Historical City Core
and impressions from the Workshop “Integrated conservation";
preservation and urban Planning” in Prizren November 2002
workshop entitled “Integrated Conservation” was held
on location in Prishtina and Prizren, Kosovo, from the 20th of
November to the 30th of November 2002. The workshop included one
week of fieldwork in Prizren. The overall aim was institutional
capacity building in accordance to the national Heritage Conservation
Policy approved by the Department of Culture in July 2002. The
workshop was monitored by the Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports
and non-residents Affairs (MCYSNRA) Department of Culture (DoC).
The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MES) and UN-Habitat
supported the workshop. Implementing partner was Cultural Heritage
without Borders (CHwB). Ms Gjejlane Hoxha and Mr Gerard Links,
DoC constituted the steering group for the workshop. Ms Vjollca
Aliu, DoC, functioned as coordinator during the whole project.
The financial means came jointly from DoC and the Swedish Development
and Co-operation Agency (Sida).
participants were staff from the Institutes for Protection of
Monuments on national and regional level, urban planners and students
of architecture. Prizren Old Town was chosen as object for the
fieldwork, based on the conclusion that this is the only town
in Kosovo with a remaining and coherent pre-industrial urban fabric.
As a category this heritage is unique and at the same time vulnerable;
threatened by neglect, sabotage and a high building activity.
Mr Shend Kabashi, graduated urban planner from Istanbul Technical
University (ITU), was responsible for planning and conducting
The task to compile the result from the workshop was given to
Mr Enes Toska, student at the faculty of Architecture in Pristina
and participator in the workshop.
Berggren & Maria Hakanson (practicant student from Sweden).
students from the Faculty of Architecture in Prishtina were: Agon
Basha, Arion Xhemaj, Arta Basha, Enes Toska, Kreshnik Ferizi,
Labinot Boçolli, Lindita Hasani, Muhamet Uka, Valdet Gashi
and Valdete Pacolli.
is my hope that the material from the workshop “Integrated
Conservation” will give a fair picture of the great interest
the choice of theme and place brought to mind. Many people have
contributed to the final result. I would like to pay my respect
and gratitude to all lecturers, organisers and participants that
together made the project possible. The physical conditions in
Kosovo demands a special capability to function under quite hard
and sometimes frustrating circumstances. A special thanks to Mr
Abib Ahmedi and his staff at the Institute for protection of Monuments
in Prizren, for offering the use of their building and equipment
during the fieldwork.
– Pristina July 2004.
Ms Kersti Berggren, architect and project manager.
Behxhet Brajshori, Minister,
Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sport and Non- Resident affairs
and thanks to all of you for participation in the workshop organised
by the Department of Culture with the initiative and program of
Ms. Kersti Berggren from the foundation “Cultural Heritage
without Borders”. The workshop” Integrated Conservation”
which will start here in Pristina and continue in Prizren, is
one of the different contributions given by the Swedish foundation
during the two years of work in Kosovo concerning protection and
preservation of Built Heritage.
I am very happy today; the reason is that I see a lot of experts
from different fields, experts from the field of Heritage together
with experts from the Ministry of Environment and Spatial planning.
The collaboration between these two ministries I will consider
as a step forward in the use of human and natural resources in
The Built Heritage suffers from bad maintenance and was caused
severe damages during the war. By preserving and using the heritage
we will help the economical development of Kosovo.
Siegfried Brenke, Principal International Officer,
Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning
could well be, that we all have different ideas about what “integrated
conservation” really means, and what it relates to. To me
a broad variety of perceptions would be quite acceptable. I would
even hope that many individual perceptions about “integrated
When I was thinking about this workshop I wondered if “Urban
Diversity” might be as important for human development as
“Bio-Diversity” is for nature? How can we develop
openness of human minds, will for tolerance and courage for partnership
without the daily visual confrontation with built diversity? Back
in the reality of Kosovo, preserving the architectural heritage
in cities and villages means three things for me:
Planning and building must again make the common interest its
Conservation of the architectural and the natural heritage is
a “must” in any spatial and municipal planning philosophy.
need strong identities in all Communities in order to built a
civil society of Kosovars, which – with all its specific
capabilities and cultural values – will enjoy diversity
and thus contribute to building the European Future.
On behalf of Minister Çeku Ministry of Environment and
Spatial Planning, I wish the workshop all possible success in
contributing to these objectives.
Municipal Administrator, Prizren.
is a great pleasure for me to represent the town of Prizren, at
this opening day of the workshop “Integrated Conservation”
that will have the town as its study subject. Prizren is a town
with a very rich Cultural Heritage. We are all aware of that.
Since long the inner zone with its historical fabric and monuments
is declared protected area.
But it is not enough to have protected an area. Prizren is now
heading against a necessary social and economical development.
We must achieve this through profound thought and debate. The
commenced work on a new General Plan is one important step. The
choice of architectural firm to do the General Plan was proceeded
by open tender in a democratic process.
The current migration pressure on urban areas means that a General
Plan has to be dynamic and flexible. The planned civic infrastructure
must be able to meet the demands from inhabitants and companies.
The pressure puts the inner zone with all its vulnerable values
We have not achieved the best form of protection of the inner
zone yet, but the work with the General Plan is a start. I am
looking forward to the many valuable contributions to the safeguarding
of Prizren that no doubt will be the result of this workshop.
historical city core of Prizren was declared a protected area
1956 . Every single building within the area was correspondingly
given a formal protection. The scale, the urban fabric and building
techniques were all pre-industrial and “traditional”.
The social life and family structures of an Ottoman town were
easily readable through the organisation of public spaces, streets
and private residences. Despite of this protection act, an urban
plan with hardly any adjustment to the existing pattern was 1960
laid over vital parts of the historical city core. No doubt this
was made with the best intentions; Prizren should be part of the
new modern era. No major town in Europe was at this time spared
from this kind of planning.
1972 Prizren was nominated to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The nomination process was never fulfilled however; instead the
city was left to rapid dilapidation. Prizren suffers from decades
of deterioration. But not only planning principles, contradictory
to the existing pattern of the town, or neglect, are the threats
to the core of Prizren. Even if the war events of 1998/99 were
comparably merciful to Prizren, severe attacks on the existing
building stock in the protected area were carried out afterwards.
And again in March 2004 houses were burned wwith the loss of irreplaceable
cultural and social values.
has been estimated that 40 000 internally displaced person settled
in the Prizren region after the war 1999. Most of these families
have successfully been able to return home. But many families
still live under temporarily circumstances. For many families
in the Nënkalaja and Pantelia areas the living conditions
are very hard. The heritage, both the tangible and intangible,
is a resource for the development of Prizren for the benefit of
the families now living there. The “integrated conservation”
concept implies that economic and social dimensions are part of
the preservation works besides cultural aspects. It is a cross-sector
approach, making built heritage one of the primary concerns of
spatial planning, urban and environmental development. In the
case of Prizren, it is a challenge, not an obstacle, to integrate
the big amount of new buildings as components of the heritage.
The workshop “Integrated Conservation” was organised
in two parts.
first theoretical part consisted of lectures that introduced the
theme of the workshop and prepared the participants for the fieldwork.
The lecturers were both national and international.
second and major part of the workshop was one week of fieldwork,
conducted by Shend Kabashi. The participants carried out an inventory,
covering all sites in the two chosen mahallas (blocks) with adjoining
streets; the sites were also all photo-documented.
from the inventory were complemented through a questionnaire given
to all households in the area. To get a profound understanding
of the social conditions twelve families were interviewed more
deeply. The collecting of these stories was done through, Kolping
Kosovo, a German NGO stationed in Prizren.
Aim and issues
overall aim with the workshop was capacity building in the public
sector, targeted towards the Institutes for protection of Monuments
and Departments of urban Planning on municipal level. A group
of students of Architecture were included, as part of the capacity
building in a long terms perspective. At the same time as the
students were confronted with the heritage as an object, they
were introduced to heritage as a public task.
workshop had three goals:
To widen the concept of preserving, from single monuments to urban
To introduce the concept of integrated conservation as the main
method in preservation and planning.
To create a shared view concerning upgrading of historical city
cores amongst the heritage sector and the departments of urban
Old Town is not only under decay – parts of the city core
is almost ruined. The participants of the workshop had to go looking
for a pioneering concept for urban conservation. The “historical”
heritage of the Old Town of Prizren only constitutes a minor part
of the total building stock. It will therefore not be enough to
focus on single monuments of national interest, not even on the
remaining buildings of historical interest. What are the real
values of Prizren when maybe as much as 70% of the building stock
once protected 1956 has vanished?
Some of the questions in the upgrading process will be:
How to connect the modern buildings ertected during the recent
ten or twenty years, with the historical buildings?
How to integrate necessary new constructions on the ruined and
How to preserve the historical buildings and places constructed
with traditional technique now in a bad technical condition?
How to supply the area with water, electricity, parking lots,
sewage systems etc etc without destroying its small scale and
How to upgrade the area for disabled people?
How to make the inhabitants feel welcome to participate in the
How to find the financial solutions for upgrading of the area?
How much will each individual owner contribute?
How to avoid the process of gentrification?
Cultural Heritage of Kosovo
Gjejlane Hoxha, Department of Culture, MCYSNRA
though situated in a small territory in Europe, has a vivid and
rich cultural history. Traditions from ancient times have continued
through the middle ages and further, always in reciprocity with
parallel neighboring cultures, but with a specific local identity.
This inherited wealth, a valuable cultural mosaic, takes part
in our mentality and enriches the European and world treasury.
But the nature of culture is non-repeatable, making each demolition
of heritage values, tangible or intangible, irreversible.
in the third millennium Kosovo is affected with mechanisms that
will transform it to a transnational country. Therefore it is
a collective responsibility to explain: where do we come from?
Who are we? What is our future?
culture is recognized as a cornerstone in the development of the
society, it is not given the necessary resources neither at professional
nor financial level.
of the most important goals for the Department of Culture is to
identify the role of heritage and how it can benefit to the socio-economical
development. For that and for other reasons, Kosovo is in need
of legislative and institutional reforms. Heritage should be included
in all urban planning according to the integrated conservation
The Municipality of Prizren
Urim Ukimeri, Coordinator of the Culture Sector, Prizren
Geographical location and demographic indicators Prizren
is the main center among five administrative regions created by
Interim Administration of United Nations in Kosova, after the
The municipality of Prizren has 73 villages on 640 km2 at height
of 400-500 m above sea level. The climate is continental with
indications of Mediterranean one as well. At heights reaching
2.748 m it turns into a severe mountainous climate.
Due to the favorable geographic position, interaction of various
cultures during the history Prizren is one of the most beautiful
towns of Kosova. It preserves the tracks of material and spiritual
cultural heritage of different historical periods, from early
antiquity to present days. This tradition is inspiring.
Despite limited material capacities, as the consequence of “the
investment priorities” in postwar Kosova, the town of Prizren,
continuous to be “the reference point” for many national
and international cultural events.
The Municipality of Prizren has more than 225.000 inhabitants.
86% of the population consists of ethnic Albanians. Other ethnicities
are: Bosnian, Turkish, Roman, Serbian etc. Due to the lack of
official registrations, demographic indicators are only estimated.
During the last ten years, the population of Prizren increased
with 25%. According to the demographic indicators, the population
of Prizren municipality as for entire Kosova, mainly consists
of young people. 60-70% of the adult population is unemployed.
Nevertheless, a few segments of economic, social and cultural
life have marked modest rhythms of going forward.
Infrastructure of the town of Prizren There are many
cultural institutions in the town of Prizren which cooperate in
order to preserve, develop and exhibit the values of material
and spiritual heritage such as the House of Culture with its library
for children and adults, the Institution for protection of Monuments,
the regional historical archive and son on. Some of these entities
perform works within their own activity, to preserv objects with
particular importance of cultural heritage such as the “Fortress
(Kalaja)” and “Marash”, religious and sacred
objects of Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox confession, art works
such as bridges, public bath, etc and houses with important value
of vernacular architecture. The foremost idea is that this treasure
of our heritage should be taken under preservation and professional
Preservation of Cultural Heritage Prizren is well known
in the international perspective as well, as a symbol of historical
heritage. The restoration of cultural heritage objects should
be included in the frame of cultural activities, while in the
strategic plan it should be included in the development of municipal
infrastructure. The Department of Culture, through the Institution
for Protection of Monuments takes care about the preservation
of the urban fabric in general and the cultural heritage of Prizren.
Also, the Departments of Property, Urbanization and Environment
offer their support in this direction. The protection of urban
and architectural integrity from further destructions as a result
of illegal building is a primary task for all of the above-mentioned
The synchronized work of these subjects followed by financial
support would enable Prizren’s touristic chance in terms
of economic and cultural impact. The revitalization and the protection
of cultural heritage and the reactivation of those characteristic
economic activities would make Prizren an important center for
cultural heritages. Fellowship with the town of Bingen, Germany,
on September 2001, “Friendship Pact” with the town
of Florence, Italy, foresees bilateral exchange in the field of
culture, sports, education, public services and other fields of
mutual interest. It is also expected to develop such contacts
with Konak in Izmir, Turkey.
Potential Prizren obtains an enviable cultural potential.
Currently, there are 24 archeological locations that witness the
antiquity of this town and its region from early neolith and onward.
There are 39 Christian cult buildings dating from early Christianity
to the present. The Saint Friday Church built on the foundations
of Byzantine basilica on 1306-7, Archangels Michael and Gabriel’s
Monastery, Saint Savior’s Church and the Cathedral of the
Charitable Lady, are just few of many chapels in the town of Prizren.
There are 46 sacred Islamic objects marked. Among them worth to
be mentioned are The Mosque of Sinan Pasha (1615), The Mosque
of Gazi Mehmet Pasha (1573), The Mosque of Emin Pasha etc. Other
buildings of great importance may be considered the library of
Suzi and Mehmet Pasha and the Mehmet Pasha public bath (Hamam),
one of the most beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture in
Kosovo . A considerable number of Teqes of different beliefs (taricat)
have been preserved. In addition there are 74 objects with important
vernacular architectural characteristic as: bridges, roads, fountains,
springs, houses and gardens. The restoration of heritage will
take an important place in the development strategy of Prizren,
For this purpose, continual great effort through contacts, visits,
and other forms of cooperation have been made in order to gain
the proper experience for the most professional presentation of
cultural values of Prizren.
entire institutes including first of all the Institute for Protection
of Monuments, and the municipal Departments of Culture, Property,
Urbanism, Development and Reconstruction and Environment must
react urgently in the direction of preserving the historical character
of the town of Prizren. Actions on prohibiting the illegal constructions,
that are offending extremely the historical character of the town,
should be taken as soon as possible. For example statistics of
the postwar period shows that 1800 objects have being constructed
without permission. Only 40 of them have been pulled down. Besides
the engagement of the experts for the restoration and conservation
of heritage, all the possibilities recovering financial means
for the realization of these acts should be overlooked. The professional
support, either through training, education or exchange or the
presence and supervision of local and international experts is
required for all the aforementioned things.
When we add the information that World Monuments Fund in New York
included Prizren in the list of 100 towns with heritage in danger,
then the need for an urgent intrusion on cultural heritage of
this town is most compulsory.
to the undeniable cultural potential, historical tradition and
current capacities of cooperation, the long-term objective remains
for the town of Prizren to be incorporated in the network of cultural
roads of Balkan and Europe. In this way, Prizren would take its
place in the range of heritage pearls of world universal culture.
of knowledge and learning
Bujar Demjaha, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
understand the concept of “Integrated Conservation”
as a new but often and evident term in the world, it’s needed
to take into consideration basic knowledges of the learning process,
which has to fit with regional cultural specifics and in accordance
with international development.
As follows, you will read the structure of a lecture extracted
from the presentation held in Prishtina.
Delors four pillars:
To be transformed
permanent need of redesigning the schools in order to be updated
with changes in society, economy, politics, science and technology
of these changes comes out from:
New society needs
Changes in the work trade
long learning or a will for enriching the existing knowledge
of the new generations about the importance of heritage and preservation
of the universal values.
heritage and its preservation deal:
and the state
for professional schools in restoration and conservation of the
architectural heritage buildings.
preparation of the people for the restoration of the buildings
and materials used (as wood, stone, metal) is a necessary need
for the execution of the restoration projects.
Kosovo was known for having good craftsmen, now is completely
a different situation. Most of the craftsmen today are autodidact
and have been taught from unqualified crafstmen with suspicious
And experts of conservation of old materials do not exist.
lectures in the faculties and specialising courses in the academic
of international experts in handling of the singular buildings
and urban sites
and reaching a higher level of professionalism and knowledge standardisation.
of urban and architeconic heritage
find the reasons of devastation of Kosovo heritage first is needed
to identify necessary conditions for the protection which are:
Recognition of universal heritage values
Craftsmen of specific fields
Aplication of knowledge in adequate way.
Urban planning and Good Governance, some principles
Ms Aida Dobruna and Mr Ismajl Baftijari
Governance Norms in the context of Urban Planning and management
– what does that mean?
is an overall objective of the United Nations to reduce poverty
and promote sustainable development within the context and the
challenges of a rapidly urbanising world. Good governance norms
in the context and the challenges of rapidlz urbanising world.
In focus for UN-HABITAT is the right for the inhabitants to take
part in decisions affecting their living conditions. This participatory
process may lead beyond the urban planners’ vision. This
participatory process should be combined with action oriented
The Kosovo society is working with scarce resources in a time
of major changes. Opening up for the private sector, including
households taking part in the planning process, will strengthen
the public sector.
The role of spatial planning is to make a sustainable and justified
development possible. Spatial planning is a tool for distributing
resources equally among the inhabitants. Spatial planning makes
public decisions predictable for the citizens. The overall goal
is to avoid the destruction of hisoric elements wich at first
sight, might seem to be of minor importance but whose cumulative
loss would be irretrievable.
of Cultural Heritage
Dr. Emin Riza
with language, the cultural heritage represents truly the identity
of a nation. From ancient times, this heritage has passed through
effective and spontaneous folkloric maintenance. Persistent attempts
of occupiers to sort out Albanians from their land explain neglection
till the denial of Albanian culture in the past.
heritage includes activities of a nation through centuries, appearing
as immovable monuments - and movable monuments - tangible and
The essential value of cultural heritage in its appearance consists
of being the real historic proof. Each kind of different creation
is in its time directly or indirectly in connection with the historic
context. Thus, every tangible or intangible creation expresses
features of the time in which it was created. Naturally, with
time passing by, besides utilitarian values, it is a historic
proof of that period. This magnificent value of material cultural
heritage is increased in periods when expressions of it for well-known
reasons, are inexistent or missing.
heritage interpreted properly, becomes a kind of a guide to rebuild
and maintain the history of a nation. It is then necessary that
the verification about the past is carefully and scientifically
researched. In the meantime these evidences appear in direct communication
with the audience interested about the issues. Cultural heritage
such as architectural monument, literature or music, gives information
and message about the past, anywhere where it appears. In this
way it creates links between a population and its history awarding
it for the life-trial over the centuries. These elements upgrade
the level of knowledge, strengthen national consciousness and
give the opportunity to equally accept other nationalities. Knowledge
about national heritage values deepen tolerance and respect for
surrounding cultures, being a part of a mosaic called worldwide
human culture. Herein the pedagogical values of cultural heritage
show great potential.
Renaissance of Albanian culture in Kosovo has occurred thanks
to the struggle to preserve its identity by its own people followed
by decisive international support. Certainly, beside the freedom-loving
merit that effected on human feelings, is the enrichment of national
culture throughout preservation of heritage as well.
heritage of Albanians in Kosovo has been neglected during the
past. In today’s circumstances the main public tasks are
research, identification, protection and upgrading of this irreplaceable
wealth for our nation and worldwide human culture. This great
task needs to be followed by caring maintenance and preservation
of the unrepeatable values. Certainly these requests are connected
with the creation of a proper legal framework and strengthened
institutions. The real worldwide problem that remains on cultural
heritage is incorporation of the society in such issues.
cultural heritage of Kosovo has survived due to the cultivation
and protection from its creators, the population of Kosovo, regardless
of any ethnic or religious belonging. Now it needs to be protected
and upgraded through public support. At this point, global trends
do not interfere in the valorisation of the heritage, on the contrary
they deeply take it under consideration. These manifold unification
trends tries to avoid the dominant groups and instead cultivate
equality of cultures for a peaceful world.
cultural values of Kosovo are worthy of being identified, with
a scientific objectivity. This would be a great contribution to
the world’s cultural treasure, from a nation that has created
and protected its cultural independence throughout a multitude
of different challenges.
Identification, preservation and upgrading principles
Corrado Minervini, Polytechnic of Turin
definition of what Vernacular architecture is can be formulated
as follows: a historically important architecture but most often
not legally protected. Vernacular architecture can also be described
as minor architecture, trivial architecture. As a type vernacular
architecture has long been neglected by international organisations.
The Venice Charter from 1964 touches the phenomenon only indirectly,
and it is not on the agenda of UNESCO. So there are very few international
norms to help in the matter of preserving the stock of vernacular
architecture that contributes most to the character of the city
core of Prizren.
is the only international organisation that has dealt with the
phenomenon. ICOMOS ratified the year 2000 the charter ”Built
vernacular heritage” that declares:
built vernacular heritage occupies a central place in the affection
and pride of all peoples. It has been accepted as a characteristic
and attractive product of society. It appears informal, but nevertheless
orderly. It is utilitarian and at the same time possesses interest
and beauty. It is a focus of contemporary life and at the same
time a record of the history of society. Although it is the work
of man it is also the creation of time. It would be unworthy of
the heritage of man if care were not taken to conserve these traditional
harmonies which constitute the core of man's own existence.
thing with vernacular architecture is that it is alive; it moves.
Vernacular architecture exists – but you cannot capture
it. It changes its face during time. It extends in depth and height,
and it is not necessary that the added parts follow the same architectural
grammar as the original design. Therefore upgrading of vernacular
architecture is a contradiction “per se”. Why and
how shall vernacular architecture be upgraded? It is old buildings
in bad conditions - maybe it would be cheaper to tear them down?
The upgrading process deals with three opposing sets of pairs:
Old technique – new technique
Culture – economy
Insiders – outsiders
are some answers to the questions of why upgrading:
Firstly, for the need of upgrading the living conditions
Secondly, for the sake of preserving historical values
Thirdly, to gain from the economical outfit of upgrading
answer to how to upgrade, three rhetorical figures may be used:
first rhetorical figure is the Paradox: to solve a problem by
finding what seemingly is a contradiction. In a vulnerable area
under upgrading–how to manage for instance with the problems
of transporting heavy building materials? The exact problem that
Prizren is facing with its steep and narrow streets. The streets
are made for foot walking or horse-drawn carriages, but in the
upgrading and preservation project there will be a need for frequent
and heavy transport of material and goods. To cope with the transportation
the use of modern technology is necessary but sometimes inventions
have to be made; like what the architect Renzo Piano did in Otranto
in the 1970th. Otranto is a town made for donkeys, and to cope
with the transportation of heavy goods in the narrow streets Renzo
Piano invented a four-wheeled bicycle. He also invented a scaffolding
technique that was very light.
second rhetorical figure is the Metathesis: if you face a problem
and need to solve it but cannot – solve another one! In
an area of the historic core of Shkodër the buildings suffered
from negligence. The residential buildings, usually quite small,
were left without proper maintenance. There were also a lot of
illegal constructions. There seemed to be no way of financing
an upgrading of this core of vernacular architecture. But instead
of giving up on the small buildings and tearing down the illegal
constructions, the idea came up of putting another store on top
of the existing old buildings. The idea was brought to the local
residents – could they agree on it? The local residents
could agree and an arrangement was signed between the local inhabitants,
the building contractors and the municipality. The first thing
that took place was an inventory and analyses of the existing
building stock. Then there was a chain of events. The local inhabitants
sold the roof of their buildings to the contractors and benefited
economically from this; it made it possible for them to cover
there needs of improvement. The contractor built the new store
and made their economical beneficiary by selling the new store
to private companies or residents. The municipality supervised
the process. In the end the municipality received an upgraded
area without a big amount of public money and with the local inhabitants
third rhetorical figure is the Metonymy: to use the name of one
thing for that of another associated with or suggested by it,
the cause instead of the effect, the part instead of the whole.
During the 1980th a plan of colour was made over the city core
of Torino. It helped to show where it was appropriate to use precious
material and where simple material could be used. That is the
careful attention for details: the colour of façades, the
shop signs, the shop windows, the decorations.
But it had only indirectly to do with the city cores technical
management in Heritage projects
Dick Sandberg, CHwB
following discussions are not only applicable in projects concerning
our built heritage. The thoughts and proposals can be modified
as well to suit work with sites or landscapes. The main thing
to bear in mind is that every principle has to be adapted to each
separate situation and object.
all projects there is a “Principal” that has taken
the crucial initiative for the process to start. That “Principal”
might be the owner, an Institute, a private investigator, an NGO,
a group of local stakeholders’ etc. The “Principals”
first question to be asked in a heritage project is:
Who is able to guide this project through all the different phases?
The person suitable for this kind of work shall have a deep understanding
about cultural values as well as being able to enjoy working closely
to other people. She or he must be experienced in project management
and at the same time willing to learn new things. Before even
starting the work a conducting structure of principles has to
be set up. The Principal
has to identify:
What international guidelines are to be followed in this particular
All buildings undergo changes. When the time comes to an object
to be restored, this can not and shall not be an opportunity to
freeze a chosen moment. Every attempt to do so fails, and leaves
an unsatisfactory result. The first most important principle to
follow is to respect the history considering the original design
of the building/complex and changes made through the passing of
time. Attached to this is the second principle, to use traditional
material and techniques. This is done out of respect for craftmanshift
and building skills once used, but also out of pure technical
aspects. In most cases the traditional and original technique
used, are most likely to give the building a continued long lifetime.
The third important principle is to make a methodical documentation
of the restoration object. The documentation shall cover the present
stage, the choices made (or not made) and the work that is actually
is the first investigation to be made?
The first step in the actual project is to collect all data available.
That is: legal documents (ownership and so on), existing drawings,
written documents, photos etc. Then get to know the object through
measuring, photo documentary and taking samples from material
used. Find out what kind of stories and myths there are concerning
the object through talking with people connected to it.
to organise the project framework?
A heritage project always interferes with an existing surrounding.
The number of stakeholders to identify in a heritage project is
therefore by definition bigger than expected. The easiest to identify
are the proprietors, residents, commercial users, authorities
and neighbours. But are there others? Like passers-by, school
children, village elder’s etc. The “Principal”
must be ready to invite these to an honest discussion. Furthermore,
the “Principal” must be ready for repeated discussions
on terms given by the stakeholders. Early repeated and honest
discussions identify mutual interests as well as critical points.
If the conflicts seem not to be solved – is it possible
to continue the project? In this moment of the projects it is
important to distinguish the so-called “owners” of
the project, beside the “Principal” and actual proprietors.
Can they together locate the key-problem that the project is supposed
there a need for a Project Board?
Even a small heritage project intervenes in an already existing
context; and a number of stakeholders will have their conditions
affected by it. A board of stakeholders will follow the project
through and steer it up when necessary. The board focus on the
accepted objectives of the project and sees to that these are
to embark on a realistic timetable?
It is crucial to have in mind that the whole process that involves
a heritage project takes time, but a realistic timetable is not
only “long enough”. It also clearly divide between
what is in hurry and what is not. Can the critical requests easily
be eliminated? Certain moments in a heritage project simply have
to wait for its right time – traditional material like limeplaster
does not like the winter season. It is recommendable to make the
time schedule in co-operation with the builder/entrepreneur.
to set up a realistic budget?
The same as for the time schedule goes for the budget: a realistic
budget is not a budget that is “big enough”. Even
a small amount of money can get the project far, if the process
is open and inventive. It is crucial that all parts of the project
are financed from the beginning. It is better to limit the obligations
than run out of money. It is better to leave a part untouched,
than harm it by execute bad actions without thinking. Another
kind of question concerning the economical part is what has to
be a fixed price and what not? And when decided upon; how can
this be controlled? How to keep the quality of the whole project
if an offer is accepted that exceeds the budget? Is there something
that can wait?
to identify special values to be protected right from the start?
There is no such thing as “the” value in a restoration
project. There are a number of values and they have to be identified
from the viewpoint of the owner, the authorities, the consultants
and the commercial interests, to mention the most obvious. If
there are legal restrictions they have to be followed of course,
but every actor in the project should be encouraged to describe
the values that are in his interest to safeguard. The project
leader and the board make a professional compilation of the values
collected, as a base for the restoration program.
kind of aspects should be laid on construction material?
Besides ordinary aspects like if the materials are strong enough,
or long-lasting enough, or fireproof enough; there is the aspect
of time. Do the material in question need time to reach a certain
quality, like lime and wood? Do the material take a long time
to produce like roof tiles? Is there a possibility to reduce the
price by buying material in an early stage and directly from the
producer like chestnut wood for beams? Another aspect is who can
judge the quality of the material? This becomes a more and more
difficult question with the ongoing reduction of craftsmen skilled
in working with traditional materials and techniques. A third
additional quality aspect is the storage; huge numbers of high
quality material are destroyed through inadequate storage conditions.
to assure the projects sustainability from qualitative, economical
and cultural/social aspects?
The actual building phase or restoration phase is a minor phase
in a lifetime of a building. Economically the construction phase/restoration
phase only demands a small amount of the total financing needed.
It is crucial for the sustainability of the project to foresee
as early as possible the anticipated needs in qualitative, economical
and cultural/social aspects. Closely attached to the practical
restoration a program for the future maintenance shall be outlined,
ready to be accepted and implemented when the work is completed.
If the object is put under legal protection this maintenance program
must be adapted to the outlined protection measures.
kinds of quality demands are needed on consultants?
From the point of view of the project management this must be
very carefully thought through; to assure that control over the
project stays in the right hands. Before any consultant is accepted
it must be confirmed that he or she has a deep knowledge and experience
from previous heritage project, he or she must be willing to cooperate,
must show capability to change his or hers opinion, curiosity,
flexibility etc. All consultants involved must be able to cooperate
and respect each other’s professionally. Make careful interviews.
It is one thing what the contractor has agreed on, it may be a
total different thing what he actually understood about the quality
demands! Maybe you have to offer education or training in certain
fields to be able to achieve the project goal. How can this education
be done: special craftsmen leading the work? Seminars? Visits
to other similar projects? Are the consultants ready to undertake
this? This kind of question must also be agreed on in the contract
and be reminded of before the work starts, not only to the builder
but also to the site manager and the workers (- who probably not
have been informed!).
During the design phase you keep control of the quality aspects
through detailed contracts, regular meetings, control stations,
scheduled time for sketching and discussions in team etc. Remember
that money spent during the design phase means “cheap”
costs, money and time spent during the construction phase mean
quality demands must be formulated during the construction phase
and how can these demands be communicated by the project management?
Different builders and craftsmen will do separate parts of the
actual construction phase. Regarding the builder the project management
must identify his previous experience and his employees. Does
the builder have a good site manager? Skilled craftsmen? Is it
advisable to choose a local company? Is the builder reliable in
keeping the timetable? What parts of the project shall he do –
and what parts shall he not do? Is it plausible that the builder
recognizes the vulnerable values in the project and is able to
take responsibility for their safeguarding? The builder must coordinate
his work with the suppliers of special material like doors, windows,
staircases, mouldings, roof tiles etc. Time must not be wasted
due to lack of coordination capability. The work of ordinary craftsmen
and conservators must be carefully scheduled to fit in the ongoing
are the final conclusions?
The project management must transformed all the work done and
all the money spent into a sustainable living building over a
long period of time through
making sure that all administrative rules (building and planning
acts, heritage laws) are respected and followed
assuring that in case of a legally protected building protections
measures are being accepted
signing contracts with the owners together with the authorities
concerning access to the buildings (if legally protected), the
owners duties etc
setting up a plan for financing of the maintenance (through commercial
or semi-commercial activities, funding from public money etc)
outlining a maintenance program (that has to be attractive and
understandable for experts as well as non experts)
- Setting up a “telephone book” with useful names
and companies to call for the small daily work, that otherwise
easily can destroy vulnerable values of a building.
Interviews from Kolping Youth of Prizren
do people live in the old town of Prizren -
A small survey about needs, dreams and expectations
This modest study was prepared as a contribution for the workshop
"Integrated Conservation - Preservation and Urban Planning"
held in Prishtina and Prizren from 20/11/2002 until 26/11/2002.
This workshop was carried out by Cultural Heritage without Borders,
a Swedish Organisation which aim is, among others, to help on
conservation of the cultural heritage in the postwar region of
Kersti Berggren, representative of Cultural Heritage without borders,
requested from the Kolping Association of Kosova to perfrom a
small study about the social aspects of conservation in the old
town of Prizren.
Inspite the fact that Kolping is also engaged in different activities
as protection of the old town of Prizren (international workshop
of experts of urban conservation "Saving the Old Town of
Prizren - towards the people, together with the people",
held in Prizren's old Turkish Bath on 22/09 until 24/09/2002,
also with activities of public awareness and citizen's participation)
they agreed to contribute to the training workshop.
The Kolping Youth of Prizren carried out the survey. Six members
took part on a small training session about interviewing techniques,
communication, and questioning. They were instructed to use the
following questionnaires containing these details:
1. Biographical facts
2. Living conditions in the house
3. History of the house and the family
4. Emotional bonding to the house
5. Dreams, wishes and hopes concerning the house
6. Message to the experts of conservation
The interviews were conducted in two member groups in each of
the families in Shukle quarter, which is located in the hilly
arrea of the old town of Prizren.
Interviewers were Kastriot Nushi, Ida Delhysa, Rikard Kçira,
Gjon Canaj, Fanol Nushi, and Lorenc Shala. Christian Berger compiled
the course of the survey and the training session. The project
was financed and supported by Cultural Heritage without Borders.
We hope that this small survey will help to demonstrate the need
of the inhabitants in these areas. According to the previous experiences
in urban conservation projects in the world, urban planning and
conservation of old cities is not only a technical, historical
and architectural problem, but a social matter as well. In each
stage of conservation, one should never forget that the historical
houses are still inhabited and they are part of the social live
in the city.
We express our wish for success to anyone, who would help in reconstruction
and conservation of the old town of Prizren and also hope that
the inhabitants of these quarter may have the opportunity to participate
on this process as much as possible.
Kolping Association of Kosova
Jak Gjoni (Regional Secretary)
Christian Berger (Project Manager)
Family 1, G. street
We have been a very large family. At the very beginning we used
to live in a village near Gj. We had a small piece of land and
earned just for the living. Then we moved to a village near P.
At this time some of the family members went to G., F., Z. and
L. We had a better life there, and we even bought a big piece
of land. However, due to the increasing of family members, we
had to split up and so we came to live in Prizren, where we bought
a house and we have been living here until present. We live here
since 23 years.
During the entire life, while moving from one village to another,
we have gone through good and bad times. One of the good things
is that even though we have been many members in the family we
have never had any problems. The worst thing we have experienced
as a family was in the time while we were living in G. Our eldest
brother passed away at the age of 19. He died of an electric shock
at village Z. and the following year we left the village F.- and
came to village S.- of P. We had gone through only good things
there and lived about 15 years in that village. Apart the good
things in P. we experienced another tragedy, when the other brother
died of a motorcycle accident at the age of 23 years old.
We are three members in my family, for the moment. We lead a good,
normal life with no problems.
-Would you move from your house, if you were offered a big amount
I would not move as I grew up here and I have gone through the
best moments of my life here. I would have changed it only when
I wouldn’t have any other choice.
changes would happen in Kosova if we would meet after10 years…
I don’t believe that there will be any changes at all, perhaps
the magician would realize a wish of yours, what would it be…
My wish would be to have a good harmony in the family and long
message about historical monuments…
The historic monuments should not be damaged, on the contrary
they should be preserved more, so that Prizren would be recognized
all over Europe as a place of an ancient culture.
see more interviews click...
from the field work
Results from the workshop that are selected in some categories
are shown in the maps below.