Project title: Sustainable re-use, preservation and modern management of historical ruins in Central Europe - elaboration of integrated model and guidelines based on the synthesis of the best European experiences

Project acronym: RUINS
Start date: 01.06.2017 End date: 31.05.2020
Project budget: 1,77 million € ERDF funding: 1,47 million €
Operational program: Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE
Priority axis 3: Cooperating on natural and cultural resources for sustainable growth in CENTRAL EUROPE


The joint project RUINS (10 partner organisations from 6 EU countries) aims on „giving the second life” to medieval ruins through modern management and finding contemporary functions and effective exploitations while preserving historical value of these sites. By means of development and dissemination transnational guidelines and handbooks integrating model of contemporary exploitation, management and protection of historical value of medieval ruins in Central Europe furthermore to enable elaboration of comprehensive management plans for ruined historical sites.
In Europe, there are at least several thousand historical ruins. Owners and managers of these sites struggle with the same problems: protection of ruins is problematic due to ongoing process of deterioration, and commercial use of historical heritage is limited. Ruined historical buildings are often either neglected or inadequately transformed. They lose their key features – authenticity and integrity. This phenomenon has afflicted the entire Europe.

Importance of project RUINS arises from fact that historical ruins in many countries are in danger for two reasons. Firstly historical ruins are subjected a constant deterioration (it results from their construction lacking appropriate protection against weather and other natural threats and conditions). Their technical protection provided minimal intervention in historical form and substance is difficult and expensive, moreover it is a continuous process. Secondly due to structural arrangements of medieval ruins they are often considered lacking reasonable sustainable use and therefore unnecessary to preserve. Increasingly, owners, users, public opinion, journalists, local communities demand radical intervention. Rebuilt ruins are transformed into hotels, restaurants, museums, offices, etc. Those kind of interventions irreversibly destroy historical value of medieval ruins.

Cultural heritage represents a great potential for economic growth, generating value and thereby economic benefits for citizens. Finding balance between preservation of cultural heritage and sustainable socio-economic development of regions is necessary. Therefore, there is urgent need for development of modern, attractive forms of re-use, management and protection of ruins while preserving their historical value.