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Carpathian Heritage Inventory Principles and Criteria



The following principles should be taken into account when proposing an item for the Carpathian Heritage Inventory:

Principle of diversity – to support various forms of heritage and thus contribute to cultural diversity of the Carpathian region.

Principle of non-elite selection – to support variety and diversity of the forms regardless of their prestige.

Principle of balance between tangible and intangible heritage – to ensure that equal and due attention is paid to the fast disappearing intangible heritage.

Principle of authenticity and appropriateness – putting the item on the list does not increase risks posed by mass tourism and commercial promotion.

Principle of objectivity – to describe the heritage objectively, showing the real state of play that local people may identify with.


Together with the above mentioned principles the  following criteria should be considered:

Uniqueness - Carpathian heritage is everything that is unique and typical for the Carpathians and which can’t be found in any other part of the world  (=  a unique testimony to the cultural tradition or to the civilization which is living or which has disappeared).
Origin – Carpathian heritage is connected historically to the place and/or has an ethnographical value.

Community development and belonging – putting the item on the list increases its meaning for the community, encourages people to get together and cooperate, and supports the community as a whole.

Pertaining to the character of landscape/nature – the heritage goes together with the landscape, culture and life style of its inhabitants (= it is an example of the traditional human settlement, land-use, water resource-use which represent a cultural human interaction with the environment). Note: we assume that it is possible to define elements typical for individual sub-regions in the Carpathians and to view the heritage from this sub-region perspective.

Use of landscape – the heritage utilizes and maintains typical materials, practices, techniques, and customs.
Protection –  this criterion requires the suggested heritage item to reflect efforts (especially spontaneous ones) of people to protect and develop the specific heritage item together with the culture and traditions in general, primarily where they have diminished.
Natural evolvement of traditions – the heritage should be seen in the way it naturally develops and as an inspiration for 21th century.

Sustainability – heritage protection supports the sustainable development of the region.

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