General facts about the Association
The urban heritage of old towns in Slovenia shows a continuity of settling the Slovenian territory and is valued to be of great importance in our era. It represents the way of life of many different generations. Old towns in Slovenia prove this urban continuity in different areas and regions and show the diversity of our milieu. The settling culture in Slovenia, which can be followed from the first formations in the prehistoric era, through the Middle Ages to Baroque up to the after-war period, is extremely rich.
Old historic towns, mostly medieval towns, are a remarkable potential for Slovenia. They represent its national riches; however local communities are more aware of this fact than institutions at a state level. The local communities also carry financial burden of the restoration. A third of Slovenian towns have been declared monuments according to the Act on Preservation of Cultural Heritage (Official Gazette RS, No 7/99) and the Transitional Act on Natural and Cultural Heritage ( Official Gazette SRS No 1/81, 42/86, Official Gazette RS No 8/90 and 26/92). There is even a high number of those towns whose parts of settlements have been declared a cultural monument.
The towns have their own characteristics and also face problems in their activities, especially in reviltalising old town centres, where life is dying away. Investments in the restoration of old town centres are low, which means the buildings are found in a very poor condition. Public places are quite badly-regulated (streets, squares, parks, pedestrian precincts). The infrastructure is old and hardly adequate, also traffic and mobility are a great problem. After the year 1991 there was a great change in the ownership structure of housing in the old town centre. Only a small minority of buildings are still in the property of the local community, but new owners do not have financial means for the renovation.
The fact that the local communities, which face the problems mentioned above, do not have contacts with each other, makes it difficult for them, in a dialogue with the state agencies and government institutions, to acquire financial means either at home or abroad, as they can not work on common grounds and can not successfully solve demanding professional problems.
That is the reason why the communities which are more conscious of these problems took the initiative to establish The Slovenian Association of Historic Towns.
The Slovenian Association of Historic Towns, the Economic Asociation of Interest, was established in Ptuj, 12 June 2001. The Headquarters of the Association are at Mestni trg 15 in Škofja Loka.
If you need any information about the Association, contact Mrs Mateja Hafner Dolenc, tel. 04/511 23 46, e-mail: email@example.com
The purpose of establishing the Association
Already in 1993 the Assemblies of the Communities of Piran, Ptuj and Škofja Loka established The Community of Old Towns of the Republic of Slovenia with the aim to have an organised cooperation in carrying out the restoration of old town centres.
The members were joined with the aim of finding the ways and possibilites to implement the renovation – to preserve and revitalise old town centres. Together they want to develop the strategy of common marketing in order to increase public awareness that historic towns are an artistic treasure and a tourist attraction, they wish to make them realize that the conservation of cultural heritage promotes economic and social development. This lead to the further establishement of The Slovenian Association of Historic Towns.
The Slovenian Association of Historic Towns represents the interests of economic institutionsin the field of the preservation, encouragement and development of life in old town centres and at the same cares for the cultural heritage of Slovenia.
Aims and objectives of the Association
The basic aim of the Association is an organised and joint appearance and activity of historic towns of Slovenia in their pursuit of their common interests and goals. The aim is to promote the development and new life of historic towns in Slovenia.
Objectives of the Association:
- Enforce the projects of the renovation of historic town centres as a national programme and the development strategy of the Republic of Slovenia,
- Present old towns to state agencies and others, professional institutions in the Republic of Slovenia and also abroad,
- Cooperate in organising and performing the renovation of old town centres in the Republic of Slovenia,
- Cooperate with similar foreign associations of historic towns and joining them,
- Search for the most suitable solutions and determine operative and specific aims (e.g. exchange professional experience, plans of renovation, commission researches, determine priorities),
- Prepare concrete programmes to achieve the determined aims,
- Exercise the initiative which contributes to a better life standard in the territory of old towns,
- Relate to other historic towns and develop the strategy of common marekting with the aim of raising awareness that historic towns are an artistic treasure and a tourist attraction and that the preservation of cultural heritage promotes economic and social development,
- Prepare reports and publications, maintain contact with the media,
- Participate in the fields of culture, tourism, education, sport, etc., on the basis of previously adjusted interests,
- Cooperate with national and other educational institutions to educate young people about the importance of cultural heritage,
- Encourage different forms of education in the field of restoration of cultural heritage (materials, technology of work, build-in methods),
- Share experience and opinions with members of the Association,
- Acquire financial means for the Association activities,
- Reduce financial costs in joint projects that are interesting for all the members of the Association,
- Work out projects of renovation, arrange plans and other urban projects, or cooperate and advise in their elaboration,
- Strive to declare particular historic town centres a cultural monument,
- Strive to enter historic town centres on the list of Unesco Cultural Heritage,
- Organise »The School of Renovation« together with construction companies,
- Submit to pass the legislation which should encourage restoration activities (rationalise proceedings to acquire documentation, abolish or reduce taxes when restoring business premises, ratify higher income tax relief),
- Organise an inter-community fund for the renovation to finance restoration in protected regions and in the countryside.