The restoration of the Chalet of the Countess of Edla in Sintra in Portugal and the conservation of wooden housing in Kuldiga old town in Latvia were presented with a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award in Athens during a ceremony attended by 5000 people in Athens on 16 June. The projects were selected by the Europa Nostra jury from a total of 197 submitted projects from 30 European countries.
Restored after fire
After decades of neglect, the Chalet of the Countess Edla was destroyed by fire in 1999. The restoration of the wooden building and the surrounding garden in the western part of the Park of Pena received €604,000 in support from the EEA Grants. Since the reopening of the park, the Palace of Monserrate and the Chalet in 2011, scores of people have flocked to Sintra to see this beautifully restored heritage. The project has contributed to revitalizing this area in Portugal.
Education, training and awareness-raising
The restoration of the Kuldiga District Museum building and the establishment of a wooden architecture restoration centre, received an EEA grant of €383,000 in 2008. Since its establishment in 2008 the Kuldiga Restoration Centre in Latvia has raised awareness of citizens of the old town about the need to restore the over 400 wooden houses within the old town and it has got them actively involved in the care for their heritage. The Centre was awarded for its work in education, training and awareness-raising.
EEA Grants support for cultural heritage
The EEA Grants support conservation of cultural heritage programmes in 14 beneficiary countries The cultural programmes contribute to conserving and revitalising cultural and natural heritage for future generations and make the sites more accessible to the public. As well as supporting cultural heritage restoration, funding may be used, for example, to finance the creative reuse of old or abandoned buildings for a wide variety of educational and cultural purposes, or to develop and preserve traditional skills.
Download our factsheet about support for cultural heritage and cultural diversity here.
Safeguarding cultural heritage
Europa Nostra is a pan-European network of organisations working to safeguard cultural heritage in Europe. The European Cultural Heritage Awards organised by Europa Nostra in partnership with the EU raise awareness about excellence in heritage and is the most prestigious prize for cultural heritage in Europe.
In 2012 another cultural heritage project in Lithuania supported by the Grants was awarded the Europa Nostra prize. Read more about the project.
Find more information on the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards here.
For more information on the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage within the European Union Culture Programme, click here.