A year that is slowly coming to an end is a year that we will remember for a long time. She was full of strong emotions like fear and uncertainty, and at the same time she taught us humility and gratitude. Health and togetherness are some of the components of life that we have begun to appreciate immensely, and one of the things, those intangible things that many of us certainly miss the most, is travel. Although the whole world seems to have stopped, this is not really the case, and many projects in the tourism and cultural sectors are an example of how diligent and dedicated work is still being done to develop and enrich the tourist offer.
Just one such project with an interesting name "Heritage of Jaska and Črnomelj" can also be "cool". For all. ”Is implemented by the City of Jastrebarsko, which realized it in cooperation with the Municipality of Črnomelj and partners the Tourist Board of Jastrebarsko, Faculty of Electrical Engineering - University of Ljubljana, Development Information Center Bela Krajina, Libertas International University and associated partners.
Acronym project "culture" he found his strength and inspiration in the fact that along the Slovenian-Croatian border there are more than 50 smaller historic towns characterized by rich cultural heritage that makes a large but underused potential to revive squares and streets and attract guests, both local and foreign.
Precisely such cities are Črnomelj and Jastrebarsko, which have decided to promote the existing cultural heritage, in line with tourist trends in order to achieve greater attendance and popularize the unfairly neglected cross-border area. With the successful implementation of the selected solutions, the goal is for small historic towns of rich cultural heritage along the border to get the opportunity to present themselves and instead of a transit point become an unavoidable destination worth visiting.
The Culture Project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the Interreg VA Slovenia - Croatia Cooperation Program 2014-2020. The total value of the project is EUR 1.316.243,02, of which co-financing from ERDF funds amounts to EUR 1.118.806,54 (85%), while the project partners' own invested funds amount to EUR 197.436,48 (15%). The project implementation period lasts from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2020, ie a total of 30 months.
The main goals of this innovative project are:
- preservation of the cultural heritage of two small towns
- interpretation and presentation of the heritage of small towns
- development of cross-border tourism product culture
- increasing the recognizability and number of visits to cultural attractions
- increasing the share of persons with physical disabilities in the total number of tourists and visitors
Cross-border tourism product - culture
As part of the project, a new cross-border tourist product called culture was developed and tested in Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj. The culture product is a tour of the undiscovered cultural heritage of cities, and is supported by a cross-border digital credit card and tailored to visitors, including people with disabilities.
Circular cultural tourist tours in Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj have included local providers, craftsmen, artists and traditional crafts. Professional guidance is available accompanied by a tourist guide, and the tour itself is accompanied by a mobile application KulTura and a tourist map in Croatian, Slovenian and English. Additionally, visitor recording points are available at the Jastrebarsko City Museum and the Črnomelj Gallery.
The tourist tour for the area of the town of Jastrebarsko includes 13 cultural attractions: the chapel of St. Duha, Jastrebarsko City Museum and Gallery, Josip Juraj Strossmayer Square - family statue, Starčević family house monument, Vladko Maček monument, Napoleon's hospital or Šubar's house, Erdödy castle park – Žitnica – Ljube Kraljević Bridge, Golub family cooperage collection, Franciscan monastery The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Memorial to the "Innocent Suffering of Croatian Victims of All Wars", historical graves in the city cemetery, the Church of St. Nicholas the Bishop and the Bival Pharmacy.
In Črnomelj, 15 sites are included in the culture project: the Museum Collection of Črnomelj, the Parish and Pastoral Center, the Church of St. Of the Holy Spirit and late antique walls, Primožič's house, Koren's house, Sinković's house, the parish church of St. Petra, Stara škola, Command (Komenda), Monument of the National Liberation War on Gričko, Sokolski dom (today Kulturni dom), Monument to fallen soldiers in the First World War, Črnomelj Castle, Credit Office and Stonič Castle.
It is worth mentioning a very important investment aspect of the project which ensured the arrangement of the Tourist Information Center as an information center for visitors and the construction of a pavilion in the park of Erdödy Castle intended for social facilities in Jastrebarsko, while in Črnomelj Treasury of Črnomelj.
Greater preservation, recognizability, tourist tour, experience and experience of forgotten history of small cross-border historical towns along the Slovenian-Croatian border, development model of tourist product kulTura and mobile application kulTura, cross-border digital credit card kulTura, increase in visitors in Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj… are just some of the results achieved during the project.
Upon completion of the project, the number of visits to cultural heritage attractions in Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj is expected to increase by at least 3,5 times compared to the starting points of the number of visits in 2016. Specifically, it is about 9.000 new visitors who will be motivated to come to Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj through this project. Tours can be passed with the help of a tourist map in Croatian, Slovenian and English, and are also available through the mobile application kulTura, which guides visitors with GPS navigation. In addition to independent walking and walking with the help of a special mobile application kulTura, which was developed as part of the project, it is also possible to walk with specially trained tourist guides.
In each of these variants the emphasis is on cool points that offer a mix of cultural heritage and history experiences, local culinary experience, art, urban leisure space and contact with residents. A special feature of the tour is that the sightseeing scenarios with plans for the interpretation of individual points of view are adapted to people with physical disabilities, making Jaska and Črnomelj pioneers among smaller places along the Croatian-Slovenian border that provide a tourist experience for people with physical disabilities.
Persons in wheelchairs have been provided with access to facilities, mobile ramps have been procured to overcome the height difference between the stairs and access for people with limited mobility and persons in wheelchairs has been facilitated. Also, tour guides are trained to professionally guide people with physical disabilities. In Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj, the quality of the cultural and tourist offer was additionally raised, and the culture project itself raised the quality of the entire border area of Croatia and Slovenia. In Jastrebarsko, mobile ramps have been set up at a total of nine locations, of which three are at the locations of cultural heritage facilities, five at the locations of catering facilities located on the cultural route of culture and one at the Jaska Info Center. The municipality of Črnomelj has set up a total of ten mobile ramps, eight of which are at the locations of cultural heritage sites.
In addition to raising awareness of the recognition of cultural heritage, its preservation and activation for tourism purposes, one of the goals of the project was to involve local museums, cultural associations, citizens, local providers and craftsmen by collecting stories, photographs and other historical materials and content to increase understanding of intangible heritage. In addition, cultural heritage in smaller areas such as Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj is one of the potentials to attract visitors in order to further develop the local tourist offer of small providers in the field of gastronomy, crafts, accommodation and other services.
Importance of communication activities within the project
All these activities were accompanied by strong communication support that included public events, and a website was created. www.kul-tura.hr.
Information materials and brochures in several languages were prepared, and a promotional campaign was conducted. In addition, a visit to the locations by relevant travel and gastro bloggers and increasingly popular ones today is provided influencer who discovered first-hand and were convinced of the beauties of Jastrebarsko. A key promotional tool proved to be the mobile application kulTura, which actively involves visitors in experiencing cities and guides them in an instructive and interactive way along the route of kulTura using GPS, virtual reality technology and interactive maps, learns about history through educational games for children and rewards points which visitors collect when touring attractions and then exchange for various benefits at local providers.
In addition to Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj, the mobile application and digital credit card enable technologically and content-wise direct involvement in the project of other cities along the Slovenian-Croatian border. Along with the digital experience, care is also taken of personal contacts between visitors and hosts, so guides are trained for this purpose as interpreters of heritage.
The culture project imposed itself as cool a tour tailored to the needs of visitors, which in an unprecedented way represents their cultural heritage and local offer, and at the same time allows a live and virtual encounter with historical figures in the streets, squares and parks of Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj.
This is a project that can certainly serve as an example of good practice because Jastrebarsko and Črnomelj are the first of fifty smaller towns along the Slovenian-Croatian border that through the revitalization of historic centers and tourism-development turn decided to build their recognition and develop a common cross-border tourism product. is adapted for people with physical disabilities.