CASTLES & RAGIONS
1 October 2020 – 31. March 2022
The main objective of the project was to create a cooperation between the castles and fortresses of the V4 countries and the Western Balkans region in which they could fully exploit their potential in regional development, tourism and formal education. Several institutions from the Central European and Western Balkan regions have expressed their intention to form the Danube Castles Consortium and to further cooperate, which requires further negotiations. The project also seeks to contribute to the revival of the role of castles and fortresses in the 21st century through a development concept. centuries.
The project sought to restore these formerly important castles and fortresses involved in the project to their former central role and to once again play an important role in the life of cities and regions in the 21st century. centuries.
The partners will continue to cooperate in tourism and in the organisation of joint professional programmes, exhibitions and various cultural events. They will also try to conclude similar agreements with other castles or institutions.
- Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum-MNM Esztergomi Vármúzeuma (Hungarian National Museum – Castle Museum in Esztergom, Hungary)
- Magyar Település- és Területfejlesztők Szövetsége (Hungarian Towns and Municipalities Development Association, Hungary)
- Fortress Golubacki Grad (Golubac Fortress, Serbia)
- Muzeum Okręgowe w Sandomierzu (District Museum in Sandomierz, Poland)
- Pro Castello Comaromiensi, n.o. (Fortress Komárno, Slovakia)
“A common past for a common future” – virtual exhibition
The digital product of the project is the virtual exhibition “Common Past for a Common Future”, presenting a significant event or personality of the common historical events of the participating cities and countries, respectively. places great emphasis on a common Central European identity.
The exhibition in virtual space offers the visitor four routes to follow:
A timeline is a spatial historical chronology that represents the most important historical events of cities and countries from 10. to 19. century, highlighting those particular moments of the common past that make the shared historical heritage comprehensible.
Castles in History provides a comprehensive and more detailed overview of the local history of the partner institutions, castles and fortresses, like a kind of historical picture book.
Heroes, Events, Stories provides a glimpse into the shared moments of our past primarily through common historical figures and related events.
The Contemporary section presents the current role of castles and fortresses, the renovations carried out, the tourist tasks and their integration into the region.
The great advantage of the virtual exhibition is that it adapts to the modern expectations of the 21st century. century and the content and themes can be quickly and easily changed and expanded. Thanks to its virtual nature, it can reach a wider audience, for example younger generations who are not the main visitors to museums. The exhibition, which is available in English, Hungarian, Slovak, Polish and Serbian, also contributes to the international promotion of these castles and fortresses.
In Slovak: https://castlesregions.eu/ve-sk/
“Fortress for the Region – Region for the Fortress” – seminar
Komárno Fortress, Pro Castello Comaromiensi, Komárno, Slovakia, 4. October 2021
After the opening speech of the Mayor of Komárno Mgr. Béla Keszegha, the participants could get acquainted with the history of the fortress from the presentation of the director Dr. Andrej Ozimy. From a summary by a staff member of the Esztergom Castle Museum, the guests could learn about the details of the project. During the seminar, an employee of the local OOCR presented local and regional products to the participants. On the possibilities of restoring the role of castles and fortresses in the 21st century. István Szilvássy, President of the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities, informed the participants in his detailed presentation. Participants of the seminar also discussed the issue in the interactive World Café section. In addition to the staff of the Hungarian National Museum and the Esztergom Castle Museum, the event was also attended by representatives of the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities, as well as the Golubac Fortress from Serbia.
District Museum in Sandomierz, Sandomierz, Poland, 14. October 2021
From the presentation of the director, Dr. Mikolaj Getku-Kenig, the participants could learn about the history and present of the castle, and from a summary of the details of the project by an employee of the Esztergom Castle Museum. Magdalena Kapłan, professor at the University of Lublin and representative of the Sandomierz Wine Association, gave a lecture on wine production in the region. Katarzyna Batko, Director of the Sandomierz Tourist Board, introduced the guests to the tourist opportunities and products of the region. Wojciech Dumin, Director of the Cultural Institute in Sandomierz, gave a presentation on the role of the castle in the region. On the possibilities of restoring the role of castles and fortresses in the 21st century. István Szilvássy, President of the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities, informed the participants in his detailed presentation. Participants of the seminar also discussed the issue in the interactive World Café section.
Golubac Fortress, Golubac, Serbia, 19. October 2021
The event was opened by Dr. Iskra Maksimovic, Director of the Fortress. The participants were welcomed by representatives of the Serbian Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, the Serbian Office of Tourism and the City of Golubac. The staff of the State Office for Culture and Monuments, archaeologist Marina Bunardžić and architect Dragoljub Todorović gave a presentation on the history and architecture of the fortress. Professor Dr. Goran Petkovic, professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, gave a lecture on the reconstruction of the fortress and its accessibility to tourists. Afterwards, guests could learn about the project from a summary by a staff member of the Hungarian National Museum. On the possibilities of restoring the role of castles and fortresses in the 21st century. István Szilvássy, President of the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities, informed the participants in his detailed presentation. Participants of the seminar also discussed the issue in the interactive World Café section.
Hungarian National Museum – online, 19. November 2021
In view of the worsening epidemiological situation, the Hungarian National Museum, its member institution, the Castle Museum in Esztergom and the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities jointly organised an online seminar. At the beginning of the seminar, the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the partners involved in the project in a short introduction, after which Gábor Rezi Kató, Deputy Director General of the Hungarian National Museum and Director of the Castle Museum in Esztergom, introduced the project and its objectives to the participants. On the possibilities of restoring the role of castles and fortresses in the 21st century. István Szilvássy, President of the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities, informed the participants in his presentation. Participants of the seminar also discussed this issue in the online World Café. The final programme of the seminar was an unconventional virtual round table with the participation of Dr. László Baán, Director General of the Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Zsolt Virág, Ministerial Commissioner, and László Almási, Vice-Chairman of Baranya County, in connection with the development of castles.
Cooperation agreements and competition for secondary school students
The Hungarian National Museum has signed an agreement with all project partners to strengthen relations and future cooperation between the participating institutions.
In order to promote and further develop the project, we announced a multimedia competition for high school students. The aim of the competition was to familiarize the young generation with the history of castles, regions and countries and to contribute to the integration of a common identity linking people living in the region of the castle or fortress.
Study – Danube Castles Consortium
The study by István Szilvássy, chairman of the Association for the Development of Hungarian Towns and Municipalities, is about the concept of development and the renewable role of castles and fortresses. The study also builds on the results of a preliminary survey on castle restoration among the target groups, as well as the results of the World Café discussions.
Several institutions have expressed their intention to establish a Danube Castles Consortium (DCC), which will help to re-establish the role of the participating castles at both regional and transnational level. The institutions will continue negotiations with a view to forming a consortium.
ONLINE CLOSING EVENTS
24 February 2022
After a brief summary of the project by representatives of the participating institutions, the international audience was informed about the virtual exhibition. Afterwards, the participants could get information about the planned network of Danube Castles and share their opinions about the possibilities of establishing and existing the network in an interactive way. The final event of the project took place in an unusual hybrid way.
18 March 2022
Some guests attended the event in person in Budapest, others joined online. The event commemorated the royal meeting in 1335 in Visegrád and also the 30. Anniversary of the Visegrad Four. Dr. Asztrik Várszegi, Archbishop of Pannonhalma, gave a lecture on the history of Pannonhalma and its role in the region. This was followed by a lecture by Dr. József Laszlovszky on the royal meeting in Visegrád in 1335. A virtual exhibition and the winners of an international multimedia competition announced among high school students were presented. The participants also took the first steps necessary for the establishment of the Danube Castles Consortium. Mariela Savkova, Head of the Regional Information Centre in Vidin, Romania, presented in detail the possibilities of establishing a consortium. Mrs. Desislava Todorova, Deputy Mayor of Vidin, presented the history and present of the Baba Vida Fortress and the Old Town of Vidin. Christo Polendakov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to Hungary, also attended the event online and gave a presentation on the importance of international cooperation.
KNOW HOW, BEST PRACTICES
The regular meetings of the international joint working group, as well as the agendas and comments prepared for it, have made it possible to clarify the individual steps and progress of the project.
Each partner delegated a representative to the joint working group to attend the meetings, allowing the partners to think and discuss together about the implementation of the project.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.