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DALMATIA – STORYTELLING DESTINATION Split-Dalmatia County begins unique project of breathing life back into its rich heritage

This post is also available in: Croatian

There are many authentic stories to be told in beautiful Split-Dalmatia County, a treasure that is ready for every new visitor to this area.

Guided by this unique idea, Split-Dalmatia County and the museums operating within this area have begun with an attractive project which involves reviving the characters of the area’s rich heritage. Through educated and certified guides wearing costumes, as well as educators, the idea brings forth an interesting way of presentation and a certain novelty in the tourist offer.

The project was initiated by the County Steering Committee for Tourism and Maritime Affairs, which realised an interesting tourist platform with the idea of ​​Dalmatia as a storytelling destination. Its goal is to revive the characters from the county linked to its heritage, and create a creative 365 tourist offer within the museum and in other such significant sites.

The implementation of this new tourist acquisition was preceded by training for numerous museum staff and tourist guides. During that very training, they learned how to present some of these so-called ‘’heritage characters’’, localities or events through storytelling announcements, providing guests with new knowledge, and also allowing them to get to know the county in some other kind of way.

Storytelling in the museums of Dalmatia, as a storytelling destination, is a unique project in the Republic of Croatia, but also at the European Union (EU) level. It started with education sessions held from the 9th to the 13th of November, 2020. in the premises of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Split, and it was then realised through the joint cooperation of Split-Dalmatia County and the Let’s Interpret Croatia Association.

Cilj joj je kroz edukacije prenijeti znanja i vještine prezentacije i interpretacije baštine, korištenjem  storytelling metode sukladno Interpret Europe certifikatu.

The aforementioned association is committed to encouraging excellence and efficiency in the interpretation of Croatian natural and cultural heritage, as well as raising awareness of its importance for the development of the country’s various local communities.

Its primary goal is to transfer knowledge and skills of the very presentation and interpretation of heritage through education, using the storytelling method in accordance with the Interpret Europe certificate.

The training session was led by experienced lecturers Mark Wallis from the United Kingdom and Valya Stergioti from Greece, the most important members of ‘’staff’’ when it comes to costumed interpretation of heritage in all of Europe.

Their task was to acquaint already experienced guides and museum staff with this brand new way of using Split-Dalmatia’s highly unique resources. In this way, every visitor is offered a unique souvenir from this area, new knowledge, as well as a sense of really getting to know the destination in which they stayed.

‘’The intention was to introduce Split-Dalmatia’s tourist staff to the presentation of heritage in a costumed performance, that is, through the story of a person, detail, history… Thus, we provide an unforgettable experience for every visitor. In Britain, it is an extremely popular platform and is a favourite among our guests. On my first visit to Split, I couldn’t help but notice how the whole city resembles a fantastic set for a TV or movie plot. The city is beautiful, unique, special, and boasts an enormous amount of content, perfect backdrops for a costumed heritage presentation,’’ said Mark Wallis, the director of Past Pleasures, Ltd. the oldest company involved in costumed interpretation and the staging of historical events in Britain.

The training was attended by fourteen heritage institutions from Split-Dalmatia County, as well as professional museum staff, museum associates and licensed tourist guides.

With this new approach to heritage presentation, they will become costumed first-person performers for: the Kastela City Museum, the Poljica Museum, the Trogir City Museum, the Trilj Region Museum, the Split City Museum, the Ivan Mestrovic Museums, the Split Archaeological Museum, the Croatian Maritime Museum Split, the Natural History Museum and the Zoological Garden, the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments, JU Starogradsko polje, the Klis Fortress, Ritam igre and the Sinj Tourist Board.

The revival of ‘’heritage characters’’ in the area’s museums, as well as that same revival of heritage institutions at the county level is a unique project that enables experiences through unforgettable, authentic, emotional stories which are first and foremost – Croatian stories.

This project aims to preserve and present Dalmatian cultural heritage, but also to contribute to the year-round tourism offer of Split-Dalmatia County.

This post is also available in: Croatian