Heraclea Linkestis is getting revamped in accordance to world standards through the project SMART-CUL-TOUR


Adaptation and advancement of the archeological locality Heraclea Linkestis is one of the bigger activities in the borders of the project SMART CUL-TOUR, through which the situation will be met with progress. The progress means better visitation conditions, hence enriching the tourist offer.

In duration of two years, 704,590 euros will be spent, 85% of which are co-financed by the EU, and the rest 15% will be on the Ministry of Local Self-Government.

EU is supporting the cross-border cooperation among the two countries in projects valued at 12 million euros in the period of 2014 to 2017 which mainly will be focused on the areas of ecology, cultural heritage, tourism, risk-management and mitigation, climate change, as well as competitiveness, and building of small and medium businesses.

“The project is financed through the CBC program of North Macedonia and Albania, and part of this project is aimed at the reconstruction of Heraclea, the archeological locality, as well as and the establishment of new exhibition space for promotion of cultural heritage in Pustec municipality in Albania in which EU is participating with around 600,000 euros from the total sum of the project which is around 700,000 euros. CBC is very important element of the EU, it is very important priority of the EU, be it within the EU as well as member states with their neighbors as well as the future member states of the EU. The EU currently supports 14 projects financed in 4.5 million euros, that are ongoing and in September there will be additional five million euros made available for CBC between these two countries.” Stated the Euro-Ambassador, chief of the European Union in the country, Samuel Žbogar. Minister Milevski for the project pointed out that it is of exceptional importance because it encourages and promotes tourism and the culture, as well as better development of the economy especially in Bitola.

“With this successful project it is the emphasis of how important is the application of the IPA funds, hence it is not important to only have the cultural heritage, but to maintain it with an appropriate infrastructure for access. I am especially contended that for the first time Heraclea will be accessible for the specially-abled persons. In time of pandemic it was pointed out how important it is for our local capacities to be in functionality and be accessible to all the citizens. We, as a Ministry have a goal to support and promote home tourism, both rural and urban. We need to promote these values locally and internationally.” Stated the Minister for Local Self-Government, Goran Milevski.

The Mayor of Bitola pointed out that the partners in the project the whole period showed that there really is openness and cooperation among them, which is exceptionally important for projects the size of this one.

“What we as a Municipality worked on with this project in part with the implementation are directly in jurisdiction of the municipality Bitola, are the part of the access to Heraclea, more precisely the road Suva Voda which needs to secure an easier and comfortable, access in accordance to standards. In addition, a parking arrangement from both left and right side with which the visitors will have the opportunity and the conditions to come to this locality. Let this project be just one more beginning of what follows in the future because just when I arrived here and we conversed with our partner from Albania, I already suggested one new idea that this project is a beginning to new cultural events from both sides which we can realize. Here at this locality, of course and from the other side, because there is no better way than culture and cultural living of nations to connect everyone and inspire community among them.” Added that Mayor of Municipality Bitola, Natasha Petrovska.

“The rich archeological material from the so far research as a represent of the antic period from this area in biggest quantity is presented in the archeological setting in the Bitola museum, as well as the archeological setting in the locality Heraclea. In area of approximately 50 meters squared exhibited are materials and objects of 1st century BC to 6th century AD. Exhibited are objects made of ceramics, metal, and glass. Most common are coins, jewelry, everyday use objects and bronze plastic. The central place in this museum setting is of the Roman theater model which in 3D offers the picture of the complete research of the theater to its complete conservation and revitalization.” Adds on the Director of NI Office Museum Bitola D-r Meri Stojanova.

Along with the infrastructural arrangements which are concerning with paving of the road from the entrance to the locality to the Theater, making of corresponding practicable for placement of a new scene on it, furthermore, arrangements for the lookout, setting of electrical and solar lights among the whole trail, as well as other activities. There will be an elevator for specially-abled persons, for the first time in this category of visitors there will be access to the Theater, where many cultural events occur, as well as the Lookout, from where they will be able to see the whole locality. For enriching the complete tourist offer, there will be a modernization of the museum and arranging of a new museum setting in which many of the objects will be exhibited which have been discovered in the archeological search in Heraclea, and the visitors have not had a chance to see them ever. The units responsible for control of the entrance, will be set in the borders of the locality, and will enable faters and safer movement of the visitors towards the entrance, as well as better administration of the type and category of visitors, data which is exceptionally important for the creation of the politics regarding the work of the locality.

Towards the advancement of the service there will be a substantial contribution in the making of an appropriate audio guide which the visitors will be able to download from the internet, through using the free wi-fi service in the locality. This audio guide will be made into four languages, and the same will ensure a bigger independence of the visitors and inform them better, in dependency of their affinities.

This project activity will be ennobled with a modernized souvenir shop, in which bigger and wider assortment of museum souvenirs will be offered.

For those visitors who want to see and live something new and unique, especially for younger visitors who in a way are unbreakably connected with the new technological achievements, in cooperation with Municipality Bitola, in several points of the locality there will be corresponding equipment for augmented reality, as well as for virtual reality that will offer a stronger and more realistic experience in the locality in a certain time period.

For the bettering of the general impression of the locality, Municipality Bitola, in the borders of their project activities, predicted a reconstruction of the so-called Roman Road, which leads to the locality and will be appropriately renovated with street lights on solar panels.

The complete activities regarding the promotional segments will be realized by the Youth cultural center – Bitola.

The perennial partnership between all the participants in this project will become stronger with the meet-ups and workshops from the professionals from National Institution “Office and Museum- Bitola” and The Directorate for protection of the cultural heritage from Korca, who will exchange their experiences from the field of protection of cultural heritage. Municipality Pustec in the borders of their project activities will renovate the old building of the school in v. Globolcani, in which one of the most famous Macedonian and Albanian scholars got his education in the second half of XX century, Strejo Spase.

The Directorate for protection of the cultural heritage from Korca, will provide the whole design and provide the equipment for the museum setting which will be relocated in the school, thus giving it a more meaningful function.

This project is part of the IPA II of the CBC program of Republic North Macedonia and Republic Albania 2014-2020, whose goal is to promote tourism, to protect and promote cultural and natural heritage of the targeted areas, thus creating a balanced and sustainable socio-economical development in the cross-border region of Pelagonija and Korca.

SMART-CUL-TOUR is implemented from five partners from both countries, among which, Municipality Bitola as a carrier for the project and the partner institutions: Municipality Pustec, NI Office Museum Bitola, Regional Directorate for Culture Korca, and YCC – Bitola.


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