Emilianensis. Discover the Monasteries of La Rioja

Mariola Andonegui - Fundación San Millán de la Cogolla.
Community engagement, Diversity, Youth oriented
Intangible, Natural, Tangible
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This programme, organised by the San Millán de la Cogolla Foundation and designed particularly for families, groups and schools, is a series of educational and recreational activities which revolve around the history, art and way of life in the monasteries of Yuso and Suso (La Rioja, Spain).
You'll have the opportunity to turn yourself into an ancient monastic scribe from mediaeval times by taking part in the calligraphy  workshops and experiment with models in the architecture workshop.

The origin of this initiative was the Educational Classroom project which was developed during the time of the restoration work on the church in the Yuso Monastery, which in 2011 was awarded the Europa Nostra award by the European Union in the category of education, training and awareness-raising.

Our aim is for those who live in or visit the Valley of San Millán to enjoy an experience in which, through dynamic activities, they can discover ideas, stories, people, traditions, artistic creations, lifestyles and landscapes from this place, which is the “cradle” of the Spanish language. In short, all the heritage assets which made the monasteries of Suso and Yuso worthy of World Heritage site status in 1997.
The educational activities take place in the facilities of the Monasteries of Yuso  and Suso and in the surrounding area, where participants come into contact with the village people. Children, youngsters and adults enjoy and discover things they didn’t know in places which truly surprise and move them.
The aim of the educational programme is for citizens, especially the younger ones, to understand what cultural heritage is and why we must conserve it, for them to understand the technical, scientific and financial challenges involved in conservation, to get involved in the defense and protection of the cultural and natural heritage of their surroundings and to learn to enjoy their right to participate in the cultural life of their community.

European Dimension

San Millán Foundation start with people as producers and protectors of the heritages assets of the place and seek to establish new bonds between the people and their heritage so as to aid their protection, enrichment and the enjoyment of all the citizens. 
The heritage asset which is at the heart of this study is the cultural landscape of the Valley of San Millán de la Cogolla. The history of the monarchy and of monasticism in Europe and its link with the pilgrims’ routes, like the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), as part of the shaping of European culture from antiquity to the 21st century, can be read in every building and every corner of this valley and speaks to us of the very history of Europe.
In particular we focus on knowledge related to the skills of the trades involved in building, writing and the creation of books, and we try to transmit the value of craftsmanship, of art and creativity in the digital era. 
We believe that this learning experience in such a different setting to what the participants are used to (city dwellers, far removed from the rural world and with no education in religion), will arouse their curiosity, encourage respect for other lifestyles and other cultures and creeds, and will help them to discover the cultural diversity of Europe. 
The programme is disseminated through the web site. We are part of the World Heritage network in Spain and the Faro Convention Network.

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