Preservation of Prizren Fortress

Oct 20 - 2014

Project Purpose and Summary

The aim of the project is to create a new place for cultural and natural enjoyment. Through conservation, adaptive reuse and interpretation, Prizren Fortress will represent a new integrated concept of heritage values and sustainable utilisation for social, economic and cultural benefits.

This project will contribute to the development of cultural tourism as a strategic objective of Prizren Municipality. It is worth noting that project objectives highlights that Cultural Heritage is a valued & utilized social, economic, cultural & environmental resource at local levels by civil society & local government institutions. Prizren Fortress will create opportunities to generate incomes to support the local economy; it is a new space for cultural activities and will be entry point to the extraordinary natural landscape of Prizren and the whole region.

A joint team of country’s cultural heritage institutions and experts of Swedish foundation of Cultural Heritage without Borders will be working together to ensure that Prizren Fortress is well preserved and is adopted to be utilised by public, local citizens and tourists, children and adults, men and women as well as people with special needs. Through a creative interpretation component – to be developed throughout this project, visitors will have the opportunities to ‘walk’ through history of Fortress and Prizren. Interpretation is new concept that needs to be introduced to cultural heritage environment and stakeholders in Kosovo.

Because Prizren Fortress is held in high regard by the local community, developments made through this project will have the potential to encourage greater proactive involvement in future management of the site. To achieve this, a commitment and coordination of all stakeholders is needed. The project team together with responsible institutions, through a participatory approach will draft a comprehensive Management Plan. The Plan will formulate the vision and mission of the site, define strategies, propose the actions and allocate resources needed to keep the site preserved and open to the public. The Plan will serve as guidelines for the Management structure that will be established by related authorities.

Proposed project, in partnership with Archaeological Institute of Kosovo, intends to achieve it’s aims through the following components:

1. Conservation and Adaptive Reuse

The primary objectives for the conservation and reuse of the Prizren Fortress are:

  • To contribute to the on-going preservation and protection of the cultural heritage assets, while improving facilities for future visitors and users.
  • To ensure that the site’s heritage values are retained for future generations, and that awareness of this historic place will grow.
  • To Increase visibility of the site from the city, making it easier to understand the conformation of the walls and remains. The fresh external appearance to be eye-catching and to evoke community pride.
  • to secure the heritage fabric of the site and visibility from the city center and to enable visitors to understand the size of the site and the connection it has with the city and the landscape.
  • To provide access to the site for local, educational and tourist groups, which will lead to a greater awareness of the enormously values this heritage site has.
  • To increase tourism interest. While providing employment in the short term, these works will ensure the on-going viability of Prizren Fortress.
  • To be able to withstand extreme weather and crowds, which prior to this work would have threatened the long-term sustainability of the site.

2. Interpretation

The overall objective is to create a better understanding of the rehabilitated Fortress, where individual security on an intimate level is reached through experiencing a better future for Prizren, with its unharmed and intact cultural heritage assets. The specific objective is to develop an innovative multidimensional digital model that will be used for teaching, recording and learning about conservation/restoration techniques. This model would be used for interpretation of the cultural heritage assets of Prizren, specifically the Fortress, using technological development as a bridge between the asset and the visitor/citizen to/of Prizren, and between the past and the future.

3. Management Plan

The primary objectives for cultural heritage management in Fortress are to:

  • Acknowledge the link between Fortress and the city of Prizren
  • Manage the historic significance, landscapes, cultural practices and stories.
  • Work actively with community groups to facilitate the conservation of and access to their heritage, including the provision of access to fortress to continue cultural practices
  • Facilitate conservation outcomes through the sustainable use of site, landscapes and built structure, thus enabling a vibrant and living approach to heritage conservation and management

Project duration is 36 months, with the total budget of $699,914.00