The subject of the project was the comprehensive development of the Castle Hill in Chęciny and the organization of a supra-regional promotional event.
The authorities of the Chęciny Commune have long been aware of the huge potential of the ruins of the castle in Chęciny, which needed to be properly excavated and exposed. Apart from its unquestionable historical value, the monument was undoubtedly characterised by its unique location, as well as its archaeological and architectural wealth. Financial resources were an obstacle, without which there was no chance of restoring it and making it available for tourists in an appropriate infrastructure. It was not until EU funding was obtained that it became a driving force for regional and supra-regional tourism.
The project assumed the following works, i.e.:
1.Upper and Lower Castle, within the entire Castle Hill:
- reconstruction of the chapel room, the former treasury,
- adaptation of basement rooms to the seasonal mini-cafe,
- development and placing of an information board,
- buildings in the style of old stalls,
- construction and arrangement of benches made of wooden logs,
- reconstruction and protection of the well,
- making the tower available for exhibitions or vernissages,
- placing a ticket booth.
2.Preparation of technical documentation.
3.Organizing the Siege of Chęciny Fortress: fighting of knights brotherhoods, display of medieval crafts, etc.
4.Organizing the Archaeological Conference, the grand opening of the Royal Castle in Chęciny.
The project was cofinanced under Regional Operational Program of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship 2007 – 2013.
Total value of the project: 8 142 565,57 PLN (approximately 1,9 mln Euro)
Co-financing ERDF: 6 514 052,46 PLN (approximately 1,5 mln Euro).
Evidence of success
Rreopened in 2015 after extensive revitalisation, the Royal Castle in Chęciny is delighting visitors more and more every year, breaking popularity records. The number of tourists in 2018 amounted to 207,832. For comparison, in 2011 it was 133,000 tourists. In 2019, the Chęciny stronghold was visited by more than 223,000 tourists, an absolute record, while before the revitalisation, statistics show that there were up to 60% fewer tourists.
- archaeological research / conservator increased the costs and the time of implementation which was extended,
- design errors that appeared during the project implementation
- the need to buy land ownership.
Potential for learning or transfer
The goals of the project have been fully achieved, and the indicators for the number of tourists visiting the site have been increased almost threefold. The activities undertaken in the project have allowed to combine the protection of the most valuable cultural and natural areas constituting national heritage with the development of tourist infrastructure. Reconstruction and modernization of the tourist infrastructure improved the conditions and safety of visiting the Castle by tourists.
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