on the general theme: "The West Macedonia in Modern Times' (15th-20th cent.).

Almost 80 speakers from all over Greece, but also from abroad, honored and trusted E.DYM.ME. submitting to the conference the results of their work. Admittedly the large audience, the majority of contributions (all the original announcements and arduous personal research) was very high. Some of them actually impressive, creating new standards in so far our understanding of local history. The participants and the audience did not just attended the presentations, but merely they participated actively, thus developed very fruitful and constructive dialogue, through which virtually some announcements filled with new data.


 Presentation on Industrial Heritage. Mr Milonas and Mrs S.Voskopoulou. Audience of the conference.

The conference was multidisciplinary: covered regarding the past (archeology, history, philology, literature, folklore, etc.), but it was impressive that the recording and reporting in the past was used to build the sustainable development of this land with documented and implementable recommendations. Those who attended found something that interested them - many found tremendously interesting overall themes and related announcements. Many thanks were sent and many encouraging messages sent to the organizational committee. Soon the announcements along with some very interesting contributions of the public will be issued with the assistance of Region of Western Macedonia as an important legacy for future generations.

Of all the participants found that Western Macedonia has special scientific interest: many, older and younger scientists from our country and from far away are studying the issues of the past and future of the region.

It was found that constantly coming to light new things with the help of research 'spade' – So our story has not been written yet, and our future is under constant development and redirection.

The most debated proposal - request by almost all speakers is the open for study of libraries and archives (with Koventareios Kozani Municipal Library on top and also the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Zamporda) and enable researchers to delvein historical documents and add new elements to the history of Western Macedonia.


Saaremaa: Think globally, Act locally

As the last local event in the Saare County in the framework of the HISTCAPE project, Saaremaa Local Government Association organized the Final Local Conference on 16th of October 2014 in Mändjala, Saare County, Estonia. The conference summed up all the activities done during the project HISTCAPE.

Mrs Eerika Thalheim as first project manager in HISTCAPE project for Partner 8 gave an overview of the beginning of the project – how she found the project, joined with partnership and gave a starting kick to the activities. It was interesting to find out that at first the project was called HISTORY (HISTorical assets and related territory) instead of HISTCAPE (HISTorical Assets and related LandsCAPE). Interreg IVC looked for the projects under Environment and Risks Prevention theme with Cultural Heritage and Landscapes sub-theme and as the NGO Saarte Geopark was just founded Mrs Thalheim saw a good opportunity to gain experience from other European countries to handle landscape issues.


 Participants attending the conference.

The member of the Saaremaa Local Government Association, Mr Raimu Aardam introduced the timetable and lecturers of the conference. The director of the Saaremaa Local Government Association Mr Veiko Viil summarized the HISTCAPE partners’ experiences and linked them with the local activities that deserve mention worldwide. Mr Priit Penu gave a speech about Lümanda Lime and Tar Park, Mrs Inna Ligi talked about Muhu Heritage School, Mr Tõnu Sepp gave an overview of Restauration works of Kuressaare Episcopal Castle, Mrs Kadri Kullapere talked about Vilsandi National Park and Mr Jaanus Tahk gave a speech about Saaremaa Heritage Culture.

As the Līgatne Paper Factory in the region Vidzeme in Latvia has connected history and modernization Saare County also has the similar good practice – Lime and Tar Park in Lümanda municipality. In the Lime Park traditional methods are used to produce lime from the local limestone and the people working there are constantly looking for additional ways to use their production. As the lime is produced almost as same as it was done centuries ago, the quality of the products is very high. Lümanda is the only place where the lime is produced constantly for more than 120 years. In the Lime Park they are showing how the lime and tar was produced at old times. As there are educational programmes in the Monastery of Tibães in Northern Portugal, the programmes in Muhu Heritage School in Muhu municipality can be linked with them. In the Muhu Heritage School people can learn and practice to renovate windows, roofs, floors and much more in traditional way so that historical buildings could keep their historical appearance. Activities are done so that Cultural Heritage wouldn´t transform into Heritage Culture. Parsonage building is used as a showcase where the renovating activities are performed. Kozjansko Park can be linked to the Vilsandi National Park in Kihelkonna municipality as Vilsandi also belongs to the Biosphere Reserve Area and celebrates biodiversity.

The project assistant of Saaremaa Local Government Association and Project Manager of the Saarte Geopark, Ms Viktoria Bubukin gave an overview of the HISTCAPE activities, especially Pilot Actions in Saare County, Estonia. Pilot Actions in Saare County were based on Saarte Geopark that was founded to preserve and introduce nature values, historical and cultural assets. The main issue that Saarte Geopark handles has been closely related to the Histcape project topics – historical assets and nature values. During the 3 years of project implementation time there were 12 seminars, workshops, conferences or study visits organized with about 350 participants. The main result of the acitivites is an interactive map that uses all the information gathered during the seminars. Now people can learn about the rich and diverse nature along with interesting history and culture of the Saare County from the Web. Interactive map and database is disseminated through Saarte Geopark.

As a result of the final conference in Saare County, we can draw conclusions. Although it is important to think globally, it is as important to act locally, because a lot of small changes that are made locally give a huge impact on global level. We are very happy that we had a chance to participate in HISTCAPE project and are looking forward to participate also in possible follow-up projects.

For more information: Viktoria Bubukin - Saaremaa Local Government Association


NGO Saarte Geopark.


Within project “Histcape” Vidzeme held regional stakeholder meeting

Everyone loves a beautiful landscape, but what do we understand with the word "landscape”? Whether it's an elegant park, the view behind the window? Or a ruined building at the edge of a meadow? The answers to these questions are not always straightforward. To raise the issue of a common understanding of the "landscape" concept formation and landscape management issues, past September 4, it was held in the municipality of Burtnieki a stakeholder meeting entitled "Promotion of landscape awareness and quality improvement”.

This stakeholder meeting aimed to introduce “Histcape” project activities and implementation plan on landscape management issues developed by Vidzeme Planning Region team. Also ensuring that the landscape is not only evaluated to be visually aesthetic complement to everyday surroundings, but as a single set of spatial body, which requires a comprehensive, multi-layered exploration on a basis for raising the quality.

Their vision on these issues raised in industry and Latvian known people – Anita Zariņa, Latvian University of Geography and Earth Sciences, Faculty Assistant Professor; Dace Granta, ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Senior Expert; PÄ“teris Å Ä·inÄ·is, Latvian University of Geography and Earth Sciences, associate professor; Raimonds Indrāns, member of Burtnieki municipality council, who gave practical examples in context of landscape resource significance in Burtnieki municipality. 

Lessons learned from the meeting:
- Promote citizen participation;
- Creation and promotion of sense of belonging;
- Elaboration of local planning documents by one definition;
- Education of municipal representatives and continuous information of the landscape related issues.

To ensure the continued development of a unified landscape planning and policy procedure at the regional level is necessary:
- To improve regional planning documents to local authorities that share common requirements for landscape planning process;
- To attract funding;
- To organize educational workshops  in scope of landscape management and planning-related issues and problems;
- To develop and maintain unified data base for dissemination of good practice.

For additional information please contact Lelde Ābele, Project Manager of Vidzeme Planning Region, mob.: + 371 29266757, e-mail:


Rise like a phoenix – new chances for industrial heritage in rural areas

What makes a region whose main production field collapses? What to do with vast industrial heritage sites with no use?  The Upper Austrian Mühlviertel (“Region of Mills”) has undergone painful experiences - and reinvents itself for several years with cultural tourism and innovative employment models.

Production of textiles from linen and wool has a long tradition in the Mühlviertel area. They were manufactured for home requirements as well as gaining income for more than 400 centuries until the sixties of the 20th century. Then decline of textile industry started and hit the region hard: companies closed, production stopped, knowledge of textile manufacturing got lost, young people and relevant taxpayers moved away to get jobs in big Austrian cities like Linz and Vienna.

At the end of the nineties a small group of people well aware of the former quality and knowledge of textile production engaged in the refurbishment of a big industrial space of a former textile company in the little city of Haslach. Local, regional and European funding was raised. Meanwhile, the former derelict building was renovated as an example of industrial heritage in the region and developed into a textile center . Today it hosts five different institutions and companies, all well connected with the textile history of the region.

Typical linen pattern of cloth from Mühlviertel (19th and 20th century), still produced in the region and at the textile center.

Alom Wollmanufaktura manufacturer of woolen products, is one of them with 22 employees. It is part of a nonprofit association with an overall staff of 100 persons at six locations. From wool cleaning to the final product the company covers the whole production chain and proudly calls itself “Manufaktur”, an old fashioned German word for company. The company produces high quality textiles and products like felt shoes, blankets, felt baskets and bags. The efforts for quality in design and handmade production are honored by the market.

The company stands for another philosophy of employment as well and has developed an own model for supporting employment in the whole region. Disadvantaged and disabled persons are welcome to get trained at Alom in traditional handcraft techniques in wool manufacture. Alom offers an own programme which supports those persons in gaining qualification, and also to gain self-esteem, appreciation and pride in their own abilities. For a maximum duration of 18 months relevant persons stay in the company on regular salaries, get support of many kinds and are then free and able for a job in other trade orientated jobs. According to own evaluation around 50% of the people get into regular jobs after their time at Alom (which is a high rate compared with the Austrian overall percentage of 30%); others e.g. proceed with qualification measures. 

Managing director Bernhard Enzenhofer clearly states the socio economic approach as those persons get jobs in the company for a limited timeframe in order to get guidance to the working market. “Of course we are part of the working market, but It’s not only the working market aspect which we are targeting”, he explains.  “We also try to show that work has something to do with dignity, pride and respect for nature and the history of the region.”  

Still in use at Alom Manufaktur; historic machine for wool production.

His concept seems to fit: 10.000 people alone visit the local weaving market every year in July and the Alom company benefits by offering guided tours or seminars in weaving and felting. Tours and seminars are offered all year round together with the textile center including a textile museum and other institutions which try to maintain the regional craftsmanship and knowledge in textile production. Shared work spaces for seminars are offered by the textile center.

Anna Falkinger, human resources developer at Alom, is convinced that the Alom model is a way specifically for rural areas to get back self-esteem and courage for people being long out of work or people with disabilities. The holistic approach integrates the need for qualification, social aspects as well as the bonds to the local roots: ”Our work is an investment in our rural area.” But she is honest:  “What we are doing at Alom will always need public funding and administrative support, but the amount of funding is much less than public authorities would need to subsidise those persons otherwise”, she says. The “spirit of Alom” can be felt all over the place and a guided tour is highly recommended in order to get a feeling for the ambitious and extensive process of wool production, weaving of wool and wool design.


For more information: Karin Drda-Kühn (media k GmbH) k.drda-kuehn@media-k.deç



Save the Date


29 October – 1 November 2014 – Halle/Germany. 

Annual conference of the Future for Religious Heritage network

Future for Religious Heritage’s third international conference takes place in Halle this autumn. It will bring together practitioners and policymakers working to save and promote religious heritage across Europe. The aim will be to develop and share new thinking on sustaining historic religious buildings and recognizing value in a rural context.

For details of abstract submission and registration see:


Limassol, 3-8 November 2014

International Conference - EuroMed2014 

The 5th International Euro-Mediterranean Conference (EuroMed 2014), devoted to Cultural Heritage (CH), is being held on the 3rd-8th of November at the entrance of the ancient Amathus city, by Limassol, in Cyprus island. EuroMed brings together researchers, policy makers, professionals and practitioners to explore some of the more pressing issues concerning cultural heritage today. In particular, this year the conference will focus on interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research on tangible and intangible CH, on the use of cutting-edge technologies for protection, restoration, preservation, massive digitization, documentation and presentation of the CH content. At the same time, the event is intended to cover topics of research ready for exploitation, demonstrating the acceptability of new sustainable approaches and new technologies by the user community, SMEs, owners, managers and conservators of cultural patrimony.

For details of abstract submission and registration see: