Project acronym: Kaštelir (1.203.872,84 EUR ERDF)
Lead Partner: OBČINA KOMEN
Project Partners: OBČINA IZOLA, UNIVERZA V MARIBORU, INŠTITUT IRRIS za raziskave, razvoj in strategije družbe, kulture in okolja, ISTARSKA ŽUPANIJA, OPĆINA LANIŠĆE, GRAD MALI LOŠINJ, JAVNA USTANOVA “PARK PRIRODE UČKA”, JAVNI ZAVOD KOMENSKI KRAS
Istria, together with Karst, Čičarija, Brkini and a part of Quarner share many common natural features, as well as a common history. The surprisingly dense arrangement of fortified boroughs, named also as »kaštelirji«, »Castellieri« or »zidine«, reveals densely populated territory in the Bronze and Iron Age. The area of »kaštelirji« was in the pre-historic times actually one uniform region. Thus, it would be impossible to achieve project goals and yield project results, without applying the trans-boundary cooperation. Main Common Challenge: This project aim to reveal and re-establish the ancient connection between people and wild plants and to present the traditional knowledge in a contemporary way in order to be used for sustainable development and tourism, in particular. The key point of the project are the fortified boroughs – “kaštelirji”, today overgrown with scrub and forest. Depopulation caused land abandonment and consequently, the folk traditions were lost to a large extent. Along with this, also the traditional knowledge regarding the wild plants was lost. Thus, we aim to revive the knowledge, still existing among the local populations, properly represent it and raise interest about this knowledge among the local inhabitants and tourists. The final goal is to create new tourist products, based on traditional knowledge and old recipes.
The main project goal is to preserve and maintain the cultural heritage of »kaštelirji by developing the innovative sustainable cross-border tourist offers. The following key results are foreseen:
-Revived four selected “kaštelirji” (ruins of fortified boroughs)
-The trail ““kaštelirji” from Karst to Quarner”
-Centre for promotion of “kaštelirji” and traditional use of plants (Čičarija) and info-points on each selected “kaštelir”
-Botany – plants in folk medicine and culinary from the areas of “kaštelirji”; plant gene bank. Archaeobotany – plants from the period of “kaštelirji”. Ethnobotany – traditional use of plants and products; presentation of way of life on “kaštelirji”; 8 educational trails, also presented by use of ICT.
-Education and training in relation to “kaštelirji”
Development of products of sustainable tourism for the promotion of cultural and natural heritage.
The most important project results will be awareness raising regarding the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage through education, collecting and cultivating the edible, medical, and other useful plants. The key emphasis will be on sustainable development of countryside and transboundary tourism. The project will encourage the social life and sustainable development of the rural areas. It will enrich and diversify the touristic offer. All this would stimulate the return of inhabitants, who left the area due to economic reasons. Revived area would be attractive also for the newcomers, attracted by way of life in natural environm., rich with cultural and natural monuments.