GOOD PRACTICE: Construction of cultural, tourist and ethnographic complex “Chengene skele”


Perhaps most of you have seen or heard the slogan of programming period 2014-2020: "One Direction, many possibilities." This is true with full force in the way Burgas municipality attracts investments for the benefit of the local fisheries community. The local authority has built productive relations with the fishermen on the territory of the area "Chengene skele" and together with them carries out a number of public activities for the preservation, support and development of this authentic and unique place.

Burgas Municipality is a pioneer in the Black Sea coast in the implementation of the integrated territorial investments (ITI) approach and the bottom-up approach by implementing a product through various sources of funding including own participation. The CLLD strategy of FLAG Burgas-Kameno (whose founder and active member is the Municipality of Burgas)   states that the territory of the FLAG has poor alternative forms of tourism and tourist infrastructure. 
This need has been identified, realized and met in the implementation of 4 separate, but inseparably linked, and complementary projects aimed at building and developing the Chengene Skele complex.

Rural settlement/village “Chengene skele” is located in the southern part of the Burgas Bay, about 15 km away from the town of Burgas and is part of protected area of 160ha with the same name. It was built as a fishing village in the 1970s. During the years of its development the village has managed to preserve the authentic spirit of the locals as well as the traditional fishing craft. The settlement is a place with specific spirit and character that still preserves the fishing tradition. It is said that there is no fisherman without a nickname. Some fishermen have two or even three nicknames, and each nickname goes with a story. The place is often called the Little Venice. Its authenticity is a direct consequence of its inhabitants and their craft. There are many stories about it- local fishermen say with a smile that instead of fish in their nets there are live calves and apples. This is not a joke at all, as you might guess. In fact, the aquatory around Chengene Skele has heavy traffic with fishing boats, cargo and tourist ships. Due to an accident in the neighboring cargo port, ship`s load of apples and live calves ended up in the sea and from there emerged on the shores of Chengene Skele.


Burgas Municipality aims to preserve and promote the traditions and crafts of the local fishing community by building a multifunctional area with wide public access. The projects create safe conditions for the work and life of the fishermen in Chengene skele and neighboring settlements.

Cultural and tourist complex “Chengene skele” is located north of the rural settlement with the same name. It is close to the settlement and the presence of good transport and communication infrastructure in the area are a prerequisite for the choice of location of the boat haven marina. Investment plans of the Municipality of Burgas are related to the development of the territory and concentration of resources for improving the existing and construction of new infrastructure. The configuration of the shore and the mole are taken into consideration, without affecting the beach, as well as protection of the shore from waves, currents and infiltration of sediments and prevention of sea abrasion and landslides.

The projects and investments are aimed at developing and promoting the territorial uniqueness of Chengene skele village and turning it into a year-round tourist destination with a characteristic appearance and preserved intangible cultural heritage, traditions and nature.


  • Job creation
  • Improved working conditions for the fisheries community
  • Created conditions for diversification of the fisherman`s activities on the territory
  • Promotion of the fishing, traditions and intangible cultural heritage of the territory
  • Created infrastructure for development of alternative forms of tourism related to fisheries

Planned activities include:

The boat haven marina has a capacity of up to 40 boats within 3 peirs. In the eastern part there is a a launch ramp. The western side is designated as a dock for boats up to 8 meters. The project includes the construction of defense facilities as well as a wave block (wall), installation of water and  electricity supply columns, fire-fighting facilities as well as installation of a boat lifting crane.

Funded by the CLLD Strategy of FLAG Burgas-Kameno – all project activities involve representatives of the local fishing community (the Museum and association “Maritime Association”) as main holders of cultural values. The involvement of this community is necessary not only in the identification of the intangible cultural heritage, but also for the various processes related to its management and preservation. The main principles in developing the plan and  measures and related activities are: maximum involvement of all stakeholders; Wide participation of representatives from various interested organizations – local authorities, research organizations and universities, civil society and the private sector, as well as the communities and media; promoting equal participation of men and women, as well as marginalised and vulnerable groups; stimulating the participation of young people; promotion of initiatives and policies related to the intangible cultural heritage related to the fishing craft in the Burgas region; evaluation and analysis of the results of the planned activities through regular monitoring. (A campaign is currently underway to collect typical local artifacts, personal belongings, objects, tools, archives and other interesting items to be exhibited in an authentic exhibition)

Interpretations reflect stories about the origin of the fishing village and the community; the main techniques related to the protection of crafts related to fisheries, including knitting nets, fishing techniques, sea knots, preparation of fish dishes; symbols and importance of customs related to the sea.

The scope of the project includes Zone 1 – construction of buildings for an exhibition in ethnographic complex, consisting of three exhibition buildings with outdoor exhibition areas, as well as one reception building. The purpose of the ethnographic houses is to accommodate permanent exhibitions and interactive installations presenting the fishing craft and traditions. The aim is to achieve multi-layered experiences with different expressive means to cover as many aspects of the theme as possible. The buildings are with open space design. There is also a reception building to accommodate the service of the complex. The main space of the building will be used as a meeting and training place for small groups up to 12 people. The design solution and construction of the new buildings aims to be as closer as possible to the characteristic buildings of the fishing village and to be successful combination of accessibility, quality and environmental friendiness and interprets construction with hand-made materials

Part of the project, funded by FLAG Burgas-Kameno, for the needs of the exhibition complex is development of an exhibition concept in the three buildings and the reception of the ethnographic complex, as well as the spaces between the houses. The aim is to achieve multi-layered experiences with different expressions to cover as many aspects of the theme of the fishing craft as possible.

Supply of necessary equipment and furniture is also part of the project, funded by the CLLD strategy of FLAG Burgas-Kameno. The reception building is planned to accommodate the service of the complex: information center with cash register, offering drinks and packaged food, accessible bathroom. The main space will be used as a meeting place for small groups of people (up to 12 people). At its entrance there is a small buffet with equipment for a cafe. The restaurant is for year-round use.

Objectives of the Cultural and Tourist Complex are:

  1. Support and promotion of the fishing craft through demonstration of fishing practices; trainings; meetings and practice exchange between fishermen and visitors of the complex; creation of new jobs for the locals;
  2. Development of the marine culture of the population through trainings, exhibitions, plenarys, festivals, etc.
  3. Creating a public space for the needs of the community in “Chengene skele” settlement.
  4. Development of the complex as a tourist destination with a variety of activities and a dynamic and rich cultural program.

The implementation of the activity will contribute to the interaction of the fishing village with the cultural and tourist complex. In the preparation of the conceptual development, the following principles for the development of the territory are laid down:

  1. The focus of the complex is on fisheries and the sea;
  2. The cultural and tourist complex is a “living place” with an active program, in which the people from the community of Chengene skele actively participate;
  3. The architectural appearance of the buildings and the environment are inspired by the characteristic features of the fishing village itself.[1]

[1] The activities under point 7 for construction of cultural and historical complex Chengene skele and the production and delivery of a tourist ship, funded through the ERDF under OPRD, are part of an integrated project for the development of a complete tourist product and infrastructure on the territory of Burgas Municipality with the name “Power of Water”. The main activities include:

  1. The construction and reconstruction of 4 sites of “national” and “local” importance as follows:

– Exhibition and demonstration center “Mineral waters of Aquae Calidae”;

– St. Nicholas Temple St. Cyril and Methodius”, Burgas;

– Expand existing and build a new pier for small vessels in the aquaria on the island of Saint Anastasia.

– Investments in cultural and tourist complex “Chengene skele”

  1. The delivery of a tourist ship.
  2. Supply of equipment and furniture.
  3. Measures to promote the tourist product and the financial contribution of OPRD 2014-2020.

The activities are aimed at meeting the needs of the target groups, including residents and guests of Burgas municipality, local communities, business, people at risk of social isolation, cultural, scientific and educational institutions. The direct and indirect effects of the implementation of the project, such as the creation of new tourist sites and services, the promotion of the region, increasing visitors, creating new jobs will contribute to meeting their needs.

The expected results are related to an increase in the number of tourists in Burgas municipality, preservation of local culture and customs, balanced development of the territory and improved economic development in the region.

In the framework of the project activity financed by the ERDF, it is envisaged to perform the production and delivery of a tourist ship serving the coastal waters of the Black Sea. The ship will have a capacity of up to 100 passengers and up to 4 crew. With this project Municipality Burgas has the ambition to establish a quality and competitive tourist product. The supply and operation of the vessel provides the opportunity to offer a flexible tourist service that combines different duration and scope visits to sites, presenting of the cultural heritage of the region. The new ship will allow better service to passengers, ensuring the safety of the crew and passengers, as well as ensuring the service of the increased number of people wishing to visit the sea sites in Burgas.

A project proposal funded by measure 1.8 of the CLLD Strategy of FLAG Burgas-Kameno includes the construction of a workshop for repair of fishing boats and the delivery and installation of facilities and equipment. The project aims at improving the safety, working conditions and social inclusion of fishermen, as well as to create conditions for the safe storage of the vessels on the territory of the fishing marina Chengene skele and to improve the normal functioning of the boat haven, the safety and working conditions of fishermen.