Konavle’s Sokol Grad Hosts ”The Best in Heritage”

Lauren Simmonds

One of Konavle’s most impressive and yet underrated attractions hosts an important international conference.

Konavle is Dubrovnik’s pretty much overlooked southern neighbour, a region fairly well known for its perfect wine growing climate, rolling evergreen hills, rugged karst mountains, ancient settlements and indeed, Dubrovnik Airport, named after one of those very settlements (Cilipi). Apart from the wine, figs, olive oil and grapes, Konavle lives very much in Dubrovnik’s shadow, the most the vast majority of visitors to Croatia see of this picture perfect region close to the Montenegrin border is the airport runway. 

Now more frequently visited by those staying in nearby Dubrovnik for its increasingly rich sustainable tourism offer, traditional cuisine, nature, craftsmanship and signature promotion of local, cultural manifestations and products, Konavle is slowly emerging on the map for those tourists who want to escape the city and get a real taste of how life once was here in southern Dalmatia, no area quite preserves that ”time warp” feeling quite like Konavle. It seems only right that Sokol Grad, just one of many incredible places of historical and cultural interest that Konavle boasts, hosts the Best in Heritage conference.

As DuList reports on the 2nd of October, 2017, the ”White Council” was held on Sunday the 1st of October, the final meeting of the international conference ”The Best in Heritage”.

The White Council has the task of capitalising the best examples in the conference and affirming current trends in heritage practices.

The working part of the program was held in Sokol Grad, Konavle, where the central committee of the conference, moderators and last year’s winners presented their conclusions to contribute to the excellence of museum practices and to capitalise innovative trends within which museum and heritage programs are being developed all over the world.

The moderator of the discourse was John Sell, the executive vice president of Europa Nostra, the chairman of Committee of National Amenity Societies. The discourse was attended by senior representatives of the following heritage organisations:

Tomislav Šola, the main organiser of the conference
Wim de Vos, Board Member of The Best in Heritage, currently a representative of the Ministry of Culture of Belgium
Carl Depauw, Director of the Museum of Art in Antwerp
Sneška Quaedvlieg Mihailovic, Secretary General of Europe Nostra
An Laishun, vice president of International ICOM Association and President of ICOM China
Catherine Antomarchi, ICCROM
Amelia Wong, representative of Getty / American Museum Association
Alex Palin, the representative of TRAVEL
David Fleming, president of the UK Museum Association
Viv Golding, president of ICOM-ICME
Javier Jimendez, representative of Lord Cultural Resources
Joost van der Spek, representative of Thinker Imagineers
Representative of the Ministry of Culture of Anuška Deranja Crnokić expressed the support of the umbrella institution in the culture of the Republic of Croatia with her presence.

After the working part of the gathering, a tour of Konavle’s rich monumental heritage was organised, this included not only Sokol Grad but the river Ljuta and numerous other areas located in the area. Ivo Đivanović and Jako Pišta presented the flour and oil mills. The program was made complete with a visit to the Konavle County Museum, accompanied by expert guidance and the presentation of traditional silk production.


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