The project "Prehistoric Hill Forts and Ethnobotany 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 Program. The active implementation of the project began on 1 October 2018. The red thread of the project are the remains of hill forts (castellieri), this today neglected cultural heritage, dating from the prehistoric period (from the Bronze and Iron Ages – ie. the 2nd and 1st millenium BC). Their surprising density in the wider area of Primorska, Istria and Kvarner testifies to the common natural features and common history and the unity of this area in prehistory. With the overgrowing of hill forts, the emigration of the local population and the loss of tradition and connections with the ancient past, knowledge about the then growing plants of this area and their use was also lost. Therefore, the main purpose of the project is the active preservation of the heritage of hill forts, namely through their evaluation, protection, revitalisation and promotion. With this project, we also want to revive the ancient connection between people and plants and present it according to modern times, so that it will serve sustainable cross-border tourism, rural development and sustainable environmental management.

Project information:

  • Priority axis of the programme: Conservation and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources,
  • Sprecific objective of the programme: Active heritage preservation through sustainable tourism,
  • Start and duration of the project: from 1 October 2018, duration 33 months (until 30 June 2021),
  • project value: EUR 1.416.321,03,
  • Number of partners: 8 (4 Slovenian and 4 Croatian) - Municipality of Komen, Municipality of Izola, University of Maribor, Institute IRRIS, Istria County, Municipality of Lanišće, Municipality of Mošćenička Draga, Public institution "Učka nature Park".

Project manager: Astrid Prašnikar

Project team by project partners:

  • Municipality of Komen: Uroš Skok
  • Municipality of Izola: Iztok Škerlič, Olga Kaliada
  • University of Maribor: Mitja Kaligarič, Darko Friš, Mateja Friš, Gregor Fištravec,
  • The Institute IRRIS for Research, Development and Strategies of Society, Culture and Environment: Darko Darovec, Arnela Abdić
  • Istria County: Ezio Pinzan, Maja Vižintin
  • Municipality of Mošćenička Draga: Natali Iskra
  • Municipality of Lanišće: Roberta Medica, Lorena Žakić
  • Public institution "Učka nature Park": Egon Vasilić, Hrvoje Krivošić

Movie about the project Kaštelir

3. dan kaštelirjev, presentation of project achievements



Municipality of Komen

The municipality of Komen is a Karst municipality that stretches over 103 km2 from the Slovenian-Italian border, where it borders the municipality of Devin-Nabrežina, to the Braniška valley on the northern edge of the Karst, where the area continues into the Vipava valley and borders with the municipalities of Miren-Kostanjevica, Nova Gorica, Ajdovščina and Vipava on the Slovenian side and Doberdob on the Italian side. On the south side it borders the municipality of Sežana and the Italian municipality of Zgonik.



Municipality of Izola

The municipality of Izola - Comune d'Isola is one of the four Istrian municipalities in the Republic of Slovenia. Its indigenous name is Isola, which means "island".



University of Maribor

The University of Maribor is the second largest and second oldest university in Slovenia. It is based in the building of the former City Savings Bank on the Slomškov Square in Maribor.



Institute IRRIS

The Institute IRRIS for Research, Development and Strategies of Society, Culture and Environment focuses on the study of historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological, political science, linguistics, legal, geographical and wider social aspects. In interdisciplinary comparative studies of social dynamics, the institute ie. its associates include the study of the complexity of cultural heritage as an essential component in man’s relationship with the environment.



Istria County

Istria County is the westernmost county in Croatia. The administrative center of the county, which covers most of the Istrian peninsula 2820 of 3160 km², is Pazin, and the largest city is Pula, where the ancient Roman arena is located.



Municipality of Lanišće

The Municipality of Lanišće was established in 1992 on the basis of the Law on the Areas of Counties, Cities and Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia as part of the former Municipality of Buzet. The municipality of Lanišće is located in the hilly and mountainous area of Ćićarija, which is located in the northeast of the Istrian peninsula. The boundaries of Ćićarija are not precisely defined, in the northwest they cross into the Karst area (Slovenia), and in the southeast it is connected with the Učka mountain, the southwest border consists of a ridge 200 to 400 meters higher than the central Istrian zone, and a northeastern mountain range with several peaks higher than 1000 meters.



Municipality of Mošćenička Draga

The municipality of Mošćenička Draga stretches from Medveja (Cesara Bay) all the way to Zagora (Stepča, in an area of 16 km), with 7 pebble beaches and countless forest and mountain trails. The area is extremely hilly and covers an area of 63 square kilometers. With its territory, it cuts strongly into the Učka Nature Park. The location itself is very interesting, because in addition to the classic (coastal) type of tourism, there is also the possibility of rural (agro) tourism, which would develop on the slopes of Učka - Učka massif with peaks Učka, Sisol, Kremenjak.



Public institution "Učka Nature Park"

Učka Nature Park includes the mountain of the same name and part of the Ćićarija area, and is located along the coast of the norhern Adriatic at one of the northernmost points of the Mediterranean, and connects Istria and the continental part of Croatia.