Rising above the Karawanks – the proud mountain range between the Austrian federal state Kärnten and the Slovenian province Krain – the Mittagskogel, its highest peak, can be seen over a long distance.
As early as in 1885, a mountain hut was built on the mountain’s western col, which made possible the crossing of the Austrian-Slovenian border, and the nearby Italian border. Ever since its existence, the hut has attracted intercultural festivals and parish fairs.
The mountain hut on the border was burnt down twice, once at the end of the first World War, and then a second time, at the end of World War II. Since 1989, local initiatives from Austria, Slovenia, and Italy have been advocating for the rebuilding of Annahütte. The groups hope to bring back to life the many unifying cross-cultural traditions embodied by the historic hut.
ARCH Europe’s mission is to support these important initiatives with the goal of making this project a reality, a project that in its core is a European peace project very much rooted in its local surroundings. More info …
ARCH’s Pavlopetri project began at the start of 2014 after locals in the town of Neapolis, Greece, reached out for strategic advice on how to safeguard their local submerged archeological site, once a bustling port city, known as Pavlopetri. According to UNESCO, Pavlopetri is the world’s oldest sunken city.
Located in shallow waters it is a beloved tourist attraction. ARCH, through years of dedicated commitment to saving Pavlopetri, has reached many milestones towards the sunken city’s protection. Among them are an annual “Watch Day” event to raise awareness around the historic site, with guided snorkeling tours and family activities, the monitoring of ships who anchor illegally and threaten the long term survival of the ruins, and the official placement of the underwater archaeological site on maritime maps.
In Greece, ARCH’s mission is to continue to hold an annual Watch Day to make the site more known, to fundraise so that a boardwalk can be built, while closely working with local environmental groups in an effort to save the endangered species of the pristine water of Pavlopetri, including the loggerhead turtles! From this project we learned about the strong connection between cultural preservation and environmental protection, and how much stronger our respective organizations can be when we join forces.