Vucedol – New Growth From Ancient Culture

After Croatian accession to the EU in July 2013, the goal of achieving good growth rates and sustainable development, as well as reduction in income differences as compared to the EU average, will require overcoming socio-economic challenges, such as building a stable and competitive economy, positive demographic, lower socio-economic differences, a successful environmental policy, promoting energy efficiency, efficient spatial planning, building a positive business climate, employment growth, industrial production and exports.

As one of the most important industries at the national level, especially in the coastal counties, the tourism industry has huge potential for continued socio-economic growth and development.

The prehistoric site of Vučedol, by the Danube river in Eastern Slavonia, is a unique cultural heritage asset and it is a signature for the city of Vukovar, but also for the wider area of the region. We are currently working on a feasibility study for the Croatian Ministry of Culturefor the further development of the new Museum of Vučedol culture that has been built next to the site and which opens this summer.

Vucedol hill and museum

The intention of our study is to make an in-depth analysis of the proposed Vučedol park project in order to prepare the city of Vukovar to apply for EU funding. We are helping to investigate and prepare the final documentation required, and then the Ministry can submit the application for project financing for culture – tourism from the EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The study we do includes both a description of the socio-economic context and assets in detail, and also a cost-benefit analysis of the potential growth ignited by an EU investment.

Pot from VucedolThe pot shown on the picture to the right, dated prior to 2600 BC, is an extraordinary archaeological discovery. It is one of the most important products of Vucedol Culture, as it is the oldest European calendar, and also the world’s oldest astral calendar.

Although evidence exists that solar or lunar positions were marked from the mid third millennium BC, true calendars (structures such as Stonehenge) were created later, hundreds of years after the Vucedol period.

The rich cultural and natural heritage of Vukovar-Srijem County, primarily the archaeological site Vučedol is opening opportunities for development and other activities that are related to culture and other socio-economic areas, which can contribute to their growth on the basis of sustainable development.

Sustainable restoration of cultural property encourages the development of entrepreneurship, trade, science, the environment and contributes to urban and regional progress, increasing employment and strengthening social cohesion.

Croatia Position Paper 2014-2020 highlights the need to strengthen the protection, evaluation and management of cultural resources with respect to their tourist and business potential. Strategy for the development of tourism in Croatia by 2020 provided the encouragement of the development of all types of tourism and culture, especially in counties with lower development index.

The project Archaeological-tourist park Vučedol was conceived as the backbone and driving force of a complex program of systematic, interdisciplinary research of the archaeological site Vučedol, led by Professor Aleksandar Durman, which expands the space Vučedol presented as archaeological and historical, but also as a tourist and sports-recreation centre.

This project is possible by the combined assets that this space offers: attractive natural conditions, the Danube River, which at this point is embraces a number of sandy islands, 20 meters above the Danube raised wood panel covered with vegetation and vineyards that offer aspect to the width of ten kilometres; lining the world famous archaeological site Vučedol which three plateaus of prehistoric settlement oriented in a semicircle facing the river Danube, then existing, devastated by the 1990s war, catering and tourism and sports and recreational facilities as part of a very popular excursion.

Vukovar is a part of Europe, and has a part in highlighting the richness of cultural diversity in Europe. Cultural diversity will be encouraged through capacity-building of cultural entrepreneurs, strengthening existing cultural industries, establishing new cultural industries, promoting the participation of the youth and marginalized groups in cultural industries and further development and implementation of cultural policies.

Culture must be understood as an excellent tool to show unity through diversity, to initiate a new consciousness of the cultural richness of Europe. This cultural asset is in the tightest relation with the tourism industry.

Archaeological Park and the Museum of Vučedol culture are the backbone of the Project and the driver of the complex program of systematic, interdisciplinary research of the archaeological site Vučedol, which expands the space Vučedol presented as archaeological and historical, but also as a tourist and sports-recreation centre.

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