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Regions explored in 2016 editions

1st edition
Banská Bystrica Region || Bukovina || Lubuskie Region || Transylvania

2nd edition
South-Styria and Štajerska Region || Transcarpathia || Pecs Region || 
Liberec Region

 

Regions explored in Summer Edition, 6-13 July 2017

3rd edition
Berlin
 || Mostar || Vojvodina || Polish-Lithuanian Border

Regions to be explored in Autumn Edition, 18-25 September 2017

4th edition
Prespa Lakes Region
 || Albanian-Montenegrin Border || Hungarian-Romanian Border || Spanish-French Border

 

Polish-Lithuanian Border

Vilnius, photo: Motorito / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Taken literally, the term “borderland” means border territories which separate areas featuring different cultures, languages or ethnic groups. In the case of Polish-Lithuanian borderland, the phenomenon is much more complicated. The area in question, not always directly adhering to the current border, was shaped as a result of political and social processes that took place at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on territories of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

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Vojvodina

Novi Sad, photo: Eugene Zagidullin / flickr/ CC BY 2.0

The Autonomous Province (AP) of Vojvodina is the northernmost region of Serbia. Located in the Pannonian Basin, its capital city of Novi Sad presents not only the largest city of the AP, but also the second largest city in Serbia.

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Mostar

Mostar, photo by: Tony Bowden / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The city of Mostar, although not located near the modern-day state borders of Bosnia and Hercegovina, lies on the internal perimeter of the two state’s entities, namely the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. As the largest city of the historical region of Herzegovina, Mostar is populated with approximately 113 000 inhabitants according to the newest population census, with biggest majority of ethnic Croats and Bosniaks, and a minority of Serbian population.

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Berlin

Berlin Wall, photo: Laura Cuttier / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

With its official population of 3,670,999 people1, Berlin is the second most populous city in the European Union. As a prosperous centre of international affairs and creative industries, it constitutes an inspirational homeplace for numerous trendsetters, artists and distinguished individuals.

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Hungarian-Romanian Borderland

Magyarcsanád, Hungary, photo: Beata Drzazga / Gábor Danyi

The Crișana region (Hungarian: Körös-vidék, German: Kreischgebiet) is located between Hungary and Romania, bordered on the west by the Tisza River, on the north by the Someș River, on the east by the Apuseni Mountains, and on the south by the Mureș River. The region is defined by small villages and towns. The major cities nearby are Gyula and Szeged in Hungary, and Arad in Romania.

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Prespa Lake region

Prespa Lakes; photo: Daniel Enchev / flickr / CC BY 2.0

Prespa Lake region is a transboundary region, cross-cutting the Albanian, Macedonian and Greek state borders, while situated between the two Prespa lakes, Great and Small Prespa. The biodiversity and the endemic species of the region were the main instigators for protecting the ecosystem as a national park. Therefore, the "Prespa National Park" was introduced as the first transboundary protected area in the southeastern Europe. In the year of 2013, the lake was considered to be a Wetland of special care, thus, it was reckoned as a site under the Ramsar Convention for conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Furthermore, UNESCO labeled the national park as an example of Outstanding Universal Value of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. Although the cooperation in terms of ecology and tourism flourished, the state borders remained an issue for the mobility within the region. Namely, beside the main border cross-points which are not part of the Prespa Lake region, there is no border-crossing point within the Lake area.

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Albanian-Montenegrin Borderland

Skadar Lake / photo: oranges and lemons / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Albanian-Montenegrin border presents a significant case in the Balkan constellation of contested borderlands. On one hand, the multicultural population inhabiting the prospects of the Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the southeastern Europe, Bojana/Buna River delta and the Prokletje mountain range, was in a sustained process of exchanging goods, cultural customs and language practices. On the other hand, the border was subject of several changes in the modern history. Starting with the establishment of the state borders of Montenegro during the Congress of Berlin in 1878, the city of Shkoder was incorporated in Albania, while several Albanian villages laying on the southern shores of the Skadar Lake (Ostros, Donji-Murići) became part of the Montenegrin state. Finally, the borderline was completely closed during the communist regimes in both the countries (1947-1990).

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