The morning of Saturday, 19th of September 2015, promised a Tour de Culture full of sunshine, positive energy and sweat. This year, nearly 600 participants on bicycles had the opportunity to visit the region of Mitrovica, including visits to different cultural and industrial heritage sites of this region.
The START of the tour was marked in an imposing atmosphere of the complex of Isa Boletini Kullas, with traditional food tasting and sounds of local rhapsodies. The successor of Boletini family, also the guide of Isa Boletini Kulla museum, Mr. Gazmend Boletini and the director of CHwB in Kosovo, Mr. Sali Shoshi with a welcoming speech, marked the official start of this year’s tour. Besides the visit to the museum, participants had the opportunity to visit the medieval Orthodox Monastery of Sokolica.
Another element that characterized this year’s tour was raising the voice against the lack of signage in cultural heritage sites of Kosovo. This issue has almost not been addressed at all by the central and local institutions, thus responding to this, in a sign of discontent, participants put some signs during their cycling way.
This year the trail included 18 kilometres, and considering that the activity is open to professionals and amateurs, the group was escorted by the police, ambulance and mechanics of cyclists. In the middle of this trail were three stops where participants had the opportunity to relax and visit the Hammam of Mitrovica and the National Museum of Crystals and Minerals “Trepça”.
The FINISH of the tour was marked in the old mining settlement of Stan Tërg. Participants visited here the medieval Catholic Church of St. Peter and the exhibition especially prepared for this industrial heritage site. Finally, as a reward and for the mood of all participants who arrived at the finish, the crowd welcomed the performance of Kosovar singer Florent Abrashi, the winner of the third edition of the Voice of Albania.
Tour de Culture began in 2008 inspired by the principles of the European Heritage Days and the European Mobility Week, held during September in Europe. This event, organized consecutive for the eighth year in our country, every year tends to reveal a corner of Kosovo, by turning it into a traditional activity for society.
Tour de Culture 2015 was organized by the Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) office in Kosovo and supported by more than 60 volunteers. The main sponsor of the event was Sweden without excluding the support of the bakery “Buka”, the German organization “GIZ” The US Embassy in Pristina, Istanbul Medicine Hospital, Prince Coffee Shop and various institutions and non-governmental organizations and local media.
For more information about the visited sites this year, download here the brochure of the Tour de Culture 2015.
For the full gallery of photos of the Tour de Culture 2015, click here.
For more information about the project and past editions click here.