The project aims conservation, restoration and exhibition of the church “St. Nativity of the Virgin” in the village of Milanovo, municipality of Svoge and economic revitalization in the abandoned areas of the Nature Park “Vrachanski Balkan”. The aims will be implemented on the base of preserved natural and authentic cultural heritage and through the development of sustainable partnerships.

The target groups are local people, visitors and tourists in the nature park, representatives of public authorities and the Roma ethnic group, as well as people interested in the field of cultural heritage, including representatives/people/folksfrom Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. 

The project includes activities for development and implementation of technical and work projects for conservation, restoration and exposure of the church “St. Nativity of the Virgin”. The temple is a unique, typical medieval Bulgarian church, dating from 1492 and it is cultural monument of national importance. At the moment the building of the church is in very poor condition, which creates a risk of irreversible damage to murals and the building itself.

At the same time, activities for documenting the material culture of the region will take part in the project. It will include conduction of several researches – Historical art study of artistic values (study of icons, iconostasis, frescoes and decorations from artistic point of view, etc.), Ethnographical study (includes historical data and sources for church and locality, places’ names, ethnography, ritual actions, myths and legends, natural heritage and biodiversity, etc) and special cultural study for the “Vows  and vows activities in Iskar Gorge”.

In addition, there are plans for organizing of a cultural festival of traditions and collective memory, which will become an annual event.

The project foresees a professional training of the representatives of the Roma ethnic group in “Landscaping” specialty. They will be included with landscape activities in the project area.   Moreover, a various artistic talents from the Roma population will take part in the cultural festival of traditions.

Activities for project management, information and publicity are also included.

As a result of the project, a unique cultural heritage building will be restored. The restored building will be exhibited in an authentic cultural and natural environment.

 There will be some professionally trained members of the Roma population and theywill be included with landscape activities  in the adjacent area of the church. The culture heritage will be documented  by organizing annual “Festival of tradition and collective memory” .The festival will be attended by representatives of the Roma minority in the area.

The partnership between government organizations with functions in the field of cultural heritage and regional development will add value to the local development.The Southern zone of the Nature Park “Vrachanski Balkan” will have a new attractive cultural centerThis will lead to increasing the value context of the nature park, its attractiveness and economic revitalization based on the specific and conserved natural and authentic heritage.

The Lead partner is Regional administration of Sofia region and partners – Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park Administration and Polar Permaculture Solutions, Norway.


The project duration is 16 months with an indicative beginning – August 2014.
The project will cost about 
342 182,81  Euro.