TOGETHER: Common cultural and historical heritage beyond the borders

Project code:CB005.1.21.139
Project call:CB005.1
Priority axis / Specific objective:2.1. Increasing the touristic attractiveness of the cross-border area through better utilisation of natural, cultural and historical heritage and related infrastructure
Type of project:Investment
Project duration in months:24
Project final contract amount:486735.54 €
Project EU co-financing rate:85.00 %
Project start date:21.03.2017
Project end date:20.03.2019
Project intervention field:094 Protection, development and promotion of public cultural and heritage assets
Project summary:

The project aims at increasing the tourist attractiveness and improving the capacity in the field of culture and tourism in the cross-border region through large investments in vital improvements of two key tourist sites, namely Aquae Calidae-Therma, Bulgaria and Rock monastery St.Nicolas - Kıyıköy, Turkey.

The main project activities include preservation, protection and creating accessible to visitors tourist infrastructure to archaeological excavations at the medieval fortress "Aquae Calidqae Therma" near Burgas, Bulgaria and the construction of inlet time with associated facilities - sidewalks, parking and street lighting to the cut into the Rock Monastery "St. Nicholas" in Kaikyoy, Turkey.  The project envisages also restoration works, creation of tourist infrastructure and digitization of cultural valuables by establishing information and communication technologies. For the purposes of theproject, it will be purchased a device for 3D scanning, server, storage and processing of data and two information pavilion for the access points to the base in the Regional Historical Museum in Burgas and at "Aquae Calidae Therma". A conference with the participation of experts in archeology, conservation and restoration on the management of cultural heritage and promotion of its tourist value will be held.

The implementation of the project will lead to creation of a joint tourist product for the purposes of cross border co-operation, to promotion of the target area as a common tourist destination and to improvement of the access to cultural and historical landmarks.

Project status: Finished

The project partners have implemented the activities according to the schedule.

Project "TOGETHER - Common cultural and historical heritage beyond the borders" united the efforts of two regional cultural institutions on both side of the border – Regional historical museum Burgas, Bulgaria and Regional directorate for culture and tourism Kırklareli, Turkey. The successful partnership not only improves the attractiveness and popularity of two of their most valuable cultural historical sites – Aquae Calidae and Rock Monastery St. Nicholas but also united them as a regional tourist product. Thanks to the project’s funding, 760 m road between Kiyikoy and the monastery was completely redone. The vehicle lane and sidewalks were arranged with granite pavement to blend naturally with the surrounding environment and street lightning was installed on both sides of the road. A dedicated parking area was constructed right in front of the archaeological site, making the monastery more accessible and attractive for passing tourists. The investment in Burgas led to the conservation and restoration of the archaeological remains at Aquae Calidae Therma. A cold pool dating back to the Roman age was drained and restored and a passage between the main parts of the historical site and the underground structures was constructed. It allows visitors to descend in the lower sections illuminated by decorative lightning. RHM Burgas – the project’s leading partner – used the EU’s funding to acquire special 3D scanning equipment and a powerful server to digitize artefacts from Aquae calidae into a virtual collection. Today, the digital library contains 127 objects that represent the entire lifespan of the place from the Thracian settlers to the Ottoman Empire, which comes down to over 2000 years of history. Modern information points display digitally the collection to visitors. The project also brought TOGETHER archaeology, conservation and restoration experts during a joint international scientific conference “The Ancient City of Aquae Calidae and the Rock Monastery of St. Nicholas - Opportunities and Problems of the Cultural and Historical Heritage in the Cross-Border Region”, which resulted in a joint book with text in English, Bulgarian and Turkish.

Materials from the project:

Project materials are available HERE.

The Project leaflet is available HERE.

Project products:

Project brochure is available HERE.

The Book "Aquae Calidae - the favourite baths of emperors, tsars and sultans" is available HERE.

Presentation from Kick-off and Press Conference held on 16 June 2017 in Burgas is available HERE.

Presentation “Digitalization of cultural heritage: new opportunities for promotion and online presence” is available HERE.

The online platform with digitalized cultural objects is available at




Leading partner
Regional historical museum Burgas
Kirklareli District Directorate of Culture and Tourism