Restoration of the old church

This project is part of Cittaslow Best Practices Contest 2017

Participated by Barczewo

Infrastructures policies

Summary project
Former Postevangelical church was built in 1871 on a place of a Franciscan garden. When Lutherans were dispossessed from the town, the temple was devastated. The object became a state ownership and then it was transferred to The Museum of Warmia and Mazury, which used it as an art storage. In 2009 the museum transferred the church to the town of Barczewo.

The Postevangelical church is made of brick, neo-Gothic architecture, oriented, one nave, hall-like. It was established on the orthographic projection with trilateral presbytery. At the front of the building there is an entrance that leads through a square churchporch vaulted simple star-like vault. Over the churchporch there is a tower surmounted with a cross. On either sides of the tower there are two symmetrical trilateral turrets with stairs inside. One of them lead to the choir loft, the other lead to the tower. After the revitalization in 2013-2014 the building became a cultural object and was called the European Culture Treasury. It functions as a gallery and a little concert hall of smaller music structures.

There are also individual and group art exhibitions, concerts, artistic workshops, symposiums, multimedia displays and sessions with authors. This cultural legacy in Barczewo enriches tourist offer related to maintaining and cultivating history of the region. The restoration and revitalization project of the former Postevangelical church and the Franciscan garden around, an important example in Poland and Europe of  neo-Gothic architecture, is a very advanced example of the reconstructing urban spaces as common goods in favor of the community. In perfect Cittaslow style, Barczewo has "restructured" a piece of the soul of the city through an ancient brickwork: beyond the architectural-architectonic value of the building, here it has been possible to see and go beyond, to imagine a future Of multiple use for spaces. This gives rise to the so-called economy of resilience through the enhancement of culture, music, art, socialization and creating a multiplier of opportunities for the whole community and providing everyone with Barczewo and out an example of A method that becomes an interesting driver for infrastructure policies in other Cittaslow.

Goal project
The realization of the project was the result of the needs submitted by the residents of the town and the tourists’ interest in cultural heritage objects in Barczewo. So far there was not any room where people could organize concerts (currently the Treasury has great acoustic and that is appreciated by the musicians). Here was no place for exhibitions or sessions with authors. The main initiator of the venture was Mr. Lech Jan Nitkowski the Mayor of Barczewo.

Result project
The realization of the project was the result of the needs submitted by the residents of the town and the tourists’ interest in cultural heritage objects in Barczewo. So far there was not any room where people could organize concerts (currently the Treasury has great acoustic and that is appreciated by the musicians). Here was no place for exhibitions or sessions with authors. The main initiator of the venture was Mr. Lech Jan Nitkowski the Mayor of Barczewo.

In November 2014 there was the European Culture Treasury opening ceremony in which participated about 500 people. This event aroused interest of the regional and local authorities, residents of the district, the neighbouring towns and villages and mass media.

The adaptation of a former evangelical church was entered for the nationwide contest called ‘Spruce Monument’ organized by National Heritage Institute in the category called ‘Adaptation of historical monuments’. The application form was sent 31 January 2017. The European culture Treasury during formal procedure was qualified to the competition ‘ Spruce monument ‘ in a category ‘ National adaptation of historical monuments ‘. The aim of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and General Conservation Oficer is promotion of historical objects and keeping up the aesthetic appearance of the buildings. There were 6 object from Warmia-Masuria province qualified to the competition, in total there were 94 objects from 15 provinces. The winners of the competition will be selected during a gala event which will take place 19 April 2017 in Bydgoszcz.

It should be stressed that since November 2014 (since the opening of the European Culture Treasury) till the end of 2016 about 12,500 participants took part in various events.

In the European Culture Treasury take place many cultural events such as concerts, exhibitions, seminars, lectures but also one of the most important events in the whole region –the Feliks Nowowiejski International Festival of the Choral Music. The aim of the festival is to commemorate the figure of Feliks Nowowiejski- an artist, a patriot, a conductor, a choir master who was born in Barczewo in 1877. On the occasion of annual festivals (this year will be the sixteenth edition of the festival) a lot of great choirs from the whole world arrive in Barczewo.

Finance (costs and benefits)
In the European Culture Treasury in Barczewo was created thanks to the money raised for the renovation of EU funds. Support from the European Union also allowed to renovate the tower at city office and the Music Hall name's Feliks Nowowiejski. All these buildings were renovated under the project Increasing tourist attractiveness of the Barczewo municipality through the renovation of key.

Result project
Cultural heritage objects. The total value of the project amounted to PLN 3,048,779.30 including the grant amount - PLN 2,403,026.06. The “Skarbiec Kultury Europejskiej” renovation costed over 1 000 000,00 PLN.

Motivation for the awards
The restoration and revitalization project of the former Postevangelical church and the  Franciscan garden around, an important example in Poland and Europe of  neo-Gothic architecture, is a very advanced example of the reconstructing urban spaces as common goods in favor of the community. In perfect Cittaslow style, Barczewo has "restructured" a piece of the soul of the city through an ancient brickwork: beyond the architectural-architectonic value of the building, here it has been possible to see and go beyond, to imagine a future Of multiple use for spaces. This gives rise to the so-called economy of resilience through the enhancement of culture, music, art, socialization and creating a multiplier of opportunities for the whole community and providing everyone with Barczewo and out an example of A method that becomes an interesting driver for infrastructure policies in other Cittaslow.