Joint statement of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian national coordinators of the European Year of Cultural Heritage on the TRAVEL CAMPAIGN: EXPLORE BALTIC MANORS

2018 is declared the European Year of Cultural Heritage to encourage the sharing and appreciation of cultural heritage as a shared resource in Europe. The purpose of the year is to raise awareness of common history and values and to reinforce a sense of belonging to the common European space.

Explore Baltic Manors is an excellent initiative that carries out the aims of the Year in the most exemplary way: it presents the historic network of Baltic manors, shows the similarities and differences and introduces the dedicated work of so many people who have made the effort to preserve and cherish our common heritage.

Castles and manors are an integral part of the landscape of the Baltic States and reflect the sense of style and beauty of our culture. Their architecture traces the evolution of various architectural styles, from Romanesque and Gothic up to the 20th century, the beginning of the Art Nouveau.

This initiative gives an opportunity to share and inspire and learn from each other how to revive the manors as community centres, as centres of local cultural life and economic growth. It also provides possibilities to showcase the well-made choices in conservation and exemplary craftsmanship of restorers as well as an opportunity to learn from each other’s mistakes.

We thank the owners of the manors and castles, who have dedicated so much energy and resources to restoring the manors and are now willing to open their doors and welcome the visitors and are ready to share their manors and share their experiences. And we thank the organizers for this great initiative. We wish that as many people as possible will experience the surprise, joy and atonement provided by the values which are created by genius personalities and preserved by dedicated and creative owners.


Carolin Pihlap

National coordinator of the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Deputy Director-General of the National Heritage Board of Estonia


Baiba Mūrniece

National coordinator of the European Year for Cultural Heritage

Head of Heritage Policy Division of the State Inspection for Heritage Protection of Latvia


Alfredas Jomantas

National coordinator of the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Head of Division for the Public Relations, Education and Register of Cultural Heritage

Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania