Ecomuseu do Barroso

Project information

Index: 0556R2
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Location PORTUGAL CONTINENTE Alto Tâmega / Montalegre Norte Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2009-07-01
End: ongoing

Topic of the practice

This good practice demonstrates that old traditions can be kept alive throughout Ecomuseums and showed to tourists as cultural heritage.

Good Practice Information

The Ecomuseum de Barosso demonstrates that old traditions can be kept alive throughout Ecomuseums and showed to tourists as cultural heritage. It is also a way to involve the young and old generations and make them work together in order to attract more tourists to a rural and mountain area, which suffers from depopulation and lack of job opportunities.
The main objectives of the Ecomuseum de Barosso are: valorise and publicize the heritage and natural resources of the region, innovate and involve the population on the activities, train and cooperate with other organizations, and represent the identity of the region. The museum attracts a wide variety of from all over the northern region of Portugal and Spain. Originally the museum was an initiative of the Municipality of Montalegre, supported by public funds from the government. Along the years, the museum has had the financial support of different programmes and initiatives: ON and ON2 (national programmes), LEADER II, LEADER+ and INTERREG SUDOE.
The museum has a principal building, placed on the historical centre of Montalegre, and three poles in small villages recovering ancient traditional buildings. The pole of Pitões das Júnias is an Interpretative Centre focused on local communitarian traditions, on the ethnographic heritage, on the Cister Monastery and on the National Park. The pole of Tourém, 30 km from the Ecomuseum headquarter, is related with the ancient smuggling activities, the farming activities and handcraft. This village in Portugal is close to the border with Spain and is also included on the National Park of Peneda-Gerês territory. The pole of Salto is hosted on the Casa do Capitão (Captain’s House), an ancient house of an important family some centuries ago. The house was reconstructed to host the pole, having also a library and a small auditorium for public events.
The practice has a strong link to biodiversity values in the area (natural oaklands, Birds Directive species, Habitats Directive species, natural forests and habitats, natural regeneration of abandoned farmlands) and cultural heritage (communitarian pastoralism and traditions; agricultural landscape, involvement of local inhabitants in some activities such as pedestrian tours and cultural events).

Evidence of success

The development of the Ecomuseum has stimulated the local economy by promoting the local products and handcraft. The Ecomuseum has a shop selling locally produced products. The Ecomuseum strengthened the cultural identity of the region.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

David Teixeira

Ecomuseu do Barroso

Annex completed on: 05-25-2011

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