The City of Dubrovnik (www.dubrovnik.hr ) first initiated the creation of the Croatian Association of Historic Towns (HUPG) in 2006, based on the model of the European Association of Historic Towns and Regions (EAHTR). Dubrovnik joined EAHTR as an associate member in 2004, and became a regular member of this important organization in 2009.
The EAHTR is an organization that brings together national associations of historic towns, founded in 1999 in Strasbourg at a conference organized by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, in order to promote the interests of towns with significant cultural and historical heritage. The EAHTR has been renamed “Heritage Europe”.
The City of Dubrovnik re-launched the creation of the Croatian Association of Historic Towns in September 2010, after a positive feedback from invitations sent to Croatian historic towns. This led to the final formalization of HUPG.
The Constituent Assembly
The Constituent Assembly was held on April 29th, 2011 in Dubrovnik. It was attended by leading historical towns in Croatia. The following towns participated alongside Dubrovnik: Karlovac, Kaštela, Mali Losinj, Nin, Novigrad (Dalmatia), Pag, Pula, Split, Sibenik, Trogir, Vukovar, Zadar, together with the support of other cities who were not able to attend the Founding Assembly meeting: Novigrad (Istria), Rovinj, Sisak and Varazdin. The cities of Ilok, Korcula and Solin joined the HUPG network later on. The headquarters of the Association is in Dubrovnik.
Today, the historical towns in Croatia and across Europe are faced with both the advantages and disadvantages of cultural tourism, as well as with the impact that current tourism has on sustainable development, and the protection and revitalization of our towns. Historic cities increasingly consider cultural tourism as the main initiator for heritage revitalization and progress. Thus, historic cities were faced with specific issues and growing needs, including the preservation of cultural and natural heritage, traditional culture, local population and their awareness of the importance and the value of Croatian heritage, its management and use.
We consider that the HUPG platform precisely allows a unique approach to identifying and promoting the specific needs of local communities and citizens, both in Croatia and abroad. The long-term objective of this new association is to resolve issues in a systematic manner, and through exchange of views and experiences between cultural heritage experts, local authority representatives, scientists and tourism professionals.