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Fikardou e-platform: from Medieval Heritage to the digital era

Published on 09 Apr 2024

How can access to a remote village's timeless heritage be ensured to everybody? Fikardou’s answer was the creation of an online platform where virtual visitors from all over the world can see a digital reproduction of the village and learn about its history, tradition, culture and heritage

Fikardou is a quasi-abandoned village in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, and one of the eight pilot sites of TExTOUR, an EU-funded project that promotes sustainable tourism development in remote areas.

“This village is a picturesque hamlet frozen in time; it is home to a wealth of historical and architectural treasures that deserve to be shared with the world,” says the Fikardou’s team.

The project of the platform started from the idea to share the rich heritage of the village with everybody in the world, while at the same time preserving it for future generations. However, digitising an entire village and capturing all its heritage details is a challenge. Developing and implementing a meticulous method of digital documentation and preservation was one of the most difficult aspects the team faced.

We had to be really precise and pay attention to detail with every step we took in the digital preservation process.” They said, “Furthermore, working with the local community to document their intangible heritage was another challenge as we had to be sensitive to residents and involve them.
Despite the initial difficulties, the project proceeded thanks to the support of four EU-funded projects: TExTOUR, MNEMOSYNE, IMPACTOUR and EUreks3D.

The main result of Fikardou’s team efforts is the eFikardou platform, but the impacts of their digitization work are much deeper. The digital preservation of the village has had a transformative impact on Fikardou and its community.

For residents, seeing their village’s history and architecture brought to life through immersive visual tours, interactive exhibits, and educational resources was incredibly fulfilling. They could feel how important and appreciated their heritage is.

Moreover, engaging with the local community and empowering them to take ownership of their heritage fostered a sense of pride and identity that transcended generations.

Knowing that our efforts have contributed to preserving Fikardou’s cultural legacy for future generations to cherish and explore was truly rewarding.” Says the Fikardou’s team.

The eFikardou platform’s impact on the village is undeniable, but its potential is not only local. It is a model of how to use digital technologies to preserve and promote cultural heritage. Its success has reached a global audience and has the potential to inspire others to do the same.

Furthermore, the platform has facilitated research and education initiatives, offering valuable resources to scholars, students, and enthusiasts interested in Fikardou’s history and heritage.

The work of the Fikardou’s team, however, is not over. Now that the eFikardou platform and other touristic initiatives such as the Christmas Village are making the village popular among tourists, the flux of visitors needs to be managed to preserve the integrity of the village’s cultural heritage.

We are committed to remaining closely involved with the village, providing ongoing support and expertise to help them navigate these challenges successfully,” says the Fikardou’s team.

If the local community, the touristic entities, the researchers, and all other players work together, they will be able to ensure the long-term viability and success of Fikardou’s cultural preservation efforts.

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