Jobs of the future for the EU Heritage Rejuvenation "#YouEU", Twinning of four municipalities

  • Category      :    Cultural and heritage tourism
  • Date              :    October, 2019

Purpose of the project

The overall aim is democratic and civic participation of citizens at European level with development of citizen’s understanding of the Union policy making process and intercultural engagement and volunteering.

The specific aims of the project are addressing youth engagement bringing jobs of the future to the EU heritage and responsible tourism with awareness raising event in Vinica Croatia.

Short Description

The project made together municipalities from Albania, Italy, and Coratia to contribute for their youth engagement in integrating the need for preservation of cultural heritage. The project is sustained by municipalities in the frame of management of their cultural and natural heritage, the existence of which is the basics for participating in this project and also realizing the twinning agreement.

You can find some more information on the Albanian municipality partner of the project: Top cultural and natural heritage in Vlora Municipality – Albanian partner in the project

Cultural Heritage

Vlora is an ancient city and one of the main ports of Albania. Located in the southwest of the country, on the Adriatic coast. In ancient times it was known as Aulona.

The province has been inhabited since ancient times. The first footsteps date back to the VI century BC. During this period, four ancient cities were built in the Bay of Vlora: Orikumi, Thronioni (Kanina), Triporti and Aulona. The most ancient footsteps of civilization belong to today's Orikum, which still retains the old ruins of the city, which played an important role in the civil war between Caesar and Pompeii.

There is a concentration of historic buildings with castles, archaeological sites, settlement ruins and bridges all over the county and old traditional houses in many traditional villages especially alongside the Ionian Coastal road, that is not found in any part of Albania. A considerate number of other castle remains are spread in the area as to mention the remains of Vlora Castle, remains of Kanina Castle in Kanina village, Castle of Gjon Bocari in Tragjas village, etc in Vergo, etc..

Undoubtedly, the Vlora county and especially the territory of the coastal area is the richest with byzantine churches and monasteries, such as Monastery Panaia and of St. Ipapandia at Dhermi, St. Sergji & Baku, of All Saints and of St. Maria of Athali at Himara, Synagogue and Paleochristian basilica in Saranda, the Monastery and Church remains of 40 Saints in Saranda, church of St Nicolas Monastery in Mesopotam.

While in the bay of Vlora, two churches are of the significance value, the church of Marmiroi and Monastery of Sverneci. While the Islamic religion in Vlora County is represented with two significant examples, the Muradie Mosque in Vlora and the Mosque of St. George Alex in Rusan, Delvine.

Natural Heritage

Vlora region includes some of the largest areas of natural beauty and heritage in Albania, which also includes the Albanian Riviera. Two national parks and reserves are included as the natural attraction of Vlora, offering 48 natural monuments of 3 categories. Tourist adventure is guaranteed if visiting at least the terrace of Kuzum Babas, the Cold Water terrace, Grama’s cave, Haxhi Alia cave in Karaburun, Lepenica spit, Cika mountain peak, Gipsi canyon and pine pile in Llogora. Vlora offers great potentials for blue and green tourism., and also for white tourism In Llogora national park.

The National Marine Park of Sazan Island and the Karaburun Peninsula, is the youngest park in Albania that includes the water areas of Sazani Island and Karaburun peninsula below the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

Narta Lagoon is located in the western part of the city of Vlora. It is rich in wetlands, with aquatic birds, with a typical Mediterranean flora of salty soils. Narta is the second largest lagoon across Albania in terms of water birds.

Biggest cultural events in Vlora

The territory of Vlore County has a rich traditional living culture which has the origin from the ethno-cultural region called Laberia. All these traditions are materialized, except the architecture, in other expressions of living culture as legends and stories, folklore, music, daces, musical instruments, traditional dresses, handicraft, gastronomy, etc.

Many rituals are manifested in the lifestyle of their inhabitants. Such rituals are linked with the cult of agriculture, livestock and cults of ancient times. Their origin is pagan and related to prayers and thanks to deities for good harvests, to escape from natural disasters, diseases, flood and droughts. Later on these pagan rituals are manifested under the Christian or Islamic connotation. The commons and rituals of these traditional festivities hold the cult of sun, moon, fire, animals and plants, too.

Among the ritual festivities that inhabitants of Vlora territory are still practicing can be mentioned:

Short description of the projects (event, exhibition, revitalization of cultural heritage parks, etc.) with youth engagement.

The youth engagement in event calendar in Vlora region is mostly related with sports and sports tourism. There are different companies in Vlora that organize various sports. They offer diving assistance, to explore the waters of the two seas of Vlora. The "Blue Expedition" is engaging young sportsmen or amateurs to help tourists in experiencing the tap water experiences with OUTDOOR ALBANIA, a group across Albania. An important activity is organized, Exploring Albania in Vlora, during spring when the opening of the tourist season is announced.

It is possible the practicing of water sports like surfing, racing with water motors, and long trips to Karaburun Beach, which offers endless opportunities to visit the caves of this peninsula as well as the underwater world.

Completed activites

  • Three days event in Vinica Croatia brought together twinning town administration, NGOs and youth representatives and encouradged exchange of good practices and know how on EU cultural and natural heritage.
  • InSET enabled the inclusion of Albania in this network, through the Municipality of Vlora, and participated in the whole organization of the event, thereby enabling the internationalization of local institutions as well as the development and preservation of heritage all over the Region.
  • Organizationof travel and event participation from the part of Vlora municipality
  • The signment of the agreement among municipalities , Vlora, Vinica, Radenci, CastroCaro Terme and Terra del Sole, in the framework of the project, which led to the collaboration with issues of cultural heritage and youth engagement.
  • Promoting the project and event output in local community, website, social media, other events.

Project future

This project paves the way for Albania's involvement in other joint projects aimed at preserving cultural heritage, increasing youth employment, joint local and regional developments with intent to achieve sustainable development.

Institute for Sustainable Development, Environment and Tourism