Camp Theme: Building Conservation & Interpretation

Gjirokastra RRC

Architectural conservation is the oldest theme of the CHwB Regional Restoration Camps, serving as the core of the Camps since 2007. However, it hasn’t just stayed the same year after year. The lectures and practical exercises in building conservation have been refined and accommodated to the growing number and locations of Camps over the years. The 2018 Camps focused on building conservation are taking place in three locations in Albania: Berat, Gjirokastra and Përmet, and in Rogljevo, Serbia.

Given the similar theme, the lectures in each location cover similar topics, including conservation materials and methods, site documentation, value analysis and heritage interpretation. However, the practical works undertaken at each Camp differ slightly and the atmosphere of each place is unique in its own special way.


Hosting the Camps since 2007, ‘The City of Stone’ has inspired hundreds of participants with its towering monuments, high mountains and broad valley. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Gjirokastra has only recently begun to halt its slow decay, and the Camps have been a big part of that effort.

At the Camp in Gjirokastra, participants will perform medium-scale repairs to the monumental houses, working with wood, stone or plaster under the guidance of master craftspeople.



For the first time the RRC go to Përmet, the city of roses. Located in the south of Albania, next to Vjosa river, Përmet and its region are very rich in traditions and culture and have a wonderful nature. The historical center of the city, compiled of stone houses and narrow cobbled streets has been declared lately as a protected area for the values it represents. The city is surrounded by small but beautiful villages that still retain their historical character and are well-known for their architectural, historical and natural values. Old churches and bridges are surrounded by natural heritage like thermal waters of Benja, and the natural parks like Hotova forest. All this mixture becomes even richer by the very well preserve and celebrated traditions, still alive in the area.

Participants in Përmet will work with master local craftspeople, practicing conservation techniques and learning about traditional materials and their use. They will have the opportunity to work with wood, plaster and stone on historic monuments.



DSC_9374-PS-webThis year the Regional Restoration Camps are joining forces with VERNADOC camps to offer a unique training in historic building documentation. VERNADOC (Vernacular Documentation) is a methodology which emphasizes data collection by using low-tech tools to produce high-quality, inked hand-drawings. The method was developed by Markku Mattila (Finland), broadened in reach by Assistant Professor Sudjit S. Sananwai (Thailand) and implemented across the world since 2005.
Our documentation site, Rogljevo wine cellars (Rogljevačke pivnice), is situated in eastern Serbia, near the town of Negotin. The group will spend one week in Rogljevo village to take measurements of selected cellars, and move to the nearby town of Negotin for another week for inking.
Be prepared to work hard, to share your passion for traditional buildings, and to meet new friends from across the globe!


Berat-pedonale-webThis is the third year for the Regional Restoration Camp happening in Berat, one of the most beautiful historic cities in Albania. With 2,500 years of uninterrupted civilisation, Berat was proclaimed a “Museum City” in 1961 and joined Gjirokastra on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2008. Also known as the city with “windows one on top of another,” Berat features two dense, well-preserved neighborhoods clustered along two opposite mountainsides. A beautiful white castle, one of the oldest inhabited neighborhoods in Albania, crowns the hill above the city. With dozens of churches and mosques, you’ll see why Berat was an inspiration for the famed medieval icon-maker Onufri – whose paintings, on display in Berat, still mystify us with their vibrant colors and unique inter-religious imagery.

Participants in Berat will have the chance to work with master craftspeople, practicing conservation techniques with wood, plaster and stone on historic houses of Berat. They will learn from highly experienced professionals and engage in actual discussions about cultural heritage issues.


Dates and locations of Camps for building conservation and interpretation in 2018

Berat, Albania 2 – 14 June 15 April
Rogljevo, Serbia 1 -15 September 17 June
Përmet, Albania 8 – 23 September 17 June
Gjirokastra, Albania 8 – 23 September 17 June

Interested? Click here to apply or to read about the other types of Camps offered by CHwB Albania.