During its heyday, the Gemer region in central Slovakia was the iron heart of the Hungarian Kingdom. Although these days of metallurgy and mining are long gone, the locals and tourists can still admire the gems they have left behind.
Twelve churches, located in the cities of Rimavské Brezovo, Rimavská Baňa, Kraskovo, Kyjatice, Šivetice, Chyžné, Rákoš, Kameňany, Štítnik, Ochtiná, Plešivec, and Koceľovce, now have a chance to receive the European Heritage Label, the MY Novohrad regional newspaper reported.
They are all decorated with frescoes that use an Italian technique. Some were painted on a damp facade and the colors that were used were a by-product of metallurgy and mining.
The European Heritage Label is only given after a strict evaluation process, said Zuzana Jóbová, marketing manager of the Regional Organisation of Tourism (KOCR) in Banská Bystrica Region. It must show that the location played a significant role in the development and growth of Europe and it reflects European ideals.
The project must present the vision of sustainability, promote the region, maintain the heritage, and spread the news to the public, Jóbová told MY Novohrad.
A benefit for two regions
Receiving the European Heritage Label would benefit the localities where these churches are located.
If the nomination is successful, the Gothic Path project through Gemer and Malohont could be vital for the development of the region, said Banská Bystrica Regional Governor Ján Lunter.
"We already know that we will be cooperating with universities, museums and other education centers on this unique tourism product," said Lívia Gažová, the project manager from the Development Agency in Banská Bystrica Region, as quoted by MY Novohrad. "Another valuable partner to the project is the Slovak National Gallery and other NGOs working in the field of creative thinking."
The project will include activities with other institutions in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria, she added.
She also mentioned that the project is based on environmental and social sustainability with an emphasis on digital presentation. The fragile concept of heritage should not be ruined by being brought into the realm of traditional tourism with informational boards and crowds of people. The project is more focused on the locals and improving guide services and multilinguistics.
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