The project entitled “Network creation and promotion of castles” and with the acronym “NetCastle” is implemented under the framework of IPA Cross-border Programme “Greece-Albania 2007-2013” under the Priority 2- Promotion and sustainable development of the environment and of natural and cultural resources, Measure 2.2- Promote and protect the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The total project budget amounts to 495.355,02 €.
Lead partner of the project is the Region of Ionian Islands / Regional Unit of Corfu. The total financing consists of 75% European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding and 25% national contribution.
The area is an attraction pole for tourists due to its historical monuments. The cultural heritage consists of several castles built in different historical periods, such as the Old Fortress, the Cassiopeia Castle and Aggelokastro in Corfu, the Castle of Santa Maura in Lefkada, the Venetian Castle in Zakynthos, the Castle of St. George in Kefalonia, the Castle of Gjirokastra and Kasnetsi in Thesprotia etc. This rich cultural heritage can become the means for cooperation, networking and regional cohesion. In addition, castles need to be sufficiently promoted to youth and tourists as well in order for them to transmit their experiences to other people and, hence, enable promotion of the areas’ culture even outside the Programme’s territory. The huge increase in new technologies usage, and especially Internet, over the last years has contributed positively in the widening of the geographical tourism area and the contact with new destinations.
The overall project objective is the emergence and promotion of a common cultural product in the cross-border region to boost tourism industry with the use of new technologies and e-tourism. The use of new technologies is the driving force for the implementation of the project, to raise region appealing and tourism attraction, but also to effectively spread the respective region's history and culture. More specifically the project aims to create a network for visibility, renovation and enhancement of cultural heritage of the historical castle of the targeted areas. The project is designed to provide the user with a multi-cultural and educational experience with the use of suitably adapted innovative interactive experiential services. The project aspires to offer to the user a tour through time and space by utilizing 3D representations of historical monuments.