Greece: Grand Prix for Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos

The presentation ceremony of the Grand Prix of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2016 to the rehabilitation of the Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos in Prespes was held at its premises on 15 October 2016. Costa Carras, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, unveiled the commemorative plaque and praised the remarkable restoration project carried out by the architects Angela Georganta and Achilleas Stoios. The ceremony was attended by local people, representatives of state institutions, NGOs, friends and partners from Greece and the wider region of the Transboundary Park of Prespes, as well as representatives from the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation which supported the renovation project of the Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos.

Ceremony for Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos, Prespes, Greece, 15-10-2016
“It is very important to see how a traditional building, not particularly impressive in terms of its architecture, was distinguished for its great restoration and sets an example for us all: an example of willpower, quality work by young professionals, respect for our architectural heritage and fruitful cooperation between state institutions, civil society and local community!” stated Costa Carras, Vice-President of Europa Nostra.

Myrsini Malakou, Managing Director of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, stated: “The watermill of Agios Germanos was built in 1930 by a village family to serve the needs of the local people. Today, some 86 years later, it is amazing to see how many people, from different walks of life, acknowledged that this humble building, on the edge of the river, is a part of the local life and that they have to come together and find creative ways to support and restore it. So now, the bet is for us to make this watermill – a landmark for the cultural heritage of this area – work again for the local people and become a place of cooperation and creativity for Prespa. At SPP, we will do our best to achieve this goal.”


The project architects Angela Georganta and Achilleas Stoios stated: “In the case of the Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos, it is the result of the collective effort of people sharing the common vision of the protection of our cultural heritage and the need to reconnect it with the present through its functional inclusion in the life of this region that is awarded. As architects, we worked towards this common vision, giving the watermill back fully restored and fully functional in order to find its place again in the everyday life of the people of Prespa.”


Brief addresses were presented by Elpida Grigoriadou, representing the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration of Epirus and Western Macedonia Vassileios Michelakis, Stephanos Biros, Deputy Regional Governor of Florina, and Panagiotis Paschalidis, Mayor of Prespes.

The ceremony closed with short speeches by Edmee Leventis, representing the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and Panos Papoulias, representing the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Both institutions acknowledged the importance of the project and supported its restoration.

The guests enjoyed a guided tour of the traditional, working watermill by the project architects Angela Georganta and Achilleas Stoios, who shared with them the history of this pre-industrial monument. Local food and traditional music gave this event a unique, Balkan character!

The celebratory event was co-organized by ELLINIKI ETAIRIA – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, country representation of Europa Nostra in Greece, the Regional Authority of West Macedonia, the Municipality of Prespa, the Society for the Protection of Prespa, the Management Board of Prespa National Park and the Cultural, Environmental & Sports Association of Agios Germanos.

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