Europa Nostra Medal

Tallinn Town Hall was awarded 2nd prize, a medal, in category conservation of Architectural Heritage for the revival of the last surviving Gothic Town Hall in Northern Europe and the exemplary revealing of all the historical layers of this icon of the great European tradition of municipal power. 

The Jury's appreciation

European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage - the Europa Nostra Medal was awarded to the Tallinn Town Hall in 2005. The prize was presented to Elvira Liiver Holmström, director of Tallinn Town Hall by H.M. Queen Sofía of Spain on the prestigious European Heritage Awards Ceremony which was held on 27 June 2006 at the Palacio Real de El Pardo, Madrid. Europa Nostra medal was presented to Tallinn Town Hall on the ceremony on 15 September 2006 by Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission, and Thomas Willoch, Europa Nostra board member.

In total, 34 Laureates from 22 countries were awarded awarded at the European Heritage Awards ceremony, which was presided over by H.M. Queen Sofía of Spain, Patron of Hispania Nostra, Europa Nostra’s country representation in Spain. It was attended by laureates, dignitaries, representatives from the public sector and civil society involved in heritage conservation and enhancement at all levels - local, regional, national and European.

The five top Prizes, which each include a monetary award of €10,000, were presented in the following categories: 
• Conservation of Architectural Heritage: to the 16th century Omeriye Ottoman Baths, Nicosia (Cyprus) 
• Conservation of Cultural Landscapes: to the Vía de la Plata, Extremadura (Spain) 
• Conservation of Works of Art: to the Edward Chambré Hardman Photographic Collection, Liverpool (United Kingdom). 
• Outstanding Studies: to Dr Anna Sulimowska-Ociepka and the Technical University of Silesia for her PhD thesis on the Old Workers’ Estates in Upper Silesia (Poland) 
• Dedicated Service to Heritage Conservation: to the Maisons Paysannes de France 

Among the Medal winners (2nd Prize) figure varied projects such as the restoration of an early masterpiece of Victor Horta (La Maison Autrique) in Brussels (Belgium); the restoration of the early 15th century Town Hall of Tallinn (Estonia); fifty years of voluntary efforts in favour of Ireland’s heritage by Honorable Desmond Guinness (Ireland); the restoration of a Palm House Complex at National Botanic Gardens in Dublin (Ireland); the restoration of Il Teatro all Scala in Milan (Italy); the regeneration of part of the Valletta Waterfront (Malta); the revitalisation of a remote village and its wooden architecture in Karelia (Russian Federation) through the collaboration between a private foundation in Finland and the local authorities; the extensive field research on urgent needs for the protection of cultural heritage in Metohija, the Western part of Kosovo (Serbia); the restoration of the Collection of 17th and 18th century plaster casts at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid (Spain); the restoration of Hernergut Bathing Pavilion, Horgen (Switzerland); the exemplary work of the Swedish NGO “Cultural Heritage Without Borders” for its dedicated work in the Balkans (in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo); and an integrated analysis of an exceptional cultural landscape in Wales – the Heather and Hillforts Landscape Partnership Scheme in Dengbighshire in Wales (UK). 

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards Scheme was launched in 2002 under the Culture 2000 Programme and is indicative of the partnership between the European Union and the cultural-heritage community across Europe. Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Heritage, is the representative platform of over 200 heritage NGOs active throughout Europe. It is the voice of this vast movement of European civil society active in the field of heritage towards international bodies concerned, in particular the European Union Institutions, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Europa Nostra is dedicated to putting heritage and its benefits in the mainstream of public consciousness and to making heritage a priority for public policies both at European and national levels. Its specific objectives are to promote, at a European level, high standards of quality in the fields of heritage conservation, architecture, urban and rural planning and to advocate a balanced and sustainable development of urban and rural, built and natural environment. Europa Nostra supports national and international campaigns for the preservation and rescue of Europe’s heritage at risk. It encourages exemplary initiatives in favour of the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage by recognising outstanding heritage achievements, in particular through the running of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. In early 2006, Europa Nostra was selected as the new Liaison Office for the co-ordination of the "European Heritage Days", a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union. Through its various activities, Europa Nostra seeks to highlight the importance of cultural heritage as a building block of European identity and as a contribution to the strengthening of the sense of European citizenship.