The goal of the project is to establish a cross-border tourist route called “In the footsteps of Austro-Hungary,” which is a reconstruction of a historical route commonly known as “Józefinka” from Stropkov, through such pilgrimage destinations in Slovakia as Bukováand Hôrka, the villages of Gribov, Kožuchovce, Miroľa, Bodrudžal, Krajná Poľaná, and Nižný Komárnik, through Barwinek, Korczyna, Dukla, and Strzyżów in Poland, to Rzeszow.
The route between the two cities, following the line of a number of road transport connections, links the architectural traces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire found along the route. The theme of the entire route is the cultural heritage of the Polish-Slovakian borderland, dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in particular related to the presence of the army in this area. The historic buildings erected in the Polish-Slovakian borderland – garrisons, warehouses, tenement houses, and public utility buildings – constitute a unique cultural heritage, which is also a historical testament to the glorious times of the Habsburg dynasty.
The main goal of the project is to increase the extent to which the local population and tourists make sustainable use of the cultural heritage resources of Rzeszow and Stropkov from the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
- Establishing a unique tourist product, drawing on the cultural potential of the partner cities.
- Increasing the attractiveness of the borderland as a tourist destination.
- Improving the level of knowledge among the local population and visitors about the rich cultural heritage resources of the area.
The material scope of the project includes:
- Marking out the 144-kilometre-long tourist route “In the footsteps of Austro-Hungary” (99 km on the Polish side, 45 km on the Slovakian side), a reconstruction of the historical “Józefinka” route.
- Creating and launching 2 mobile apps making travel along the route easier and more attractive, i.e. “Rzeszow and Stropkov yesterday and today” – presenting the transformations that the partner cities have undergone throughout the years in the context of the Austro-Hungarian heritage, and a mobile game “On the trail of history”, in which the player becomes a detective solving mysteries related to the history of the cities and the objects located along the route: “In the footsteps of Austro-Hungary”.
- Organising a series of events promoting and disseminating the cultural heritage resources of Rzeszow and Stropkov from the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in cross-border areas, i.e. a cycle of 6 historical lectures, artistic workshops with a military theme, a race: “On the track of history”, twin exhibitions and a 2-day-long historical festival: “In the footsteps of Austro-Hungary”. Their goal is to strengthen the impact of the project and to restore the memory and elements of common identity to the borderland population.
The project is addressed to the inhabitants of Rzeszow and Stropkov, their neighbouring districts, and the borderland territories on the new route, as well as tourists visiting the areas of Rzeszow and Stropkov.
All products and events will be available for free.
The project will make it possible to create a comprehensive tourist product that will increase the attractiveness of the borderland and enable full use of its hidden potential. Thanks to the participation of both Polish and Slovakian partners, the borderland communities can be integrated and regain the memory of interesting historical objects. These date back to the difficult times of the loss of statehood, but still have a significant historical potential. The product will be an incentive for further development of the borderland. It will be of use not only to the project partners but also to local communities to build tourist services (places of accommodation, catering services, agritourism services, parking lots, bicycle stops, souvenir shops and information desks). As a result, the number of service providers in the tourist industry can increase along with the number of new sustainable jobs. This will prevent the negative phenomenon of emigration from these areas, especially of the working age population.