Cultural Emergency Response program for 3 cultural heritage sites in Kosovo

Cultural Emergency Response programme for three cultural heritage sites in Kosovo

Princ Claus Fund, in the context of its Cultural Emergency programme in the partnership with CHwB Kosovo office will co-fund the emergency interventions in three protected cultural heritage sites in Kosovo that are in a deteriorated condition.

The building of the city library ‘Hivzi Sylejmani’ in Prishtina dates from 1930. The bu  ilding belongs to the eclectic architectural style, designed by the Russian architect Sokolov. The city library offers education, relaxation and access to all sorts of books. The library is a soul-nourishing place for people of any age, and a natural focal point for the meeting of minds. It seems clear that the central library is, indeed, central to the life activities of large numbers of people, is an important space in which public culture is constructed and lived, and thus has a deep sense of place attachment for its users.

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The religious school – Mejtep of Haxhi Ymeri is located in the centre of the city of Gjakova, precisely in front of the mosque that has the same name as the school. According to the archives, the building techniques and the architectural style, the religious school was built in the 18th century. The building has served as an auxiliary space of the mosque, for religious courses. Mejtep of Haxhi Ymeri has served the community to build their knowledge in religion as well as other subjects. It was also a meeting place for people regardless of age and gender. As such its function, appearance and location in the centre of the city play an important role in the social life of locals.

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The bridge of Terzi, also called “the tailor’s bridge” was built around 1730 above the Erenik river, by a well-known tailor from the family of Terzi from Gjakova. The construction of the bridge lasted ten years. However, according to the Arabic inscription in the engraved stone, it is suggested that the bridge was built in the end of 15th century and was restored during the 17th century from the Ottoman Empire. The function of the bridge has significantly changed from an active use to a passive use, and signifies a monument of nostalgic as well as historic value. Nowadays is used as an informal meeting place by the local community. With its long history and existence, it plays a very important role in the social life of the community being part in the collective memory.

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Despite their national significance, these architectural heritage monuments are subject of deterioration due to the lack of maintenance, use, weathering conditions and wrong treatments.

The objectives of the project are:

– For the community: Regeneration of historic, social and architectural values of the city and pride of locals for their remaining cultural heritage. Create better conditions for the users and provide access to visitors.

– For the social-economic situation of the area in which the heritage is situated: By being treated, the buildings will attract more visitors as such will increase the social-economic benefits of the area.

For the appreciation of the heritage: The emergency intervention project will play a big role for locals to understand that their heritage can be preserved also with small investments. As such it can contribute as an example for owners to maintain and preserve their heritage assets.

For the capacity building: This project will serve as a successful example of emergency heritage intervention. It will provide an architectural restoration experience for local builders and will improve the tourism capacity, local interest, as well as communal value. By contracting local craftsmen, the cost of the works on site will be lowered. This will also enhance the economy of the area, hence new working places will be provided. Local workers will also have the opportunity to build their knowledge on building methods, since they will be taught by experienced craftsmen.

This project has begun on July 2014 and is scheduled to end in December 2014.

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