Intangible heritage of a boatbuilding tradition in Rovinj, Croatia.
The Ecomuseum Batana started as a project addressing the need of safeguarding Rovinj’s local maritime heritage with special attention to its boatbuilding tradition but aware of the interconnection between tangible and intangible heritage and the multiplicity of cultural expressions.
The project started as a civil-public heritage project whose safeguarding mission and main goals are conveyed and implemented through its principal elements:
1. The House of Batana, the central interpretation and documentation centre with a permanent exhibition;
2. Spacio Matika, local tavern, the place to experience the tastes, smells and the singing of the local maritime heritage;
3. Mali Škver (Little Shipyard), the place to celebrate the intangible heritage of the batana’s construction;
4. Rovinj’s regatta (known simply as Regata) of traditional wooden boats with mainly lateen sails, Rovinj’s main celebration of boats, the sea and sailors;
5. The Batana Way from the Mail Mol (Little Pier) to Spacio Matika and Rovinj’s waterfront, two thematic routes – the first by sea accompanied by barkarioli (boatmen), and the second a stroll along the waterfront, where visitors learn about and experience Rovinj from the ‘batana perspective’.

The project is managed by practitioners and local community who are also the main stakeholders.

Resources needed

Annual budget is 100.000 EUR with 1 person managing EU funds, municipal, regional and national contributions and 3 others involved in local organisation and logistics.
Association also runs a social company for its cultural-tourist offer reaching yearly 150.000 EUR for around 15 seasonal employees.

Evidence of success

Ecomuseum Batana won many international and national awards.
Three main are:
1. Award for the best cultural product by the Croatian tourist organization
2. Vicko Andric award by the Ministry of Culture of Croatian
3. Enlisted in the ICH UNESCO register of good safeguarding practices

Difficulties encountered

Lack and instability in finance planning. No direct funds, which means a lot of planning and project writing on monthly basis. This hinders continuous activities.
Lack of practitioners in traditional kills and specialists in the field of EU funding-managing funds and intangible cultural heritage.

Potential for learning or transfer

The Batana Ecomuseum management model and safeguarding activities from boatbuilding, regatta to kids’ workshops are regarded by UNESCO as good practice in safeguarding ICH. The key of our success lies in the community-based management but link between economic benefits, safeguarding activities and social cohesion that are generated by practices.

Digital technologies can aid in transmitting ICH:
-iEcomuseum – new technologies in documenting and interpreting ICH for kids
-Data base of maritime heritage – INTERREG SI-HR Mala barka 2 project
-iPad app on local fairy tales promoting storytelling as medium for transmission of knowledge / combining new and traditional media.

“iEcomuseum” project - based on iPad workshops for youngsters developing skills needed for documentation and interpretation of intangible heritage.

We believe our model is suitable for every region if community is involved and political will present to support activities that show integrity and sustainability.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Association “House of Batana
Jadranska Hrvatska, Croatia (Hrvatska)
Start Date
September 2004
End Date


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