Over 20 years, one grows up and learns a lot. For our Programme, this means four programming periods, hundreds of successful partnerships, significant results on both sides of the border of which we can be proud. An important anniversary and an opportunity to celebrate on both sides of the border. We had many plans that had to be modified after 24th February 2022. A lavish celebration would not be well perceived in Ukraine now, but we wanted this anniversary not to go unnoticed, after all, Polish-Ukrainian cooperation, thanks to which so much has been done over the years, took on a special significance during this war.
We decided to organise 20 events, on both sides of the border, which would better present the results of our projects and show how problems can be solved together and courageous and creative ideas can be realised.
The events in Ukraine started on 7th July in Kosiv, a town famous for its handicrafts. During these days, the 'Taste of Kosiv' Festival took place here, organised within the project 'Festival – stable initiative and effective instrument for cultural heritage and folk promotion of cross-border regions in Poland and Ukraine' acronym KoSol. The event was graced by representatives of a number of projects implemented in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, including Rosettes, TouchingThePast, GORGANY_HERITAGE, Wallachian, WoodenRoute, WOODENARCH, CarpathianBee, FolkArt. They presented the activities they carried out together with their Polish partners, including an exhibition of old photographs, workshops on accessibility of cultural heritage for the blind, wax products, virtual tourist routes.
Participants were able to take part in workshops in folk handicrafts (weaving, wax candle making, fabric embossing, puppet-making, Easter eggs, glass painting, traditional wedding garland), taste traditional local cuisine, and carve with their own hands a cheese in the shape of a horse, which became the symbol of the 'Taste of Kosiv' festival.
The opening of the new tourist facility, which was created as part of the TwoTowers project, became the centrepiece of our 'Legends of the Past' festival in Lutsk. We saw the renovated buildings of Okolny Castle, in particular the Czartoryski Tower, a fragment of the old fortification wall and the cellars of the former Jesuit monastery, as well as the tidied up surrounding areas. The 700 square metres of cellars, most of which were discovered during the renovation, have been transformed into an interactive museum space dedicated to medieval themes. There is a knights' gallery, an exhibition showing the educational process at the Jesuit college, a multimedia system with an interactive whiteboard, virtual reality helmets and many other curiosities. Already during the opening, the place attracted hundreds of visitors, who could watch performances by folklore groups, take part in workshops of ancient crafts and see historical reconstructions.
The celebration of the 20th anniversary of cross-border cooperation attracted participants from many projects in Volyn, namely: SafeTraffic, TwoTowers, East_promotion, PROFolk, GAMPOL, VIRTOUR, EthnicHeritage, UPLA, GothicWay, UrbanRivers, TowersMysteries, OPALYN, SPIDI, KraszewskiPolesie.
Another event was a canoeing trip down the Western Bug. The BugUnitesUs project partners on both sides of the border were united not only by this beautiful river, but also by their love of active tourism. The participants of the canoeing trip visited the Centre of Kayak Tourism created in Sokal, and also got to know the results of two other interesting projects implemented in the area - BugCuisine and BugGuardians.
The cycling tour of the Yavorivskyi National Natural Park was a continuation of a series of active events in the Lviv Oblast. The end point of the cycling tour of the picturesque Roztocze was the Centre of Ecological Education, established as part of the PLUARoztocze project. Here, participants were able to familiarise themselves with the project's activities and learn more about the 'passive house' concept of the facility. Many of the participants also brought home an interesting environmental souvenir - a traditional Yavorivskyi toy, handmade under the supervision of an experienced craftswoman.
On 28th July, our celebrations moved to an altitude of 2020.5 m above sea level! It was here, on the summit of Pip Ivan mountain, that a search and rescue post and a mountain rescue training centre were created and equipped within the PIMReC project in the renovated premises of the former observatory. The implementation of the cross-border project was a step towards increasing the safety of tourism in the Carpathians. It was not without significance that the ascent took place on the day of the 85th anniversary of the opening of the observatory. The climb was not easy, but those who reached the summit were able to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery with a sense of victory.
There are five more events ahead of us, which promise to be no less interesting. Look out for further coverage on our website.
We would also like to invite you to the events which will take place in Poland during the September weekends. Detailed information we will publish in events tab on PBU website (information in Polish).
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