Novobërdë/Novo Brdo Fortress revitalization initiative

©UNESCO.Novo Brdo Castle

Following through on commitments made at its first international conference to “Safeguard the cultural heritage in Kosovo[1]” in 2005, UNESCO is zooming in on the antique settlement of Novobërdë/Novo Brdo in cooperation with and funding by the European Union. Dating back to the IV the century BC and as the economic and trade center of the medieval Serbian state, this site is of significant historical and archeological value. Novobërdë/Novo Brdo was one of the most important late medieval cities in the central Balkans. Its growth was predicated on the rich lead, silver and gold mines in the vicinity whose extensive exploitation began in the first decades of the fourteenth century. 

Situated on a hill in the southeast region of Pristina, the municipality and its invaluable cultural heritage underwent significant damage during, and especially following, the armed conflict in the region. Once thriving from its mining exploitations and duly inhabited, Novobërdë/Novo Brdo included a large valley settlement, a fortified hill and citadel. Today, the fortifications survive in a ruinous state, growing increasingly vulnerable to further and rapid decay. As such, the complex requires an extensive assessment in regards to conservation needs and archeological exploration.

Further, UNESCO considers the protection of cultural heritage as a valuable multi-purpose framework, capable of creating reconciliation opportunities, fostering peaceful relations within once torn communities and developing a positive ripple across neighboring regions. Consequently, the European Union  has partnered with UNESCO in a joint management project aimed at (a) revitalizing the Novobërdë /Novo Brdo Castle through conservation and restoration efforts and (b) managing and valorizing the municipality’s cultural heritage asset through socio-economic development initiatives.

This project is developed in line with, and as part of, the European Union umbrella mission “Balanced Regional Development.” Expected results of this project partnership are:

  • the preservation and revitalization of cultural heritage asset and archeological explorations yielding in key insights on medieval Balkans;
  • local sustainable development through the strategic management of cultural heritage asset, yielding enhanced tourism capacities and socio-economic conditions;
  • public (regional/global) and educational (local) awareness of the value of cultural heritage preservation.

[1] As defined by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 from 1999

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