Natural and cultural landscape of the Danube river

Katarína Kristiánová

SUMMARY

The Danube area is a phenomenon embracing the values of natural beauty and those of cultural heritage, values both tangible and intangible, values of the present and of the past times. The DANUrB project focuses on identifying the values of the architectural cultural heritage and methods of valorisation of such heritage, and furthermore, on identifying and valorising the Danube landscape, which may add to the increase of tourism and building of the “Danube brand”.

One of the project goals is to provide such data about the landscape, its stories/history and values that is not visible at first glance or has almost disappeared, the data which has recently been accessible only to a limited number of experts with the general public and tourists mostly unaware of such gems. If people know about these natural and cultural heritage values it establishes the base for their protection and preservation for future generations.

The article explains terms such as the natural landscape and cultural landscape, bringing attention to the importance of protection and preservation methods of such landscapes using the example of the Danube delta and the Wachau Valley. Furthermore, it presents a part of the research phase 1 elaborating on the selected values of the Danube’s natural and cultural landscape in Slovakia.

The goal of valorisation strategies under the project is to apply a flexible, humane, and environmentally and socially responsible approach to the existing natural and cultural zones of the riverfront area. Making the values of the selected nature and cultural heritage available via a mobile application will be one of the valorisation methods in the DANUrB project’s final phase. The extensive use of the smartphones and mobile applications nowadays opens new opportunities to explore countryside, boost tourism and also help interpret nature and cultural heritage values. The Internet and mobile applications are the means of providing various information about the country and its related stories. This adds new dimensions to exploring the country in its actual physical reality. For the current research phase, the chosen elements of the green infrastructure of Slovak pilot towns – Komárno and Štúrovo – were selected to be included in the mobile tourist application.

Keywords: cultural heritage, Danube, DANUrB, landscape, research, valorisation