Embassy project wins prestigious European award

Photo credit: Europa Nostra (Flickr)
Photo credit: Europa Nostra (Flickr)

The Pavilion of Prince Milos, reconstructed with support of the Norwegian embassy, won the renowned Europa Nostra award for projects aimed at preserving the country’s cultural heritage.

“This project is a good recovery of a monument, which has maintained its original use following a natural disaster. The result has been achieved with a modest budget, setting a good example for other spa towns throughout Europe”, the jury said in a statement.

Built in 1907 in secession style with columns and beams of reinforced concrete, the Pavilion of Prince Milos is located at the site of one of the oldest mineral water sources in Serbia and was the first bottling plant in the country. However, it suffered the effects of neglect during the period of unrest in the last century while May 2014 floods ruined greater part of the building. Therefore, the Ministry of Culture immediately placed the Pavilion on a list of important buildings that needed to be restored.

With support of UNOPS, the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade supported the reconstruction within the project “Serbia Rehabilitation Support after Floods” together with the Municipality of Arandjelovac, Knjaz Milos company and Specialised Hospital for Rehabilitation as the owner of the building. The works included the rehabilitation of the structural elements of the building, full protection from the rain and underground waters.

After a nine-month long reconstruction, the Pavilion started shining in new splendor and again opened its doors to public in June 2016.

The park where the Pavilion is placed annually hosts 28,000 visitors who can all enjoy the Pavilion and imagine how it all looked in the 19th century. The source of the mineral water was in the centre, in the north wing of the building was a bottling factory, while the south wing with the colonnade served as a pastry shop. The bottling factory brought prosperity to the town of Arandjelovac. In the factory, everything was done manually including the washing and filling of the bottles, and the water was then distributed all over the country.

Two other projects in Serbia also won the Europa Nostra award - the project to conserve and rehabilitate the 14th century Bac fortress and the project to Research and Catalog the Serbian State Art Collection. The awards will be presented in Berlin on June 22.