2023 European Heritage Awards/ Europa Nostra Awards
The European Commission and Europa Nostra have announced today the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023. This year, 30 outstanding heritage achievements from 21 countries have been awarded Europe’s top honour in the field (see the full list below).
The Awards, funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, are granted in five categories: 1) Conservation & Adaptive Reuse; 2) Research; 3) Education, Training & Skills; 4) Citizens’ Engagement & Awareness-raising; and 5) Heritage Champions.
This year’s impressive collection of award winners ranges from the true renaissance of the Royal Gardens of Venice (Italy), a most treasured green space in the heart of this unique heritage city, to the fascinating research project Safeguarding of the Artisanal Fishing Technique “Arte-Xávega” (Portugal), which helps secure the future of one the last examples of artisanal and sustainable fishing in Europe; from ACTA VISTA (France), an innovative heritage skills training programme which helps individuals marginalised from employment return to work, to the annual festival Budapest 100 (Hungary), which celebrates the built heritage of this World Heritage City; and the transfrontier network of volunteers of SUCHO: Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (Ukraine/International Project), which web archived over 50TB of data from Ukrainian cultural institutions in the first months of the war in Ukraine.
The Award winners were selected by the Jury, composed of heritage experts from across Europe, upon evaluation by the Selection Committees that are responsible for examining award applications, which this year were submitted by organisations and individuals from 35 European countries.
Reacting to the announcement of the 2023 winners, Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, who is currently in charge of Culture, stated: “Each winning achievement of this year’s European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards is the result of extraordinary skills and commitment, collective and individual, spanning heritage places and traditions across Europe. By honouring these achievements, we also reiterate our firm commitment to protecting our shared cultural heritage, because it is vital for our sense of togetherness as citizens and communities of Europe.”
Cecilia Bartoli, the world-renowned mezzo-soprano and President of Europa Nostra, stated: “I warmly congratulate this year’s winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards on their well-deserved recognition. They are inspiring examples which truly contribute to building a more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive Europe. Their success stories demonstrate how adversity can be overcome through pooling expertise, dedication, creativity and innovation. I look forward to meeting them in person and celebrating all the winners at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony in our beloved World Heritage City of Venice”.
The winners will be celebrated at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony on 28 September in the Palazzo del Cinema in Venice. This prestigious event will be honoured with the participation of Cecilia Bartoli, President of Europa Nostra. Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission, is also expected to attend this high-level event. During the ceremony, the Grand Prix laureates and the Public Choice Award winner, chosen from among this year’s winners and entitled to receive €10,000 each, will be announced. The ceremony will be a highlight of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2023, organised by Europa Nostra with the support of the European Commission, on 27-30 September in the World Heritage City of Venice.
Heritage supporters and enthusiasts are now encouraged to discover the winners and vote online to decide who will win the Public Choice Award 2023, entitled to receive a monetary award of €10,000.
Steam Engine Brewery, Lobeč, CZECHIA
For over 15 years, the architects Jana and Pavel Prouza worked to revive this brewery with a rich history dating back to 1586. It was reopened with a mix of cultural and business activities to ensure its sustainability.
Friluftsskolen Open-Air School, Copenhagen, DENMARK
This masterpiece of functionalism, designed by the architect Kaj Gottlob and built in 1938, demonstrates the way in which architecture can contribute to health and well-being. Its restoration serves as a model for other schools in Europe.
Hôtel de la Marine, Paris, FRANCE
An extensive, high-quality project brought this mid-18th century building at the Place de la Concorde in Paris back to its original splendour, while creating a new cultural hub. The restoration is also notable for its innovative financing model.
Royal Gardens of Venice, ITALY
Following complex renovation works, these abandoned gardens from the Napoleonic-era have been given new life and their architectural link to St. Mark’s Square reinstated. Today, these gardens are a beautiful, ecologically sustainable oasis that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture, Vilnius, LITHUANIA
This 19th-century wooden building was restored using high-level craftsmanship and authentic techniques. It now houses a museum and community centre, serving as an example for other similar buildings in Vilnius and beyond.
Wit Stwosz Altarpiece in St. Mary’s Basilica, Kraków, POLAND
The altarpiece carved from 1477 to 1489 by Wit Stwosz, renowned German-born sculptor who moved from Nuremberg to Krakow, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Gothic art. Its meticulous restoration, based on thorough research, was undertaken in situ for over 1,000 days and involved a team of top professionals from across Europe.
Mudéjar Ceilings of the Cathedral of Funchal, Madeira, PORTUGAL
The restoration of these rare Mudéjar style ceilings, covering 1500 m2, was carried out using the best practices in wood conservation and involved an interdisciplinary team of top professionals of various nationalities.
Deba Bridge, Gipuzkoa, SPAIN
The remarkable rehabilitation of this 19th-century stone bridge, an exquisite example of civil engineering, required extensive historical research into materials and forgotten techniques and benefitted from interdisciplinary technical cooperation.
Ruins of the Monastery of San Pedro de Eslonza, Gradefes, SPAIN
The ruins of this 16th-century monastery have undergone an intervention that included archaeological investigation, consolidation and rehabilitation for tourist visits. Its technical, economic and social sustainability is commendable.