From its source deep in the Northern Pindos mountains of Greece, the Vjosa / Aoos river flows into Albania and eventually empties into the Adriatic Sea. For centuries, the river and its tributaries have shaped the area and the lives of those living nearby. The Ecomuseum tells their story.
Partners from Greece and Albania joined hands to create the Vjosa / Aoos River Ecomuseum. Through extensive research and conversations with local associations, scientists, academics and local residents, the partners developed this museum without walls that displays in situ the natural and cultural heritage of this transboundary region. In February 2014, at the culmination of the project, the Ecomuseum passed into the hands of its network, consisting of local stakeholders, representatives of local communities and organisations, and individuals with a proven interest in supporting it.
The Ecomuseum unfolds along four thematic routes, two of which are in Greece – Water and Culture, Movement and Routes – and two in Albania – Fruits of Nature, Earth and Water. By selecting a thematic route, visitors are directed to a trail of discovery and exploration through the natural wonders, history and culture of the Vjosa / Aoos river basin, as well as learning about the contemporary ways of life and identities of the people inhabiting the region.
The website of the Vjosa/Aoos River Ecomuseum hosts a guidebook, which contains the thematic routes and their varied points of interest, together with a contemporary folktale specifically created to serve as the bedrock of the Ecomuseum. It also hosts a virtual tour allowing visitors to navigate themselves through the area remotely.
This project was implemented by four organisations: MedINA as the lead partner, Pindos Perivallontiki based in Ioannina, the Institute of Nature Conservation in Albania (INCA) in Tirana, and the Forest Directorate in Permet. It was funded by EU and national funds within the framework of the IPA Cross-border Programme ‘Greece-Albania, 2007-2013’.