Project name: “SMART-CUL-TOUR”.
Lead applicant: Municipality of Bitola (MK)
Co-applicants: Municipality of Pustec (AL); National Institution for Protection of Cultural Monuments and Museum Bitola (MK); Regional Culture Directorate Korca (AL); Youth Cultural Center Bitola (MK).
Location: Pelagonija and Korce cross-border region
Smart-Cul-Tour partnership is an accelerator which encourages tourism, promotes and protects cultural and natural heritage, fosters cooperation between members of communities in the cross-border region, initiates exchange of knowledge and experience, with the aim of ensuring a balanced and sustainable socio-economic development in the cross-border region of Pelagonija and Korca. The project affects the protection and promotion of cultural heritage in the region and initiates cooperation between various entities, especially in the field of culture and tourism. Furthermore, it contributes to raising public awareness of the values of cultural and natural heritage, improves and increases their capacity, as well as accessibility for different target groups, especially people with disabilities. Cultural heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, values, places, objects and artistic expressions. Culture and cultural heritage reflect and shape beliefs, values and aspirations, thus defining people’s identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, because it maintains our integrity as a nation (s).
The infrastructural elements of the Smart-Cul-Tour:
- Reconstruction of the existing old school building and establishment of a museum in honour of the writer Sterjo Spasse in the village Globocani, Municipality of Pustec.
Sterjo Spasse is one of the most important Albanian writers, of Macedonian origin, in modern Albanian literature at the end of the 20th century and author of several novels and short stories. Sterjo fought for the use of a standardized variety of literary language in school curriculum, in newspapers and on the radio, he fought for a unified primer, he was a missionary of progress, especially in the countryside. In his honour, the old school building in the village Globocani, his native town, has grown into a representative space. In addition to the museum exhibition of Sterjo Spasse’s personal belongings, it is also a multiple purpose hall used for conferences, trainings; a venue for cultural and other events. Moreover, visitors are offered an opportunity to have special experience through virtual reality with equipment offered by the museum itself and augmented reality at 2 points in the museum that can be experienced using their own smart device (phone, tablet …).
- Reconstruction/improvement of the infrastructure in the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis, in Bitola.
In addition, construction works have been carried out in the archaeological site itself in order to increase its accessibility and improve its offer. The implementation of these developments was supervised by the NI “Institute and Museum” – Bitola. Visitor-monitoring units have been set up at the entrance of the site, which enables the museum to maintain accurate records of the visitors of Heraclea. The path which leads from the site entrance to the ancient theater has been paved with stone. A lift and an incline ramp have been installed next to the path to facilitate the access of disabled people to the theater, which was impossible until now. The path is illuminated with photovoltaic lamps along its entire length. The lookout-terrace opposite the theatre has been reconstructed and now it offers an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the entire site. Visitors have the opportunity to relax and refresh. This space is equipped with benches, tables and chairs. From the terrace, you can enter the museum exhibition, which has been equipped with new cabinets and pedestal display cases and the exhibits have been reorganized. In order to utilise the theatre space better and take advantage of its versatile use, appropriate practical solutions have been applied to construct a stage of maximum area of 100m2. In particular, the damaged concrete base has been covered, which now enables the organization of events in which numerous folklore groups participate. The offer also includes inventive digital solutions, i.e. visitors have the opportunity to access a multilingual guide by using the application on their smartphones. Another novelty at the archaeological site is the possibility for visitors to have a unique experience at the ancient theatre through virtual reality with the equipment offered by the site and the augmented reality from 3 points at the site by using their own smart device (phone, tablet …).
- Reconstruction of the access street, the so-called “Roman road”, including the pedestrian path to the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis in Bitola.
The dilapidated and damaged asphalt pavement has been removed and replaced with granite stones. On the right side, a pedestrian path of finer granite stones has also been built along the carriageway to access the site. It is illuminated with photovoltaic lamps along its entire length, to the entrance of the site of Heraclea Lyncestis. In this way, the so-called Roman Road, which is essentially a section of the former Via Egnatia, looks authentic and provides convenient access to the Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site.
- Establishment of a permanent exhibition at the Museum “Sterjo Spasse” in the village Globocani, Municipality of Pustec;
- Renovated museum exhibition space and souvenir shop at the Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site
- Development of a multilingual audio guide for the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis
- Development and commissioning of appropriate equipment for virtual and augmented reality for the archaeological site Heraclea Lyncestis and the museum of Sterjo Spasse in Globocani;
- Development, promotion and sale of integrated package tours of cross-border character;