Lead partner country:

PRIORITY 1 - Increasing competitiveness of the border area

Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in transborder tourism

Lead PartnerThe Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre (Poland)

Partnership Public organisation “Rivne Marketing Research Centre” (Ukraine)
Center for Social and Business Initiatives in Jaremcze (Ukraine)
Institution of Culture ‘Novogrudok Museum of History and Regional Studies’ (NMHRS) (Belarus)
The Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno (Belarus)

Total budget462940 €

Programme Contribution416645 €

Duration24 months

Measure1.2. Tourism development

Project ref. numberIPBU.01.02.00-06-594_11

Shtetl, a unique village inhabited by Jews and Christians of many nationalities, with a variety of architecture and customs, were for many years the landscape characteristic of Eastern Europe. The idea behind the project is to document the history and drawing to it the attention of international communities through the development of cultural tourism in the Polish-Ukrainian-Belarusian borderland.
Cultural tourism in the footsteps of the Jewish heritage in the project area has great potential. United target audience is the Jewish diaspora throughout the world, which has its roots here. An obstacle to the development of touristic traffic in these areas is the lack of knowledge about the material and non-material heritage of Eastern European Jews, and thus the lack of a specific tourist offer. The purpose of the project partners is to create a unique touristic product in the form of three trails leading through 60 villages from Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian border areas (20 places in each country) and one common cross-border route. Preparation of documentation for the delineation of routes is made by research expeditions, looking for traces of history, making a description of the towns (including consideration of existing infrastructure and tourism opportunities, establishing the feasibility of directions, GPS coordinates), they document film and photographic documentation of monuments. Their task is also to search in towns for witnesses of multicultural past of these places and write memoirs.


Each project partner undertakes to query sources, results and records regarding the Jewish heritage in the region. This applies to the Lublin, Podkarpackie and Podlaskie provinces in Poland, Brest and Hrodna Oblasts in Belarus and Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, Volyn and Zakarpatska Oblasts in Ukraine. Thus acquired knowledge will serve not only to develop maps for hiking, but also to create a common computer database and promotion desk. Trails in the graphic and descriptive form will be placed on the portal "Jewish villages of Eastern Europe" in five languages (Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, English, Hebrew). The portal will also be present virtual mock-ups of selected localities and practical tips for travelers on how to independently explore and discover their history. Visualization of the non-existing today material heritage of the borderland will contribute to a better understanding and ideas of history of the village. Also a traditional tourist guide will be released.

For tour operators trainings on the touristic potential of individual places on the trails developed as a part of the project are conducted. 135 travel guides will participate the training cycle. A valuable cross-border impact of the project is the activation of a number of research and cultural institutions from the three countries to work for the use of cultural heritage in tourism and the development of local communities. "Grodzka Gate - NN Theater" Center together with its partners is planning to continue raising funds and executing new undertakings, extending the geographic scope of the project.