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EU Heritage Grand Prix presented to Conservation study of village Gostuša in Serbia

  • 3 years 3 months ago
  • programme events

The village Gostuša in Pirot district in Serbia, remarkable for its distinctive and endangered rural architecture, was celebrated this week. The village was the focus of an award-winning conservation study.


The conservation study of the village Gostuša was declared one of 7 Grand Prix winners of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2016 and received €10,000 at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony held on 24 May 2016 at the Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid.

The award is considered Europe’s highest honour in the field of cultural heritage.

The celebrations ran from 28 - 31 August and included:

  • guided tours of the village of Gostuša and of the city of Pirot
  • workshops and lectures on key topics related to the study
  • a presentation of the key findings of the European policy report Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe
  • the photo exhibition ‘Gostuša Village’
  • an award ceremony

The award ceremony took place at the Cultural Centre of Pirot on 31 August in the presence of high-level representatives from Europa Nostra and the EU Delegation to Serbia, the Mayor of Pirot, the winners and many heritage and cultural professionals, volunteers and supporters.

The Conservation Study of the Village Gostuša

The village of Gostuša, or the Stone Village as it is also known, is located 700m above sea level and is part of the Stara planina Nature Park in eastern Serbia. All the houses are built from stone, mud and other natural materials found in the Stara planina mountains, making the village a unique site of rural architecture.

The researchers carried out a survey of each building and documented the design and construction techniques in detail. Students were strongly engaged and the local community was also involved. The completion of the study and recent building renovations made locals more enthusiastic about heritage and improved their everyday lives. The new focus on heritage has reinforced the cultural identity of the area and provided new potential for social and economic benefits.