Project title: There is no Castle without a Chapel 
Name of the final beneficiary: Žilinský samosprávny kraj (Žilina Self-Governing Region)
Project grant amount: 543 717,00 EUR
Beneficiary's co - financing: 95 950, 00 EUR
Total eligible costs: 639 667,00 EUR
Program SK 05 - Preservation and Revitalization of Cultural and Natural Heritage - "Save the Heritage of our Ancestors"
"EEA and Norwegian Grants - Even Funds Can Be Easy"

Project Contract no. 1081/2014

Project partners:
Norwegian-Slovak Association
The Norwegian - Slovak Association is a representative organization of the Slovak national minority in Norway. The aim of the association is to strive to develop cultural and interpersonal relations between Norway and Slovakia and to be a social platform for all the compatriots and friends of Slovakia in Norway.
As part of the project, the partner provided documentation on the life and activities of the Slovak national minority in Norway and also promoted the project among Norwegian Slovaks.

Civic Association POLONUS in Žilina
POLONUS organizes the cultural and social life of the Polish minority in Žilina and its surroundings, and also tries to educate members of the Polish minority as well as the Slovak majority in the Polish language and realities. The association also closely cooperates with other minority organizations in the Žilina Region and helps to organize various events for minorities, including the annual Forum of National Minorities.
As part of the project, the partner provided documentation on the life and activities of the Polish national minority in Slovakia as well as other active national minorities and used this for the preparation and realization of the cultural event 'Roots can’t be uprooted'. POLONUS also promoted the project on the website of the association.

Basic information about the project
Žilina Self-Governing Region submitted the application for the provision of a non-refundable financial contribution entitled 'There is no castle without chapel' within the framework of the Call for Proposals: Preservation and Revitalization of Cultural and Natural Heritage and Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage.
Žilina Self-Governing Region thus implemented the next stage of the complex reconstruction of the Budatín castle. This phase was focused on the restoration of the castle chapel, which was closed to the public. The implemented project, following the theme of equal opportunities, was particularly aimed at visitors with restricted mobility by providing them with the possibility to enjoy the visit to the castle. For this purpose, barrier-free access was made to the chapel, and the chapel was equipped with the technology enabling virtual tours in castle expositions as well as a virtual visit to the castle tower with a panoramic view of the surroundings. Particular importance was also given to the theme of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, through which the project contributed to the fulfilment of the first of the three objectives of the European Strategy for Culture. For this reason, both the activities of the project as well as the activities carried out during the project's sustainability have provided space for the presentation and documentation of the cultural history of various social, ethnic and cultural minorities and groups with particular emphasis on national minorities. One of the project events 'Roots can’t be uprooted' was aimed at introducing the life of national minorities in Norway and Slovakia to the public. The event was realized in cooperation with the donor partner - the Norwegian - Slovak Association and the Civic Association POLONUS representing the Polish minority in Slovakia.
Regarding the construction works, the project was another part in the extensive renovation of Budatín Castle. Two stages of the project had already been realized, namely the revitalization of a castle park implemented within the Cross-border Cooperation Programme Poland-Slovak Republic 2007-2013 and the reconstruction of the castle tower and the adjacent buildings and the construction of the access road, which was implemented within the framework of the Regional Operational Program (ROP). The following construction works were carried out within the project: construction of entrance areas including installation of new exterior and interior doors - replicas according to preserved originals, construction of a barrier-free access to the chapel, new paving from natural stone on the ground and first floors, new presentation room with window walls, restoration of the chapel, restoration of the original paintings of the chapel in the Baroque-Classicist style, including the addition of the paintings in the entire interior, beneath and in the balcony, where a new hardwood floor was laid and the window wall replaced. An exterior room available for the visitors was created on the first floor, as well as a room with hardwood flooring situated in front of the balcony, which is used for exhibitions and other community activities. The original spiral staircase was restored. Other construction works in the building include new windows, electrical wiring and heating system. New ventilation was also installed into selected parts of the chapel.
A new security system, including door-to-door cameras and a fire protection system was built in. The roof covering was also replaced with the tiled roof and new rain gutters and roof drainage were installed. Rainwater is collected into rain water sewers. Professional reconstruction of exterior plasters was realized.
To intensify the interconnection of reconstructed cultural monument with surrounding tourist attractions, the project also included the construction of an educational path, resp. educational cycling route. The path follows the existing cycling route that Žilina Self-Governing Region has built in phases for several years between the castles of Budatín and Strečno. Information boards were installed at both castles. The project also included the installation of further three information boards at places where bicycle shelters were located, which informed not only about the castles around Žilina but also about various historical attractions in the vicinity of the cycling route, thus creating a complex cycling trail. Seven historical thematic cycling routes were identified within the project entitled 'The Castle Route' and four of them include the Budatín castle. The themes of these cycling routes became the basis for the content of the information boards, which also connected the educational path with historical attractions situated nearby. The boards also function as a form of information system that attracts guests to visit the castle.

Objectives of the project
'There is no Castle without a Chapel' is the latest project completing another stage in the extensive renovation of Budatín Castle by Žilina Self-Governing Region, aimed at restoring the castle chapel to full public use, especially for people with limited mobility and ethnic minorities. The chapel was in ruins and had not been used for 13 years. The goal was to provide barrier-free access to visitors with restricted mobility and to equip the chapel with the technology to offer virtual castle tours.

Description of the project
The protected building undergoing restoration/renovation is Budatín Castle Chapel. The project has enabled us to restore the castle chapel building, which is now accessible to visitors with mobility issues, and therefore fulfils the requirements for barrier-free access. Various events, concerts, exhibitions and creative workshops targeted at this group are held in the chapel. Virtual tours can be viewed by those with restricted mobility. As part of the project a bell was installed in the chapel. We have also held various events as part of the project: a discovery competition for secondary school students, Roots can’t be uprooted, and The tale of Budatín Castle bells. Many other interesting events have also been put on here, such as With history in our hearts (Christmas concert). In addition the following exhibitions were organised: Heavenly Rider – Otto Smik, Wired vs. Wireless, People of the land below Rozsutec, amongst others.
By the end of January 2017, good news came and the grant for the project 'There is no Castle without Chapel' was increased by another 100-thousand euros. The Žilina Region used the provided funding to build an exhibition room on the 1st floor of the Budatín Castle, including the necessary background. The space that is located near the restored chapel is currently used for expositions.

Implementation phases

Achieved results
The restored chapel is open to the public during Budatín Castle opening hours. Events such as performances by ensembles from Poland have been held in collaboration with POLONUS, a civic association. It organises cultural, educational, sports and training activities, and brings together members of the Polish minority in the Žilina region. In October 2017 a memorandum of cooperation was signed as part of an event organised by POLONUS and Museum of Považie in Žilina (PMZA) where the project was realised.


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