Meet Projects that will Change the Face of Makarska Tourism

By 5 February 2019

February 5, 2019 - Makarska has recognized the value of cultural heritage as an outstanding potential for the development of selective types of tourism.

Last year was proclaimed the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Throughout the year,  activities, projects, and initiatives at the European, national, regional and local level were organized across Europe aiming to inform, educate, and promote the public's interest in cultural heritage and encourage the active inclusion of citizens in as many events as possible. And when it comes to cultural heritage, Dalmatia is abundant. 

Lidija Vukadin Vranješ of the Makarska Development Agency MARA spoke to Dalmacija Danas on February 4, 2019, about how Makarska successfully participated in the European Year of Cultural Heritage. 

The cultural heritage of the city of Makarska is perceived as a potential that opens up the possibility of contributing to sustainable development. That is why we have launched numerous initiatives, as well as specific projects in the European Year of Cultural Heritage, in cooperation with key stakeholders in the City of Makarska, the City of Makarska Tourist Board, the City Museum of Makarska, the City Gallery of Antun Gojak, the City Museum, the Franciscan Monastery of B.D.M. and others. 

Vukadin Vranješ emphasizes that the motto "Heritage and Technology" is used to introduce the cultural heritage of Makarska, or so far launch projects of cultural heritage that work in a modern and innovative way.

“I am particularly proud of the ‘Heritage and Technology’ project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It is about the revitalization of the cultural and historical heritage of the hamlet of Kotišina. The project encompasses both content and theme-related investments that affect the development of the hamlet of Kotišina, which contribute to its socio-economic development through the valorization of cultural heritage, making it a tourist destination. The project encompasses the reconstruction of the 17th-century Veliki Kaštei, housed in the Botanical Garden of Kotišina, which is set between cliffs. There is also the cemetery Church of Sv. Martina from the second half of the 14th century, which is extremely valuable for the architecture of Makarska because it represents the only construction with partially preserved, intact medieval parts and the church of Sv. Ante, whose construction lasted from 1891 to 1901, in front of which a stage will be set nature. The Church of Sv. Martina and Veliki Kašteli were previously archaeologically explored by the Makarska City Museum as one of the critical, starting activities.

In addition to the renovation of valuable heritage, the project includes establishing a bicycle path, a signaling system, organizing two new tourism tours in the hamlet of Kotišina and the most attractive activity - developing a modern interpretation center for Veliki Kaštel.”

One of the four goals of the European Year of Cultural Heritage refers to "Innovation: Heritage Science: User Research, Innovation, Science and Technology to Better Preserve and Present Heritage", which is best demonstrated through establishing the Veliki Kaštel interpretation center. 

"Upon first seeing Veliki Kaštel, the symbiosis of its architecture and the environment reveals all the forgotten stories of contemporary themes that this locality can narrate.  It will be presented creatively and innovatively, highlighting the archeology, botany, ethnology, non-material heritage, life culture and work of Koština. Through the use of modern multimedia solutions, visitors will be introduced to the cultural and natural heritage of Kotišina, observing the interaction between culture and nature, especially through the concept of ethnobotany,” says Vukadin Vranješ.

Under the same motto ‘Heritage and Technology’, a visitor center will be implemented at the Tonoli Palace, erected in the 18th century and part of the Registry of Immovable Cultural Monuments. 

“The interpretative center will present the available natural and cultural attractions to the public. The initiator of this project is the Makarska Tourist Board, led by the City of Makarska, and supported by the Ministry of Culture. This Center will provide the most up-to-date solutions for informing tourists about an exclusive location in the historic Tonoli Palace and will be a starting point for every Makarska visitor. Apart from its informational and presentation purpose, the Center will, through multimedia effects, interpret the phenomenon of the force of the Makarska bura. 

Apart from the implementation of the Center, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the entire technical documentation for the Tonoli Palace project - from architectural footage to conservation guidelines - was made, which is very important for its further development,” says Vukadin Vranješ. 

By adopting the 2015-2020 Cultural Tourism Development Plan, Makarska seriously started preparing and implementing cultural-tourist projects. Thus, the thematic track "Tragom Antun Gojak" has been developed - a route devoted to Makarska's oldest and most famous painter. For the realization of the Malacological Museum project, 590,000 kuna was provided in grants, and 600,000 kuna was provided for the adaptation of the City Library. Otherwise, over 14.6 million kuna total was allocated for cultural heritage projects. The director of the Tourist Board of the City of Makarska, Hloverka Novak Srzić, is satisfied. 

“Our Tourist Board recognized the value of cultural heritage as an outstanding tourism potential for the development of particular types of tourism. By implementing cutting-edge multimedia technologies in our heritage, we are giving new life to future generations, as our guests will be informed about this cultural heritage innovatively and creatively. We have invested a great deal of effort in creating interpretative content, combining information from archeology, ethnology, and tradition. The City of Makarska Tourist Board is just preparing the cultural and tourist routes of the city of Makarska, and this will be new for our guests this year,” the director revealed. 

No doubt, the realization of these significant projects in Makarska would provide preconditions for the development of particular types of tourism based on cultural heritage, i.e., cultural tourism based on the principles of responsible tourism, and the cultural riches in this town on the southern slopes of Biokovo are not lacking.

Excerpts translated from Dalmacija Danas

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