European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards: 2021 Winners announced

Press Releases - 25.5.2021


Brussels / The Hague, 25 May 2021

The European Commission and Europa Nostra have just announced the 2021 winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, the EU prize for cultural heritage funded by the Creative Europe programme. This year, Europe’s top honour in the heritage field goes to 24 exemplary achievements from 18 European countries :

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 / NETHERLANDS
ART-RISK – Artificial Intelligence Applied to Preventive Conservation, SPAIN

Category: Dedicated Service to Heritage by Organisations & Individuals

Gjirokastra Foundation, ALBANIA
Rita Bargna, ITALY
Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, CYPRUS
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
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

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

The announcement of the Award winners 2021 has just been made at a live online event co-hosted by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra.

The online event was opened with a forceful and engaging video message by the President of the European Parliament. David Sassoli paid tribute to the Award winners: “Through your professionalism, your dedication, your artistic sensitivity, you have helped revitalise the Europe of today and to project it into the future”. Referring to the Conference on the Future of Europe and the New European Bauhaus, two major initiatives recently launched by the European Institutions, the President of the European Parliament emphasised: “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.”

Speaking at the online event, European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “The winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021 are ambassadors of the beauty of heritage in Europe, whether it be traditions and know-how, breath-taking architecture or the way that heritage can unite communities and generations. I truly believe that the successful preservation of our tangible and intangible heritage depends on the commitment of the people behind it. With these awards, we therefore honour all those exceptional men and women, heritage professionals, architects, scientists and volunteers who bring our common heritage closer to our hearts. Their vision should be applauded.”

Europa Nostra’s Executive President Hermann Parzinger stated: “Each year, the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards exemplify the incomparable creativity and commitment of those who work to protect, valorise and pass on Europe’s precious inheritance to the next generation. This year’s laureates powerfully demonstrate how heritage offers solutions and paths to recovery in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, as we take action for the climate, mobilise for sustainable urban and rural development and tackle the many threats to our core European values. We applaud their outstanding achievements: may they serve as inspiration and encouragement for future action for so many heritage professionals and enthusiasts across Europe and beyond.”

The Portuguese Minister of Culture and Acting Chair of the EU Council of Ministers Graça Fonseca responsible for Culture also shared her video message of congratulations: “Cultural heritage does not recognise borders. Languages, science and art sail beyond the limits that geography and history establish. (…) My congratulations to all who participated and to the winners, because it is your work, dedication and talent that best represent these ideals. My thanks to the European Commission and Europa Nostra for this annual initiative, one that is so important for our shared European project.”

IMPORTANT: 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 Public Choice Award winner will be announced during the European Heritage Awards Ceremony, which will take place on 23 September in Venice, the epidemiological situation permitting. The Grand Prix laureates, each of whom will receive a monetary award of €10,000, will also be made public on this occasion.


Europa Nostra
Audrey Hogan, Programmes Officer,
T. +31 70 302 40 52; M. +31 63 1 17 84 55
Joana Pinheiro, Communications Coordinator,
M. +31 6 34 36 59 85

Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή
Sonya Gospodinova
+32 2 2966953

ELLINIKI ETAIRIA – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage
Katerina Stebili,
Τ. (+30) 210 3225245 (ext. 2)
Nefeli Varouchaki,
T. (+30) 210 3225245 (ext. 10)



Press release in various languages

About each Award winner:
Information and jury’s comments
Videos (in high resolution)
Photos & e-banners (in high resolution)



European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards

The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards were launched by the European Commission in 2002 and have been run by Europa Nostra ever since. This Awards programme has the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The Awards highlight and disseminate heritage excellence and best practices, encourage the cross-border exchange of knowledge and connect heritage stakeholders in wider networks. The Awards bring major benefits to the winners, such as greater (inter)national exposure, follow-on funding and increased visitor numbers. In addition, the Awards programme fosters a greater care for our shared heritage amongst Europe’s citizens. The Awards are therefore a key tool to promote the multiple values of cultural and natural heritage for Europe’s society, economy and environment. For additional facts and figures about the Awards, please visit

In 2021, two ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will also be awarded from among the submitted applications to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. The shortlisted projects will be announced on 10 June and the winners will be unveiled in the autumn of this year. ILUCIDARE project is funded by Horizon 2020 with the aim of establishing an international network promoting heritage as a resource for innovation and international relations.

Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra is the European voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting cultural and natural heritage. A pan-European federation of heritage NGOs, supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals, it covers more than 40 countries. Founded in 1963, it is today recognised as the largest and the most representative heritage network in Europe. Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe’s endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered Programme. Europa Nostra actively contributes to the definition and implementation of European strategies and policies related to heritage, through a participatory dialogue with European Institutions and the coordination of the European Heritage Alliance. Europa Nostra was the EU’s key civil society partner during the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. It also figures among the first official partners of the New European Bauhaus initiative recently launched by the European Commission.  

Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the EU programme that supports the cultural and creative sectors, enabling them to increase their contribution to jobs and growth. With a budget of €2.4 billion for 2021-2027, it supports organisations in the fields of heritage, performing arts, fine arts, interdisciplinary arts, publishing, film, TV, music, and video games as well as tens of thousands of artists, cultural and audiovisual professionals.

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