Innovative interpretation of industrial heritage, Rijeka

International Workshop

16 – 29 September 2018



In partnership with the European Heritage Volunteers and the Centre for Industrial Heritage & the Centre for Advanced Studies of the South-East Europe, University of Rijeka,

within the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018


The international workshop was organized as a part of the project co-financed by the European Union from the European Structural and Investment Funds “Touristic valorisation of the representative monuments of the industrial heritage of Rijeka”, which comprises of giving new purpose to the motor ship “Galeb” from 1938 and to the former Sugar Refinery Palace from 1786 which will be converted into museum spaces used by the City Museum of Rijeka.

Motor ship “Galeb” was built in Genova as a trade ship, but already in 1943 it became a German war ship, a mine-thrower which spent 10 years under the sea following a bombardment. After being salvaged, it became a school ship of Yugoslavian navy, mainly used by Josip Broz Tito for his journeys.

The Sugar Refinery Palace is a majestic palace from the late baroque period built in 1786, architect of which is assumed to be Andrea Menini. While first used for the needs of the Sugar Refinery, it later became a part of the Tobacco Factory, active from 1851 to the end of the Second World War, when it became part of the Motor Machines Factory Rikard Benčić.

The main idea of the workshop was to tackle the challenge of innovative interpretation of the ship “Galeb” and the former Sugar Refinery which are in the course of their revitalisation: how to inspire, intrigue, entertain and move the users and which forms of interpretation to use to reach these objectives? How to create the connection between the two locations which in future will share the same function (the Museum of the City of Rijeka)? The workshop consisted of introducing the basics of heritage interpretation, interpretation planning and cultural tourism, and was based on the heritage potentials of the two monuments in question.

Good-quality interpretation is creative, authentic, innovative, playful, and takes various shapes: from museum exhibitions, visuals, interactive apps, markings in the space, storytelling, animated movies, and numerous other forms of creative and artistic expression. All mentioned revives the heritage, so the goal of the workshop was to create a proposal for the innovative interpretation of the old “Galeb” ship and the former Sugar Refinery in order to give them a new life!

Volunteers had the opportunity to get acquainted with the history of the city of Rijeka, its industrial heritage and the project of the touristic valorisation. The training and conference on heritage interpretation was organized as a public event during the workshop, as well as several other events open for the local community.

The practical work was focused on the two locations described and during the two-week period, the volunteers developed, under professional guidance, a proposal for good-quality interpretation of the two monuments – adapted to their context, historical role, actual function and potential users. The presence of international volunteers and the exchange of experiences was also relevant for the active involvement of the local population into the process of valorisation and raising the awareness about the potential of the industrial heritage and the role it plays in fostering sustainable cultural tourism and development of local community.

Discover the full report and proposals HERE.

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From the media:
Novi List: Conference ; Report
Moja Rijeka: Announcement City Hall ; Conference ; Final Event
Kanal RI: City Hall  ; Conference
Center for Advanced Studies of the South-East Europe: Summary ; Conference ; Final Event
Rijeka 2020
Grad Rijeka


We invite you to discover other EHV volunteering workshops which took place in 2018: 
European Heritage Volunteers PROJECTS 2018 and FLYER

With the support of: