Bolyarovo: International forum for social sustainability and cultural heritage of the European rural areas

Sep 12, 2022

Territorial & local development

#EuSAVE: 7th and final event in Bolyarovo, Bulgaria

From the 30th of August until the 3rd of September ALDA attended the 7th and final international event of the #EUSave project – EU Citizens’ Action for Smart Historic Villages. The host of the event was the Bulgarian partner of the #EuSAVE project, the municipality of Bolyarovo, a small town in the South of Bulgaria. Delegations from Croatia, Italy, Latvia, North Macedonia, Portugal and Spain, representing 40 small rural municipalities with less than 10.000 inhabitants, participated in the event.

Following  the 6th International Event of the project, on Tuesday, August 30, the mayor of the municipality of Bolyarovo, Mr. Hristo Hristov, greeted the partners with a welcome dinner in Yambol; thus starting this last event, entitled: “International forum for the social sustainability and cultural heritage of the European rural areas”

The next day a transnational conference was held at the Chitalishte “Vazrazhdane” of Bolyarovo, where all the partners had the chance to present to the public their background, experiences and impressions of the project, that started in January 2019 and will end in December 2022. The speeches were preceded by musical performances by the local traditional dance group, and were followed by a conference on:

  • the historical heritage of Bolyarovo (PhD Stefan Bakardzhiev),
  • the promotion of cultural identity (Mr. Stancho Stavrev), and
  • the European projects for local communities in Yambol region (Ms. Tatiana Balakchieva).

“This project allows us first of all to enrich our expertise in European project development, and secondly, to show and compare our cultural traditions”
Hristo Hristov, Mayor of Bolyarovo

Within this context, Alessia Lega and Nicola Zordan from ALDA Skopje summarized ALDA’s role in the project and in the Balkan region in general. A press conference was also held in a nearby building. As the Mayor Hristov pointed out on that occasion:

“This project allows us first of all to enrich our expertise in European project development, and secondly, to show and compare our cultural traditions”

In the afternoon, the group took the opportunity to visit the town, its cultural heritage and the surrounding nature. A small artificial lake close to Malko Sharkovo village has been transformed into a destination for alternative and environmentally friendly tourism.

On Thursday, September 1, the partners visited the National Archeological Museum “Kabile” and “Vila Yambol”, a company that produces one of the best quality wines of Bulgaria. Then, the group moved to the cultural center “Bezistena”, one of the oldest buildings in town and surely the most representative of Yambol, and to the History Museum. A transnational coordination meeting took place in the late evening too.

Finally, the partners had the opportunity to visit Sozopol, an ancient city on the Black Sea, where they could appreciate the richness of its history and the beauty of its coastline. An intercultural dinner was organized in the tiny Stefan Karadzhovo village, during which traditional Bulgarian music was played and folk dances were performed.

The most important outcome of the project was the creation of a network of European smart historic villages that could bring together experiences and issues of different townships all over Europe.

Indeed, it is of paramount importance for these municipalities to have a discussion space where they can share best practices and address similar problems. Through this project became clear that there is a link between cultural heritage and tradition, and that the preservation of the former defends the latter. Moreover, these kind of exchange always make participants aware of the EU’s extraordinary cultural diversity.


More information about the #EuSAVE project can be found on the Website as well as on the Facebook and Instagram pages of the project: Article on Vimianzo pageEuSAVE on Facebook

Delegations joining the event:

Lokalna akcjiska grupa Zagorje-Sutla, Croatia

Unione dei Comuni della Grecia Salentina, Italy

Dagda local municipality, Latvia

Municipality of Berovo, North Macedonia

Comunidade Intermunicipal do Alto Alentejo, Portugal

Concello de Vimianzo, Spain (project leader)


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