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Cultural heritage

Content of programme

Content of the study programme

The BHCD programme aims at training professionals whose activities are in the field of maintenance, preservation, adaptation and development of historic sites, buildings and landscapes. After successfully completing the studies, the participants have a systematic and complex view of the field of cultural heritage. The first trimester is focused on the theory and philosophy, organization and legal aspects of heritage preservation; the second on methods and techniques of conservation/restoration and the third trimester on economic aspects, strategic planning and cultural heritage management.

The programme is based on lectures and seminars, including complementary activities such as practical workshops, exercises, excursions, and field trips. The average number of lessons is 25 lecturing hours a week plus 10 hours dedicated to the individual preparation of students' trimester papers.

The courses cover the topics as follows:

* Cultural History and Civilisation
* Theory and Philosophy of Conservation / Restoration
* Legal and Organisation Aspects of Heritage Preservation
* Environmental Aspects in Heritage Preservation
* Measurement, Recording and Surveying of Historic Buildings
* Practice, Methods and Techniques of Architectural Heritage Preservation
* Methods and Techniques of Archaeology
* Historic Sites Rehabilitation
* Economic Aspects of Heritage Preservation
* Heritage Management
* Complementary Activities

Assessment of Students

A very important part of the study is the individual study work of each student, with assistance of professionals/tutors. During each trimester, students write students' trimester papers, which are submitted to the examining committee and presented to the study group and the committee. Students are assessed by credits according to the Examination Order described in the Guidebook in detail. Upon successful completion of the programme the students are awarded a Certificate of Graduation.

Active Class Participation

Attendance during the whole programme is obligatory. Unjustified absences will be reflected in the following month's amount of financial support. The students are expected and highly encouraged to participate in class discussions by asking questions as well as reacting to the questions raised by the teacher. Class participation score will be considered if the final calculation reaches the border between two grades.


There are regular obligatory tutorial sessions scheduled for the students. The tutorials serve several purposes - they reflect upon the current week's teaching and provide feedback or complementary instruction, prepare for the following week's schedule, and train skills needed for the course work and the trimester paper.

Student Trimester Paper

The students prepare a trimester paper in minimum extent of 15 pages on a selected topic. The students are welcome to formulate topics of their own. However, the selected topic has to be discussed with the tutorial supervisor. The paper is submitted to the examining committee and presented to the study group and the committee (30 minutes, with 15 minutes discussion). The aim of this assignment is to prove the ability to formulate a topic and pose an appropriate research question, conduct research, prepare a relevant bibliography, and give the tentative answer. The aim is thus not to actually prepare the topic in detail but to show the right approach, think of a structure, and prepare a corresponding outline. At the end of each academic year the best AINova paper wins the Alena Brunovská Award.
Student Paper Awarded by the Alena Brunovská Award

Vernacular Architecture in the Central Danube Region by Eva Hody, BHCD Studies 2000/2001

The courses cover the topics as follows:

Cultural History and Civilisation

* cultural history of Europe
* from the history of architectural thinking
* cultural transformations of the modern age

The course aims to strengthen the knowledge of the historical and cultural background of Europe, with a main focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Understanding historical, cultural and social circumstances in which monuments were created is a necessary prerequisite for their assessment and conservation/restoration.

Theory and Philosophy of Conservation / Restoration

* history, theory and philosophy of monument conservation
* development of approaches in architectural conservation/restoration up to present day
* recent heritage preservation

The goals are to provide a theoretical base for heritage conservation/restoration, to present examples of different categories of monuments, and to show how opinions on cultural values and their preservation vary in different periods and circumstances. The need for plurality and constant careful consideration is strongly emphasised during the course.

Legal and Organisational Aspects of Heritage Preservation

* international aspects of cultural heritage preservation
* international charters and organisations
* national legislation and administration in cultural heritage preservation in respective countries

The course aims to provide information on legal rules and tools at national and international levels. It stresses the necessity of legal framework for heritage preservation as a basic condition for the implementation of heritage conservation policies. A legislative strategy can help to restore the competitiveness of rehabilitated buildings. The challenge is to adopt a legislative strategy, which will create a generally positive climate for the protection and rehabilitation of cultural heritage.

Environmental Aspects in Heritage Preservation

* cultural landscape
* urban ecology
* environmental aspects in architectural design
* natural and cultural heritage interpretation

The course presents methodologies of landscape morphology identification, and stresses the understanding of its historical development to be able to reach its complex evaluation and interpretation, and to decide on its development and management. The course also presents the preservation of cultural and natural heritage that needs to be viewed from the perspective of sustainable development. Preservation of a cultural landscape is a challenge for modern society.

Measurement, Recording and Surveying of Historic Buildings

* non-destructive survey methods
* field survey, and building development analysis
* comprehensive survey of historic buildings
* engineering and geological survey
* measurement and recording techniques
* visual computing

The aim is to stress the importance of comprehensive surveying and documenting of historic buildings. Skills of precise measuring and various documentation techniques are trained through practical exercises. An overview of computer technologies applied to cultural heritage documentation, visualisation and presentation is provided.

Practice, Methods and Techniques of Architectural Heritage Preservation

* conservation/restoration methods and practice in various countries
* restoration techniques of stone, masonry, plaster, wood, metal, glass and other materials
* building materials and construction technologies
* preservation of vernacular architecture
* preservation of 20th century architecture

The goals are to provide practical information on preservation practices in respective countries, on materials and techniques used in traditional building construction, as well as methods of repairing, preserving and maintaining historic buildings with a minimum loss of original fabric.

Methods and Techniques of Archaeology

* methods and techniques of archaeological survey
* archaeological excavation, site interpretation, management and protection

The course presents methods and techniques in archaeology as well as further interpretation and management of the archaeological sites that are basic records of past human activities. Understanding of the origins and development of human societies is of fundamental importance to mankind. Its protection and proper management is therefore essential to enable archaeologists and other scholars to study and interpret it on behalf of and for the benefit of present and future generations.

Historic Sites Rehabilitation

* urban planning and heritage conservation/restoration
* inner city development
* urban regeneration
* case studies on urban structures, development, and rehabilitation
* small town revitalisation
* rural settlement development and perspective

The goals are to present interconnections between urban planning and historical town conservation/restoration, to present concepts and strategies of integrated urban conservation/restoration, careful and sensitive urban renewal and redevelopment, rehabilitation and revitalisation.

Economic Aspects of Heritage Preservation

* basic micro and macro economic principles
* cultural economics
* the role of cultural heritage in local and regional economic development
* fiscal policies and other economic tools in cultural heritage preservation

The aim is to present economic aspects of cultural heritage preservation as one of the fundamental basis for its realistic understanding, and for reaching complex sustainable solutions. The course presents various ways of financing heritage preservation and development; special focus is on stimulating private investments that could contribute to preserving a wider range of cultural heritage.

Heritage Management

* preservation policies
* heritage marketing and management
* public involvement in cultural heritage preservation
* role of non profit sector in cultural heritage preservation
* cultural tourism
* heritage interpretation and presentation

The course presents preservation policies in respective countries, stresses importance of effective heritage management as one of the key tools for its sustainability; presents cultural heritage as a marketable commodity in context of regional development; it also shows ways of raising awareness and public participation.

Complementary Activities

Traineeship in restoration workshops in LevoÄŤa - 5 days
Field trips within Slovakia - 4 days
Field trips abroad - 5 days

Restoration Ateliers in LevoÄŤa (Slovakia) give students an opportunity to join work of experts dealing with stone, wood and painting. Field trips of BHCD programme vary from year to year; the usual ones are focused on methods and techniques of conservation/restoration and on historic sites rehabilitation.

Prominent visiting professors and distinguished professionals, mainly from partner institutions, regularly come to BHCD programme to lecture and discuss the latest developments in their fields.

List of Principal Lecturers:

* Bauerová, Zuzana - Institute of History of Arts, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Borley, Lester - Europa Nostra, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
* Bořutová, Dana - Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Fine Arts, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Burman, Peter - National Trust for Scotland, United Kingdom
* Cassity, Pratt - School of Environmental Design, University of Georgia, Athens, USA
* Dower, Michael - Countryside and Community Research Unit, Cheltenham and Gloucester College, United Kingdom
* Draye, Anne Mie - Catholic University of Leuven/University of Limburg, Belgium
* Dudáš, Miloš - Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, Žilina, Slovakia
* Dvořáková, Viera - Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Fabián, Pavol - Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
* Fridén, Bertil - Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden
* Gašparík, Jozef - Civil Engineering Faculty, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Gerát, Ivan - Institute of Arts, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Griffin, Jonathan - Britain Abroad Task Force, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, London, United Kingdom
* Hody, Eva - Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments, Vienna, Austria
* HolÄŤĂ­k, Ĺ tefan - SNM-Archaeological Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Horanská, Erika - Academia Istropolitana Nova, Svätý Jur, Slovakia
* HoranskĂ˝, Peter - Municipal Institute for Monuments, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Hueber, Friedmund - Technical University, Vienna, Austria
* Hylkema, Ubbo - Hylkema Consultants BV, Utrecht, The Netherlands
* Jeleniewski, Max - Municipality of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
* Keppl, Julián - Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Kilián, Jaroslav - Academia Istropolitana Nova, Svätý Jur, Slovakia
* KrekoviÄŤ, Eduard - Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Krcho, Ján - University of Technology, Košice, Slovakia
* Laconte, Pierre - Foundation for the Urban Environment, Brussels, Belgium
* Lichardus, Svetozár - Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Makýš, Oto - Civil Engineering Faculty, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Matoušková, Kamila - Ministry for Regional Development, Prague, Czech Republic
* Moravčíková, Henrietta - Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Myklebust, Dag - Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Oslo, Norway
* Neuwirth, Franz - Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Vienna, Austria
* Rajniak, Ján - free-lance construction engineer, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Scharnholz, Lars - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany
* Schmidt, Leo - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany
* Spiegler, Arthur - ECOVAST, Vienna, Austria
* Strike, James - free-lance architect, London, United Kingdom
* Ĺ tulc, Jozef - State Institute for Monument Care, Czech Republic
* Urlandová, Andrea - Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Van Balen, Koenraad - Civil Engineering Dept., Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
* Van Brederode, Emil - National Contact Monuments Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
* Vlčko, Ján - Natural Sciences Faculty, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Winkler, Gábor - University of Sopron, Hungary