Families that use old farmhouses for guests are far more successful in rural tourism than those who welcome them in more modern facilities. Thus, the project “Cultural Landscape”, which is being implemented in the cross-border areas of Montenegro and Albania, could significantly contribute to the preservation of the traditional architecture of the rural parts in the north.
The aim is, according to the Regional Development Agency “Bjelasica, Komovi, Prokletije” (RDA), to raise awareness of traditional folk architecture, but also to improve the appearance of individual buildings, as well as entire villages in that part of the country, through a series of concrete activities.
RDA is a partner of the project and is being implemented with colleagues from the Regional Council “Shkodra” and the Polymers Museum Berane.
"Since during many years of work in the field, we have seen people either demolish old houses and make new ones or let old ones collapse on their own. It is also our experience that the families who have put the old houses in the function of tourism are far more successful than those who welcome guests in more modern facilities in the countryside. We wanted to draw attention to the importance and diversity of old architecture,” says RDA Director Jelena Krivcevic.
Preserve the old look of real estate: Kolasin village (Photo: RDA)
That's why last summer they hired architects from “Expedition”, who identified traditional buildings in northern Montenegro. That work showed, she says, a variety of styles depending on whether it was a village or katun, but also the peculiarities that certain ethnic groups brought to the construction.
"We also estimated that this colorful character was also of great importance. An expert study has been done, as well as recommendations for those who want to build new facilities in the countryside. These recommendations will better fit them into the setting. There are also recommendations for those who want to renovate old buildings,” says the RDA director.
Krivcevic reminds that in some areas, for which a regime of protection has been announced, there is an urban boom, that is, the construction of cottages, which are often not adaptable to the environment.
The RDA is also implementing the project “Cultural Landscaping of the Village”. Two villages have shown results in rural tourism or have plans in the area.
"Kurikuce is a village at the entrance to the NP 'Biogradska Gora' and the other is Kaludra, on the way to Mokra planina. They will make changes that do not cost a lot, and significantly contribute to the overall impression - planting flowers, arranging bridges, installing containers and fences. The project also envisages the restoration of three mills, which are also one example of our authentic folk architecture. That will be finished by November," Krivcevic said.
Jelena Krivcevic (Photo: RDA)
The RDA claims that it is encouraging that the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has recognized rural architecture as something significant for tourism development. The rural tourism development program, as one of the measures, says Krivcevic, plans to support the preservation of traditional farmhouses and associated facilities. The RDA, she announces, will work in four municipalities over the next period and show suggestions for the layout of houses to be built in the north.
Handmade artefacts were brought out of the chests
In a dozen households in the north, interiors of old and new facilities for rural tourism were also renovated. It was an opportunity, the RDA explained, to extract a lot of original handicrafts from the chest of women from the north. The members of the association “Kreativa” from Berane helped them in arranging the interior, so the interior of the rooms intended for tourists' stay was significantly refined with a little money.
Text by Dragana Scepanovic, on September 1st, 2019, read more at Vijesti