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The old city of Kastoria among the seven most endangered monuments in Europe

27 May 2014 / 18:05:11  GRReporter
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The old city of Kastoria this year will be included in "The 7 Most Endangered" monuments in Europe as announced in Vienna by Europa Nostra, the organization for safeguarding the cultural heritage of Europe, and the European Investment Bank Institute.

The selected monuments are restored and supported in various ways by the European Union, including from an advertising point of view, in order for them to be safeguarded and begin to function as sights. "The 7 Most Endangered" in Europe is not a funding programme. Its purpose is to serve as a catalyst for action and to promote the "power of example".

Under the programme, teams of specialists in various fields will visit the selected sites, one of which is the oldest part of Kastoria city that is located in northwestern Greece. Along with national and local institutions, they will determine how the monuments can be saved and promoted.

In addition to the Dolcho and Apozari neighbourhoods in Kastoria, the other most endangered monuments in Europe for 2014 are as follows: the Historic Stage Machinery of the Bourla Theatre in the Belgian city of Antwerp, the Citadel of Alessandria in Italy, the Carillions of the Mafra National Palace in Portugal, the Wooden Churches of Southern Transylvania and Northern Oltenia in Romania, the Colour Row Settlement in Chernyakhovsk in Russia and the Synagogue of Subotica in Serbia.

"The inclusion of the monuments in the list of "The 7 Most Endangered" monuments opens a window of opportunities. We will do everything possible to save them because these monuments tell our common history that should not be lost for future generations. Caring for our common heritage is a very good investment for Europe's economic development," CEO of Europa Nostra Denis de Kergorlay and Director of the European Investment Bank Institute Guy Clausse stated at a joint press conference.

Located around a lake the city of Kastoria is one of the most beautiful cities in Southeast Europe. There are many medieval churches there that date back to the period between the 9th and the 15th century as well as large and rich houses dating back to the 18th and 19th century, which were built for the prosperous fur traders at that time. Today the Dolcho and Apozari neighbourhoods are Kastoria’s historical centre that has survived to this day. 370 houses are declared protected, 351 of them being private and 19 public property.

After World War II, the city suffered serious damage as a result of the increase in population and the immense construction of modern buildings. The economic crisis and the subsequent high unemployment have further worsened the situation. The local authorities, non-profit organizations and private partners have joined forces to restore the historic buildings but a significant increase in support at the national and European level is required as well. It is believed that the restoration of the two neighbourhoods will be a particularly important tool for overcoming the crisis at the local level.

Tags: HistoryThe 7 Most Endangered monuments in EuropeKastoriaEuropa NostraEuropean Investment BankCompanies
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