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Enhancing the cultural touristic product of the cross-border area of Prespes through the promotion of the natural and cultural heritage

  • Acronym: HOLY WATER
  • Website: Not implemented yet
  • Priority axis: Development and Support of Local Economy
  • Specific Objective: Improve the attractiveness and promote tourism in the cross-border area to enhance employment in tourism
  • Call: 1st Call for Project Proposals
  • Start date: July 4, 2019
  • Lead Partner: Municipality of Prespes
  • Partners: Municipality of Resen, The Society for the Protection of Prespa, The Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina, NI Institute and Museum Bitola
  • Budget 734.821,20 €

HOLYWATER is a project implemented in the area of Prespa Park, the first protected cross-border (CB) area in the Balkans. Prespa Park was founded in 2000 in a Joint Statement by the Prime Ministers of Greece, Albania and Republic of North Macedonia. The overall objective of the project is the organisation of all the cultural, environmental and touristic information concerning the cross-border area of Prespa with the use of new technologies.

One of the main actions of the project refers to the collection and mapping of information and data regarding the touristic points of interest (environmental, cultural, religious) of Prespa area as the basic material for the development of the electronic information materials and particularly 3D photorealistic augmented reality models of St. Achilleus basilica and Rebels’ Hospital.

In addition, Bitola Museum will organize an exhibition about the common cultural heritage and a study for protection and promotion of the byzantine treasures of Prespa with a Data Base for the local cultural heritage, whilethe Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina will proceed to the collection and registration of icons and church items of the byzantine and post-byzantine period.

The development of Infrastructure for the visibility of the cultural touristic product in the CB area’ includes the installation of wireless internet connection spots and the maintenance of the existing network in the Municipality of Prespes. It also includes the creation of a visiting space in Laimos with video projection, as well as equipment procurement for the display of the applications. The construction of a footpath connecting 5 monasteries in the Municipality of Resen, and also the restoration works in St. Elias church in Grncari, are important infrastructure for the promotion of the byzantine heritage of the CB area and for visit increase.

Information management and promotion of the cultural touristic product includes a digital platform and application of augmented reality, an electronic gameand video production for the whole CB area and guided lake visits for visitors and groups with 2 solar boats, the placement of information signs by the Society for the Protection of Prespa highlighting the environmental character of specific monuments and the environmental significance of biodiversity preservation.

Lastly, three cultural events in Athens, Thessaloniki and Laimos and a conference are also organized for promoting the Byzanitine Prespa and the local products that are unique due to the microclimate and the environmental features of the area.