»Prehistoric forts and ethnobotanics for sustainable tourism and rural development – from the Karst (via Brkini, Čičarija and Istria) to Kvarner«

The project  “Prehistoric forts and ethnobotanics for sustainable tourism and rural development – from the Karst (via Brkini, Čičarija and Istria) to Kvarner “, with the acronym KAŠTELIR, is part of the Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia Cooperation Programme. The active implementation of the project started on October 1st, 2018. The main theme of the project are the remains of kaštelirji (forts), the overlooked cultural heritage, that derives from the prehistoric period (from the Bronze and the Iron Age – 2nd and 1st millennium BC). Their astonishing density in the wider region of Primorska, Istria and Kvarner witnesses the common natural features and the common history and uniqueness of this area in prehistoric times. By overgrowing the hills, the emigration of the local population and the loss of tradition and connections with the ancient past, the knowledge about the growing plants of that area and their use was also lost.

Therefore, the main objctive of the project is to actively preserve the heritage of the kaštelirji (forts) through its valorisation, protection, revitalization and promotion, using non-invasive tools, supported by modern ICT. With the project, we want to rebuild the ancient connection of people with plants, and thus present and apply it to modern times, in order for it to serve the sustainable cross-border tourism, rural development and sustainable management of the environment.

Other project data:

  • Priority Axis of the Programme: Conservation and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources
  • Program Specific Objective: Active conservation of heritage through sustainable tourism
  • Beginning and duration of the project: from 1st of October 2018, the duration of 30 months
  • Total value of the project: EUR 1,416,321.03
  • Number of partners: 9 (5 Slovenian and 4 Croatian)


  • Municipality of Komen (Slovenia), the Lead Partner
  • Municipality of Izola, Slovenia
  • University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • IRRIS – Institute for Research, Development and Strategies for Society, Culture and Environment, Koper, Slovenia
  • Istarska županija, Pazin, Croatia
  • Municipality of Lanišće, Croatia
  • Municipality of Mošćenička Draga, Croatia
  • Public institution »Natural Park Učka«, Lovran, Croatia
  • Public institution Komenski Kras, Štanjel, Slovenia


  • Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Slovenia, Nova Gorica
  • Koper Regional Museum, Koper
  • Public institution Park Škocjanske jame, Divača
  • Tourist Chamber of Slovenia, Ljubljana
  • Municipality of Koper
  • Municipality of Ilirska Bistrica
  • Municipality of Hrpelje – Kozina
  • Municipality of Divača
  • Municipality of Pivka
  • Institute Krasen Kras, Gorjansko


1. A new cross-border destination for sustainable tourism – “THE LAND OF KAŠTELIRJI– the landscape of several Slovenian and Croatian forts, based on:

  • Forts of the entire area – especially the ones, the project is dealing with (approximately 20 in each country) and 4 revived forts
  • Center for promotion of forts and traditional use of herbs in Čičarija, Račja vas
  • Archeo-Botanical Park in the town of Mošćenička Draga
  • Consortium for KAŠTELIR
  • Stories and presentation of life in forts
  • Common lists (forts, usable plants), publications, public events (conferences, festivals), promotional material (guides, children’s books, films, brochures, models, souvenirs, etc.), digital activities (3D displays, mobile applications, itineraries, etc.)
  • Marketing of tourism products and the trademark
  • information, workshops and other training for residents/locals, visitors, tourist guides

2. THREE new cross-border sustainable tourism products:

  • Archaeological cross-border itinerary,based on:
  • four revived forts: Štanjel (Komen, SI), Korte (Izola, SI), Rašpor (Lanišče, HR), Bršeč and Ozida (town of Mošćenička Draga, HR) and others, in the Land of Kaštelir –  connected forts of the project area
  • management strategies for forts
  • cleaning of revived buildings and surroundings, regulation, reconstruction and insurance of revived construction sites in accordance with the strategy (open-air museums, gardens, exhibitions, marking boards)
  • mobile and web application – KAŠTELIRJI ROAD
  • promotion of forts
  • basics for the establishment of the archaeological park and the initiative for the UNESCO heritage inscription

3. Botanical cross-border itinerary(in connection with archeobotanics and ethnobotanics), based on:

  •  eight learning, recreational and didactic paths in the surrounding area of revived forts
  •  botanical park in Mošćenička Draga,
  •  common lists, guides and codes
  •  a gene bank of useful plants
  •  the codex for harvesting useful plants
  •  a report on the popular naming and traditional use of plants
  •  mobile and web application – KAŠTELIRJI ROAD
  •  experimental plantations of protected plants
  •  promotion of botanics and ethnobotanics of the area

4. Itinerary for cross-border fort festivals,based on:

  • several content-related festivals in the area of four revived forts, carried out in different periods on the subject of archeology, history and anthropology of forts, archaeobotanics, botanics, ethnobotanics and music from the forts