Sunday, 20 June 2021

Project on Traditional Dry-stone Walling in Croatia and Mediterranean

ZAGREB, 20 June, 2021 - The Croatian part of the project "Dry-stone walls: a mark in landscape or forgotten cultural heritage" will be carried out by artists from Croatia, Ireland and Austria from 23 to 29 June.

The project will explore, review and reinterpret the cultural legacy of building dry-stone walls in the form of contemporary land art installations, the Croatian Society of Fine Artists announced in a statement.

Land art installations will be created in several places along the Croatian Adriatic coast - Kožino near Zadar, Paška Vrata on Pag island, Paklenica National Park and Privlaka.

The project involves artists Mark Cullen from Ireland, Luise Kloos from Austria, Ivan Fijolić, Josip Zanki and Anđela Zanki from Croatia, ethnologists and cultural anthropologists Sara Mikelić and Tomislav Oroz, members of the Dragodid association as well as art, ethnology and anthropology students.

The results of the project will be presented in Pag on 29 June, and the land art installation sites will become part of a land art trail aimed at increasing the visibility of contemporary art practices and raising awareness of the need to safeguard Croatia's traditional cultural heritage.

Dry-stone walling techniques, used in Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland, are included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list.

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Croatia – The Art of Dry Stone Walling

December the 1st, 2018 - Dry stone walling can be seen all along the Adriatic coast as well as in the Dalmatian hinterland and beyond. Now inscribed onto UNESCO's list, let's take a deeper look into this piece of the intangible heritage of Croatia.

On November the 28th, 2018, UNESCO inscribed two more pieces of intangible heritage from Croatia made UNESCO's prestigious list. The first one was Medjimurska popevka, a type of traditional singing, and the second was the art of dry stone walling.

This article will look into the art of dry stone walling and the traditions related to it. This piece of heritage is already on the list of the intangible heritage of Croatia, and in 2015 and 2016 an international effort to nominate this heritage for the UNESCO Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was made. The main coordinators for the nomination from Croatia were the Ministry of Culture and the 4 Grada Dragodid association.

Dry walling is the construction of a stone wall by stacking stones upon each other without the use of any connection material like cement, except sometimes dry soil. The stone used is usually not processed. Its product is “suhozid” or dry wall (other names for it depending on the region are gromača, međa, mocira, mocir, masiera, redina, prizida, zid, mrtvi zid, mrtvi mir etc) which can be often found along entire Adriatic coast as well as in the Dalmatian inland area.

Another characteristic product of this way of this type of building are smaller objects made completely of dry stone, which were used for different purposes. The stability of the dry stone structures is ensured by selecting and properly placing the stones. These dry stone structures are an example of a type of construction which lives in harmony with nature and this inscription aims to preserve the know-how of building it. The practice is usually passed down with practical application adapted to the specific conditions of different areas in which it is typically made.

Dry stone walls are spread along the Adriatic coast, as well as inland, and the walls created via this technique resist the test of time. Their self-preservation is good example on how we can learn more and cherish such a sustainable way of building. There are different types of construction – from dry stone walls around houses, gardens, vineyards to shelter buildings or even actual houses and their elements. These buildings can act as the inspiration for a new period of dry stone construction, and the people still building in this manner could be a valuable source of information.

One incredible example of preserved dry stone walls is Croatia's very own ''fingerprint island'' – Baljenac, with 23,35 km of dry stone walls on the island. The organisation 4 Grada Dragodid, whose website is filled with information about this piece of heritage was founded in 2007, but its very first beginnings are from 2002. Back then, the first international dry stone workshop in the village of Dragodid, close to Komiža on Vis, was held.

The main activities of the Dragodid association include organising and managing dry stone workshops, and researching dry stone heritage with local partners and those who still use this method of construction in the modern day. Another international organisation was founded recently and its goal is to form a cultural route of European dry stone heritage as part of the wider cultural routes programme.

There is even a website, which is the open public inventory of the Croatian dry stone heritage where anyone can add a contribution in order to broaden public knowledge on dry stone wall construction and its distribution along the Adriatic coast and in the hinterland.

A contribution can be added by sending in a photo and all the available information on the dry stone building, structure or ambient, accompanied by the accurate location information. They even have a mobile app which makes the whole process even easier. With activities like this and the welcome recent UNESCO recognition, dry stone walling heritage will definitely remain an essential part of local traditions and the intangible heritage of Croatia.

SOURCE(S) (text and photos): UNESCO, Ministry of Culture, Dragodid, Suhozid.hrTotal Croatia News, Jagul Wine Cellar

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Traditional Dry Stone Wall Construction Technique Declared Cultural Heritage

Croatia protects traditional dry stone wall construction technique as cultural heritage.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Dry Stone Wall Building Workshop Held in Zagreb

An NGO wants to include dry stone wall building as part of the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage.