The theme of Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations are regional cultural routes that will provide visitors a high quality and authentic cultural experience on the emergence of civilizations in this area, their impact and shifting over time.
The concept of the Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations was conceived with the aim to define the framework for development of an overarching shared regional umbrella identity. The main aim of this regional identity is threefold: to promote the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the WB6 region; to spearhead the repositioning of the region in international travel market; to support development of high quality services, products and essential tourism infrastructure at tourist destinations. The concept identified core points of historic intertwining that can justify the selection of sites that communicate the heritage of the WBCoC. The list of 40 sites and locations throughout WB6 has been identified and represents the starting point for creating tourism products and itineraries.
Main products of the Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations are regional cultural itineraries which will provide high quality and authentic cultural experience for visitors. The core of each cultural experience is storytelling. Storytelling of the Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations is prepared with the purpose to identify the storytelling potential for the common regional umbrella identity which is the core input for the development and marketing of regional cultural tourism products and itineraries. The storytelling contains key stories and legends linked to the key cultural heritage sites, and cover many different historical angles, created by different cultures over the period of 3000 years.
The complexity of cultural heritage in the Western Balkans is a challenge to present. Therefore, the storytelling is designed on three levels:
The first level tells the main story of the Western Balkan as a Crossroad of Civilizations.
The second level depicts the stories of the main cultural/historical epochs, which are presented in five main storylines or themes.
The third level includes the stories, legends, and myths of the cultural heritage sites, which are proposed to be included under the Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations umbrella identity.
There are five main storylines of the Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations umbrella:
- Where it all started. A route depicting the antique (Bronze Age, Greek, Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine) cultures.
- The Balkan Cultural Renaissance. A route depicting the Medieval period of the Western Balkans.
- Sultans Rumelia. A route depicting the Ottoman period cultural heritage in the Western Balkans.
- The Dream of Emperors. A route depicting the Austria-Hungarian cultural heritage in the Western Balkans.
- The Vibrant Capitals of the Western Balkans. A route of the capital cities of the WB6 economies.
Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations concept allows you to step into prehistory and ancient times, to get acquainted with the Bronze Age and further with Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine culture. Through this concept you can get to know the cultural renaissance of the medieval period in the Western Balkans, pass by the monuments of the Ottoman Empire and get acquainted with the Austro-Hungarian cultural heritage in the Western Balkans.
Experience the culture through storytelling – stories and legends related to the points of interest, which preserve the culture and tradition of these places.