mali-zalaziIn march 2012, the Headley Trust approved a grant to Expeditio for the implementation of the project “Valorization of the vernacular heritage in Montenegro – a pilot area of Zalazi, situated in the buffer zone of the World Heritage Site of Kotor”. The project aims at improving the protection and valorization of the vernacular heritage in Montenegro. The duration of the project is one year.

Although the vernacular heritage of Montenegro is the best reflection of the exceptional value of landscape of Montenegro and although it is very important and diverse, unfortunately, it has not been adequately treated so far. The official register of protected cultural properties lists only one village and several individual buildings that have a memorial character. This heritage is currently at high risk, on one hand, because many villages that have been abandoned are in the state of deterioration, and, on the other hand, because of the extremely rapid and uncontrolled urbanization that is destroying great parts of the valuable vernacular heritage and landscapes. The value and potential of the vernacular heritage and authentic cultural landscape in Montenegro has not been recognized yet, partly because of the lack of awareness of citizens and decision-makers and, unfortunately, architectural professionals and planners.

A pilot zone of the project is the area of Zalazi. Zalazi is a chain of four villages situated in the mountains surrounding the Bay of Boka Kotorska. The area is located in the buffer zone of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Cultural-Historical and Natural Region of Kotor, and near the National Park Lovćen, one of the four national parks in Montenegro. Currently, the villages are abandoned and have not been protected at the national level although they posses values and potentials for the valorization. The potential of this area has already been recognized, especially in connection with the new forms of tourism, such as hiking and free climbing, rural and eco tourism.

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Project aim:

Improving the protection and valorization of the vernacular heritage in Montenegro

Project objectives:

  • Developing a model-methodology for further study, identification and valorization of the vernacular heritage in Montenegro
  • Demonstrating an adequate approach through the concrete pilot project: research, mapping, surveying and documentation, analysis, guidelines, presentation and promotion and possible restoration activities
  • Analyzing possibilities for the application of sustainable architecture principles when dealing with vernacular architecture
  • Networking and engaging all relevant stakeholders in the project
  • Educating young experts, students of architecture about vernacular architecture
  • Raising awareness of the values and importance of the vernacular heritage in Montenegro

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Project activities:

  • Collecting relevant documentation and researching vernacular heritageu 
  • Mapping of the vernacular heritage  in the Pilot zone
  • Surveying and documenting the vernacular heritage  area
  • Analyzing and defining guidelines and recommendations for the valorization, protection, sustainable use and management of the vernacular heritage intended for responsible institutions and the local community
  • Presenting the results through a website, leaflets and publication; promotion and distribution
  • Promoting good practice examples –courses (in dry stone masonry, permaculture…),  a study visit to Croatia and Slovenia, participation in seminars and conferences,…

Target groups:

Local community, young professionals – students of architecture, experts and institutions dealing with heritage preservation, relevant governmental bodies, NGOs, hiking clubs and local business

Approved funds:

21,000 GBP

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EXPEDITIO is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to encourage sustainable spatial development in Montenegro and SEE region through activity in the fields of sustainable architecture, cultural heritage, urban planning and through projects that encourage overall development of the civil society. Expeditio was established in 1997.

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