Via Transilvanica won also The Public Choice Award at European Heritage Awards 2023

Oana Vasiliu 02/10/2023 | 14:15

Last week, the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023, Europe’s top honour in the field, were celebrated with a high-level event held at the iconic Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido in Venice, Italy, and Romania was awarded with two prizes, as previous mentioned by Business Review: Via Transilvanica and Pathfinders of the Waters, Danube Delta. 


Moreover, Via Transilvania took also the Public Choice Award, being selected from among this year’s 28 award-winning heritage achievements from 20 European countries by the Board of Europa Nostra on recommendation by an independent jury of experts.

The Public Choice Award 2023 – which also includes a monetary award of  EUR 10,000 – went to Via Transilvanica, ROMANIA, a remarkable project that established Romania’s longest hiking trail, spanning over 1,400 kilometres and connecting 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This impressive initiative in the category Citizens’ Engagement & Awareness-raising raised the largest number of votes, cast via an online poll with the participation of some 27,000 citizens from all over Europe.

Daniel Toda, a voter from Romania, wrote: “Via Transilvanica is truly a magnificent project encompassing outstanding nature, trails and cultural heritage. This is the adventure of a lifetime, literally a time-travel to old Europe, to villages trapped in time, monasteries and medieval castles. Via Transilvanica is a golden string that ties all these pearls into an amazing experience”.

Discover Via Transilvanica

Via Transilvanica, Romania’s longest hiking trail spanning 1,400 km, has triumphed in the Citizens’ Engagement and Awareness-raising category. This impressive trail connects an astounding 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites and has been established by Tășuleasa Social, a local non-profit organization dedicated to educational, social, environmental, and cultural activities for over 23 years. The project has not only deepened people’s connection to the trail and its surroundings but has also fostered a strong sense of place. By collaborating with public stakeholders, NGOs, and other organizations, Via Transilvanica has reached over 7 million people, while promoting sustainable tourism and preserving the region’s built heritage. The Awards’ Jury lauded the project’s contribution to heritage preservation and its positive economic impact.

Discover Pathfinders of the Waters, Danube Delta

Pathfinders of the Waters, Danube Delta, the second Romanian project, has emerged victorious in the Education, Training, and Skills category. This initiative employs traditional canoes, known as lotcas, to celebrate local heritage and cultivate new skills among children. It also seeks to raise awareness about the interconnectedness of humans and nature.

The project encompasses a practical workshop for traditional boat construction, a comprehensive methodology, open educational resources, a digital platform, and dedicated events for the Pathfinders of the Waters children’s network. Leading the project is the renowned Romanian canoe legend Ivan Patzaichin, with an impressive track record of 30 titles from the Olympic Games, World Championships, and European Championships.

The Awards’ Jury commended the Pathfinders of the Waters project for its engaging grassroots approach, captained by passionate local leaders. The project’s uplifting photos showcase the participants’ enthusiasm, while its efforts in integrating children from diverse backgrounds contribute to cultural cohesion. The canoe serves as a tangible centerpiece and a powerful symbol, fostering an understanding of the wider ecosystem of the Danube and strengthening the connection between countries along its course. The Jury also noted the project’s potential for replication and its relevance to other regions.

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Oana Vasiliu | 06/06/2024 | 16:28
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