A collage of the 2021 Europa Nostra Awards winners, Source: Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra rewarded outstanding examples of heritage from across the continent

Europa Nostra rewarded outstanding examples of heritage from across the continent

This was done at an online event but there are still hopes for a real-life ceremony in September, as well

Earlier today Europa Nostra, in partnership with the European Commission, announced the 2021 laureates of the European Heritage Awards/ Europa Nostra Awards – the most prestigious annual cultural heritage prize, funded by the Creative Europe programme. The 24 winners from 18 countries were divided into 4 categories, which aimed to showcase a wide perspective on all aspects of heritage work and how this affects different walks of life in the lives of Europeans.

The event took place online and featured important figures from both organizations taking turns to greet the participants and express their opinions on the importance of heritage for the European lifestyle and identity. Some of the prominent speakers were: Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra and David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.

Who are the winners in this year’s edition?

The Award winners were selected by independent juries composed of heritage experts from across Europe, upon evaluation of candidatures submitted by organizations and individuals from 30 European countries.

A glance at the winners below reveals the broad idea of objects and practices that constitute the idea of heritage and the activities associated with it on our continent.

Category: Conservation Projects

  • Gare Maritime, Brussels, BELGIUM
  • Fredensborg Palace Garden, DENMARK
  • Vardzia Rock-Cut Complex, GEORGIA
  • Haus Am Horn, Weimar, GERMANY
  • Plaka Bridge, Epirus, GREECE
  • 18 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin, IRELAND
  • Wooden Church of Urși Village, Vâlcea County, ROMANIA
  • Besòs Water Tower, Barcelona, SPAIN
  • Mas de Burot, Els Ports Natural Park, SPAIN

Category: Research Projects

  • FIBRANET – FIBRes in ANcient European Textiles, DENMARK / GREECE
  • Control Shift – European Industrial Heritage Reuse in Review, GREECE / THE NETHERLANDS
  • ART-RISK – Artificial Intelligence Applied to Preventive Conservation, SPAIN

Category: Dedicated Service to Heritage by Organisations & Individuals

  • Gjirokastra Foundation, ALBANIA
  • Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, CYPRUS
  • Rita Bargna, ITALY
  • GEFAC – Group of Ethnography and Folklore of the Academy of Coimbra, PORTUGAL

Category: Education, Training and Awareness-raising Projects

  • Following in the Steps of Bulgarian Folklore, BULGARIA
  • Heritage Hubs, FINLAND / ITALY / SERBIA / SPAIN
  • The Invention of a Guilty Party, Trento, ITALY
  • Holidays! In the East and West – The School Church, Groningen, THE NETHERLANDS
  • European Solidarity Centre – Permanent Exhibition, Gdańsk, POLAND
  • Morón Artisan Lime, Morón de la Frontera, SPAIN
  • Archaeology at Home, UNITED KINGDOM
  • Morus Londinium: London’s Heritage through Trees, UNITED KINGDOM

A video collection featuring all the 24 winners. Source: Europa Nostra

The connection to other EU initiatives

David Sassoli made poignant remarks about the importance of heritage work and how this forms an inextricable link to concurrent initiatives by the European Union, such as the Conference on the Future of Europe and the New European Bauhaus: “Culture and artistic heritage are not secondary elements, but they represent fundamental tools to foster cohesion, to strengthen our humanity, to give meaning to our belonging. (…) Culture and heritage are essential elements from which to start again and from which to relaunch our European policies.”

Naturally, the virtual format of the event limited the grandeur of what could have been a more interactive affair but there was good news, or at least some cautious optimism. The organizers have planned to hold a real-life ceremony to honour the laureates to take place in Venice on 23 September, epidemiological situation permitting.

Additionally, heritage supporters and enthusiasts from across the world are now encouraged to discover the winners and vote online to decide who will win this year’s Public Choice Award. The winner of that award will be announced in Venice.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU