The project

The "STONEWOOD" project focuses on preserving, promoting and highlighting the architectural and cultural heritage in the "Greece-Albania" cross-border area, resulting the benefit of local development and tourism. The participating partners, from Greek side, are the Municipality of Metsovo, acting as Overall Lead Partner and Municipality of Zagori. In addition, the Albanian partners are the Regional Directory of National Culture Gjirokaster, acting as the Albanian Lead Partner and the Region of Gjirokaster. We could say that the partnership was established, based on similarities in geographic and socioeconomic characteristics, which reflect common problems of unemployment, depopulation and inadequate infrastructure. However, a major common problem that project partners confront is the inadequate use of the comparative advantage of the architectural heritage as an integral part of tourism development, resulting in visibility to the public.

The partners converged on the view that the traditional heritage of the intervention areas hasn't highlighted and promoted so far, resulting to the gradual degradation of area's profile and cultural added value. Basic next target of the partnership is to focus on exploiting additional opportunities for the promotion of modern cultural heritage by using the material to be collected from the project. Activities of the proposed project aiming at creating a network that promotes traditional architecture, natural environment and cultural values that characterize them, using innovative methods and technologies, while giving an opportunity for partners to open channels of communication and exchange, enhancing the knowledge and cultural background of the areas of intervention. The proposed partnership will prove to be prosperous, as partners ensure the participation and support of local and regional authorities from both border sides.

Since the cross-border cooperation can optimize the services that promote traditional architecture, the "STONEWOOD" ensures this, through many proposed actions with expected results as follows: 1) Promotion of cultural identity and traditional architecture of the local communities in the areas of intervention 2) Maintaining and preserving the special architectural heritage, which together with the identification and promotion of the regions, will become a powerful tool for economic and tourism development. 3) Collaborations between architects, engineers of the intervention areas. 4) Exchange of technical methods of traditional art that almost have been lost 5) Promotion and preservation of particular cultural heritage and traditional occupations 6) Strengthening cross-border cooperation and increasing visitors traffic within the intervention areas 7) Development of tourism through the creation of visitor point attractions.


Municipality of Metsovo (LP1), as the Overall Lead Partner of the project, will implement, with the cooperation of the Albanian Lead Partner, the quality assurance plan. All partners will participate to management and reporting actions. All the activities concerning the second workpackage (information and publicity) will be implemented by the Municipality of Zagori (P3), regarding publicity actions in Greece and the (LP2) regarding publicity actions in Albania. These actions referred to production of leaflets and CDs, press publications, advertisements in TV and radio stations, organizations of info days and development of a publicity plan. Both Greek partners will participate in the third workpackage regarding collection and digitization of archive material and LP1 will develop an electronic library with the help of LP2. On the other hand, P4 will collect the archive material and LP2 will digitize the relevant data, regarding Albanian side. The core of the project, the setup of the traditional architecture Centres, will be implemented with the cooperation of all the partners. More specifically, all partners will participate to the development of an action plan for Centres operation but the Centres will be created in 3 partners (LP1, P3, P4). P3 and LP2 will be responsible to develop a study for traditional architecture and buildings and the partners LP1, P3, P4 will implement the workshops concerning training techniques for stone and wood craftsmen. WP5 consisted of activities for the promotion and the valorization of the cultural capital and these actions concern 2 cultural events (P3, P4), 2 scientific conferences (LP1, LP2) and a multi-lingual guide in electronic format (LP1) and in paper format (LP2, P3). The abovementioned devisions of roles and tasks among the partners and also the administrative and financial issues that foreseen according to "Lead Partner" principle, have been done, taking into consideration the competences and strengths of each partner.

Partner Information

Lead Partner : Municipality of Metsovo


  • Municipality of Zagori/Greece
  • Region of Gjirokaster/Albania
  • Regional Directory of National Culture Gjirokaster/Albania


The global objective of the proposed project is the preservation, promotion and enhancement of architectural and cultural heritage of the cross-border region, which has begun to be influenced by modern construction. Since both of these regions are rich in cultural heritage in the craft of stone and wood, the proposed project aiming at highlight the abovementioned culture tradition and to result to the economic growth of the entire area. The proposed project's activities aiming at creating a network - a system that promotes traditional architecture, natural environment and cultural values, using innovative methods and technologies, while giving an opportunity for partners to open channels of communication and exchange enhancing the knowledge and cultural background of the area. More specifically, the main objectives of the project are presented as follows: To exchange methods and techniques of stone and wood craftsmanship, to increase the employment rate of the regions, to enhance cross-border cooperation between local and regional Authorities, to increase the number of tourists to the cross-border regions, to improve the attractiveness of the cross-border regions and to develop mechanisms in order to support the tourist development of the areas and finally to exchange knowledge and expertise and know-how at a local, regional, national and international level. Coherently with its general objectives, the proposed project aims to stimulate, in the territories involved in the project, the artistic creativity around "the stone and wood" and to support and enhance SMEs in their further development by establishing stone and wood business cooperatives. The aforementioned objectives will result to devote project's resources to the protection and promotion of cultural architecture potential of the eligible border area, increasing the local employment, as a means for sustainable local development.

Expected Results

In order to obtain the best results and impacts from project's implementation, the participating partners will be cooperated in the best way and will share human and economic resources, competences, know-how and best practices that have acquired from previous experience. The direct and immediate results of the project are as follows: Preservation and promotion of cultural identity and traditional architecture of local communities in the intervention area, maintaining and preserving the special architectural heritage which together with the identification and promotion of cultural sites, will become an economic and tourism development tool, collaboration between architects and engineers of the intervention areas, exchange of technical methods of traditional art that almost have been lost, promotion and preservation of particular cultural heritage and traditional occupations, promotion of traditional architecture as an integral cultural element of the local communities, using new modern technologies. Traditional architecture is important because it maintains our link to the past. It is this link to the past that keeps us latched to the traditional buildings and styles that can be incorporated into other building designs. Utilizing traditional architecture styles and elements, provides to residents the sense of calm and consistency throughout their community without a wild departure from their traditions and heritage. As a general result we could mention the close and essential cooperation of target groups, such as public Authorities, experts, scientists and student community, from both sides, which will create a dynamic human and business network available for possible future collaborations. These target groups will be the users of project' products, after project's completion and through the expected network, that the project will create, they will develop further the project idea with enormous benefits for all providing the relevant added value to the area.

Last modified: Tuesday, 26 November 2013, 9:36 AM