Join Europa Nostra
EN Documents
EN News
EN and Turkey
EN Istanbul 2010
Home Page
Site Map
Turkey wins an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award



                 14 April 12:00 CET


          press release




Turkey wins an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage /

Europa Nostra Award


Brussels / The Hague, 14 April 2015 - The European Commission and Europa Nostra have revealed today the winners of the 2015 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, considered Europe’s most prestigious prize in the heritage field. The 28 award winners, selected from 263 applications submitted by organisations and individuals from 29 countries, are honoured for outstanding achievements in four categories: 1) conservation, 2) research and digitization, 3) dedicated service to heritage, and 4) education, training and awareness-raising.


The European Heritage Awards Ceremony will take place on 11 June at the Oslo City Hall and will be co-hosted by Fabian Stang, Mayor of Oslo, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Plácido Domingo, the renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra. At the ceremony, seven of the selected winners will be named as Grand Prix laureates, receiving €10,000 each, and one will receive the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra.

 “Cultural heritage is one of Europe's biggest assets. It brings countless cultural, economic, social and environmental benefits to all of us. I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2015 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, who are the perfect example of what dedicated and competent Europeans can do for heritage - but also for our European identity, contributing to a sense of belonging. We all need to keep working together to help communities and citizens take ownership of our heritage, make it part of our daily lives and preserve it for the generations to come,” said Commissioner Navracsics.


"This year’s winners are powerful examples of creativity and innovation at work for Europe’s cultural heritage. They also demonstrate that heritage matters to Europe and its citizens. We trust that, under the leadership of President Juncker and Commissioner Navracsics, the European Union’s strategy for an integrated approach to cultural heritage will be further developed and implemented,” added Plácido Domingo.





For Europa Nostra

Elena Bianchi +31 70 302 40 58 

Joana Pinheiro +31 70 302 40 55

Twitter: @europanostra   


For the European Commission

Lucia Caudet +32 2 29 56182

Mirna Bratoz +32 2 29 87278



About each winning project:

information and jury’s comments,

high resolution photos and videos



Creative Europe website

Twitter: @europe_creative

Commissioner Navracsics website











2015 Award Winners

(listed alphabetically by country)




Category Conservation

Picturesque Garden of the Museum van Buuren in Brussels, BELGIUM

Armenian Church and Monastery in Nicosia, CYPRUS

Boulingrin Central Market Hall in Reims, FRANCE

Antouaniko Mansion in Chios, GREECE

Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, HUNGARY

Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama in Sardinia, ITALY

Paleochristian Mosaics of the Basilica Complex in Aquileia, ITALY

The Halls Amsterdam: Centre for Media, Fashion, Culture and Crafts, THE NETHERLANDS

Manor House in Eidsvoll, NORWAY

Cathedral in Tarazona, SPAIN

Salt Valley of Añana, Basque Country, SPAIN

Armenian Church of St. Giragos in Diyarbakir, TURKEY

Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, UNITED KINGDOM

Stonehenge: Surrounding Landscape and Visitor Centre in Wiltshire, UNITED KINGDOM


Category Research and Digitization

Research Projects:

Restoration of Lasithi Plateau’s Windmills with Perforated Sails, Crete, GREECE

Learning from las Cuencas: the Cultural Landscape of the Asturian Coalfields, SPAIN

Digitization Projects:

HERMES: Hermoupolis Digital Heritage Management, Syros, GREECE

Wonders of Venice: Virtual Online Treasures in St. Mark’s Area, ITALY


Category Dedicated Service

The Rundling Association, Jameln, GERMANY

Huis Doorn Association of Friends, Doorn, THE NETHERLANDS

Churches Conservation Trust, London, UNITED KINGDOM


Category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

Education Projects:  

Heritage Skills Initiative, Newcastle upon Tyne, UNITED KINGDOM

Young Archaeologists’ Club, York, UNITED KINGDOM

Training Projects:  

Programme for Owners of Rural Buildings in Estonia, Tallinn, ESTONIA

The Outbuilding Project, Roros, NORWAY

Awareness-Raising Projects:

The Garden City of Stains, FRANCE

Saving Past Testimonies for Building a Future, Chisinau, MOLDOVA

The Fota Walled Garden, Cork, IRELAND


  Armenian Church of St. Giragos in Diyarbakir, TURKEY


The Armenian Church of St. Giragos in Diyarbakir, in the south east of Turkey, a region now mainly populated by Kurds, may have been of 17th century origin, although some contend that it was completely rebuilt in the 1880s. The building suffered from appalling deterioration late in the 20th century following the decline in the local population of Armenians. The roof collapsed and the structure became derelict.


Its restoration, which has involved a good deal of totally new building, began a few years ago, thanks to the efforts of the St. Giragos Church Foundation, non-governmental groups and concerned individuals.  These contributors were anxious to protect this valuable cultural asset and to re-establish it as both a religious and cultural centre.  They were joined at a later stage with generous additional help from the local authority which enabled the repairs to be extended to the parsonage, chapel, and other buildings on the site.  The project has been a success story in local cooperation.

“It was this demonstration of local support which particularly impressed the Jury. The efforts to restore the main church of the Armenians in this place, after the exile of its people, is an outstanding act of reconciliation for the city and its citizens. The project developed as a result of extensive research into old documents for the re-erection of the lost elements, mainly the roof, the bell tower and interior furnishings. The involvement of the Armenian community themselves in the restoration of the monument has contributed immensely to the improvement of peace and social integration of its people, attracting also visiting Armenians from all over the world.”



 The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards was launched in 2002 by the European Commission in partnership with Europa Nostra. The Prize celebrates and promotes best practices related to heritage conservation, management, research, education and communication. In this way, it brings cultural heritage closer to European citizens and contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s society and economy. A total of 415 outstanding heritage accomplishments have been recognised in the past 13 years.


Every year, organisations and individuals from all over Europe submit their applications to this awards scheme. Specialist juries made up of independent experts assess the nominations and select up to 30 winners in four categories: 1) conservation, 2) research and digitization, 3) dedicated service to heritage, and 4) education, training and awareness-raising. All the winners receive a plaque or trophy. The seven Grand Prix winners also receive €10,000 each.


The Awards are presented to the winners at a major public event, which is hosted each year in a different European city. The 2015 Awards Ceremony is to take place in Oslo and is part of Europa Nostra's European Heritage Congress held in the Norwegian capital (10-14 June). The Congress is supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, Riksantikvaren - the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, the Arts Council Norway, and the City of Oslo, among many other public and private bodies from Norway.


The Prize received the support of the EU Culture programme (2007-2013) and is now supported by the new Creative Europe programme (2014-2020).


Europa Nostra is the European federation of heritage NGO’s. Covering 42 countries in Europe and beyond, the organisation is the voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe's endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme, run in partnership with the European Investment Bank Institute. It celebrates excellence through the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. It also seeks to contribute to European strategies and policies related to heritage. Founded in 1963, Europa Nostra is today recognised as the most representative and influential heritage network in Europe. In 2014, the organisation received an EU grant from the Creative Europe programme to support its network’s activity on ‘Mainstreaming Heritage’ in Europe.