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Our journey: The “OEDIPUS” Cultural Route of Central Greece

Planning for the Cultural Route of Central Greece began in December 2017 with the signing of one of the most significant memorandums for the promotion and enhancement of the archaeological sites and natural monuments of Central Greece. The Memorandum of Cooperation, which was signed by the Regional Governor of Central Greece Mr Kostas Bakoyannis and DIAZOMA President Mr Stavros Benos, gave the Route the impetus to begin its journey from “dream incubator” to cultural tourism product.

At present, the Action Plan for the “Cultural, Environmental and Tourism Route of the Region of Central Greece” is included in the Operational Programme “Central Greece 2014-2020” with a budget of 2,500,000 euro, following the decision of the current Regional Governor of Central Greece Mr Fanis Spanos. The programme will incorporate all the essential cultural infrastructure created in the Region of Central Greece during the past decade, as well as any interventions currently being implemented under the Operational Programme “Central Greece 2014-2020”.

In support of the programme, DIAZOMA has created a donors and sponsors “basket” which includes companies and institutions such as Nea Odos S.A., Kentriki Odos S.A., Mytilineos Holdings, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. Their unstinting support has allowed DIAZOMA to commission studies and projects, which are being implemented or have already been completed.

By way of example, some of the projects commissioned are: Destination Marketing Strategy and Brand Development, TOPOSOPHY marketing agency (December 2017); Route website creation, “Christos Chiotis” company (July 2018); study for organising local economy participation in the Central Greece Cultural Route, K.S. Topos Consulting P.C. (July 2018); study for the uniform and universal route signage and the necessary traffic interventions at route landmarks (Eretria, Thermopylae), Dromos Consulting Ltd (March 2019); preparatory study for the Thermopylae Archaeological Site’s management, focusing on the restoration of the Phocian Wall, by architect-engineer Mr M. Magnisalis (March 2019).

Moreover, in the intervening years, DIAZOMA has contributed to the promotion of the Route and public dialogue. It co-organised with the Region of Central Greece the one-day conference “Cultural and Environmental Route of Central Greece: One identity, One destination” at the Chalkida Conference Centre (May 2018), as well as a special event dedicated to the “Cultural and Environmental Route of Central Greece: the paths of history” at the Megaron Athens Concert Hall (March 2018). With this view in sight, the DIAZOMA Association has established monthly working meetings to evaluate the course of the works and projects undertaken by DIAZOMA within the framework of its cooperation with the Region.

In February 2020, the President of DIAZOMA participated in a meeting for the promotion of the programme organised by the Regional Governor of Central Greece Mr Fanis Spanos. The meeting, which took place in Lamia, was attended by members of the Region of Central Greece, the Municipalities, the Ministry of Culture and the DIAZOMA Association. They all share the aim of accomplishing this significant development programme over two years and delivering it as a cultural route to the global community.

Let us travel along the Cultural Route of Central Greece – “OEDIPUS”

“Oedipus, the tragic hero, the legendary King of Thebes, lends his name to an invisible network spreading across Thebes, Delphi, Thermopylae, every corner of Central Greece both known and unknown, transforming it into a holistic cultural tourism product.”

The Region of Central Greece is designing the “Environmental and Cultural Route of Central Greece-OEDIPUS” programme following a proposal by the DIAZOMA Association.

A branded and holistic cultural tourism product for the Region of Central Greece, the Route is designed around the most significant natural and cultural monuments of seven chosen Regional centrepieces: a) Chalkida-Eretria (Euboea), b) Delphi (Parnassus), c) Karpenisi (Evrytania), d) Thermopylae (Kamena Vourla – Lamia- Lamia Castle – Oeta), e) Thebes f) Orchomenus Boetia, g) Skyros. The Route proposed for Central Greece cannot follow a linear model (such as the Egnatia Odos Cultural Route) but a “network of routes” template in order to accommodate the natural fragmentation that characterises Central Greece.

The Route’s Destination Marketing and Management Organization- DMO is the Evia Development Company S.A.

Thanks to the collaboration of multiple financial pillars (Sustainable Urban Development, Public Investment Programme, private funding), total funds of 86,100 euro are allocated in support of the programme.

The Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) acts as an umbrella and a liaison (financial and operational), with a budget of 2.5 million euro.

Visit DIAZOMA’s website to find out more about the programme here.