living castles M

Project title: Network of "living" castles as a form of sustainable tourism for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.

Duration: October 2018-September2021

Financing: European Territorial Cooperation, Cooperation program INTERREG SLOVENIA - CROATIA 2014-2020


  • Međimurje Polytechnic in Čakovec - a leading project partner
  • Research and Development Center Rakičan Mansion - project partner
  • Scientific Research Center Bistra Ptuj - project partner
  • Development Agency of the Savinjska region d.o.o. - project partner
  • City museum Varaždin - project partner
  • Međimurje Museum Čakovec - project partner
  • Croatian Zagorje Museums - project partner
  • Proteus d.o.o. - project partner

Project goals

The heart of the project is the preservation and valorization of castle and castles through the development of a common cross-border tourist offer and the integration of innovative activities of preserving and presenting cultural heritage. In the "Living Castles" network, the following cultural protected castle or castles are included: Ptuj Castle, Celje Castle, Rakičan Manor, Stari grad - Varaždin Castle, Stari Grad Čakovec, Dvor Veliki Tabor and Dvorec Gornja Stubica. The main objective of the project is to increase the attractiveness and economics of these castles. The project's goal is to establish a joint brand of castle and castle associations, which will contribute to better visibility and promotion, with the desire to present them at home and abroad as a common tourist product along the lines of the castles of the southern Czech and Bavarian castles. The facilities will be equipped with common signboards, a joint promotion will be held and joint thematic events will be added to the permanent offer. The project will pay great attention to finding solutions, how to use modern ICT equipment, enrich the offer, and offer a better experiential experience for visitors. The project will create a network of "living" castles as a form of sustainable tourism for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.

Expected results of the project

  • The key result of the project is an innovative and integrated cross-border integral tourist product based on the cultural heritage of the cross-border area.
  • Great attention will be paid to promoting the network of living castles. For this purpose, the brand "Living Castles" will be created, which will promote all seven castles. Promotional tours for journalists will also be organized, a promotional spot will be recorded and the offer will be presented at the fairs.
  • A collection of stories, traditions and legends about life on castles and historical figures will be created. The collected stories will be presented to the visitors in different and innovative ways.
  • There will be holographic projections that will provide realistic 3D projections of missing artifacts or interesting historical events at the castle and will enrich and complement the tourist offer.
  • A common cross-border experience for children will be developed to encourage families to visit as many castles as possible on both sides of the border. For the purpose of promotion for the youngest, a joint mascot of the network of living castles will be developed, as well as a children's puzzle. The long-term objective of this activity is to contribute in the presented way to achieving the program objective of increasing the number of visits to cultural heritage in the cross-border area, as well as increasing the number of overnight stays.
  • Guides for guiding the involved castles and castles will be educated.
  • An illustrated map of the cross-border area between Slovenia and Croatia will be published, on which road connections will be plotted in all 7 castles. The map will encourage the visitor of a particular castle to visit other castles from the "Living Castles" network.
  • A brochure on project results will be created, which will serve as a presentation of good practices for the broader target group and the transfer of knowledge and results to a wider area.
  • At the end of the project, all partners will sign a memorandum of cooperation, in which members will also undertake to participate even after the project has been completed.

Benefits for the local environment

As part of its project tasks in the local environment, SRC Bistra Ptuj will prepare a collection of stories, traditions and legends from the Ptuj castle, and a hologram projection of interesting stories will be created that will attract more visitors to the castle and consequently to the city of Ptuj. A number of workshops will be held, namely workshops for developing family-friendly offers, workshops where a tourist product based on the cultural heritage of castles and castles will be designed and enriched with attractive ICT solutions. The Ptuj Castle will thus attract a large number of youngest visitors and their families.


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