Implementation of ‘Historical Heritage of my Town’ (SOI-RO-538)

Author: Catalina Popa, Librarian

Organization: “V.A. Urechia”  Public Library Galati, Romania

During the implementation I adapted the initial learning scenario to Romanian historical heritage focusing on The Palace of the European Commission of the Danube from my city Galați.  The activity aims to raise the awareness of the younger generation about European heritage and encourage to take interest in context of its European significance. Using specific non-formal education activities, young library users will learn more about the building where the European Commission of the Danube used to be located and the fact that since 2022 it holds the title „European Heritage Label”.

The Palace of the European Commission of the Danube (ECD) was built in 1896 as the administrative headquarters for the European Commission of the Danube, the first European institution established after the Peace Congress of Paris in 1856, to regulate the navigation regime on the Danube. Starting with 1968, the monument became the headquarters of Biblioteca Județeană ”V.A. Urechia” Galați (BJVAU) – ”V.A. Urechia” Public Library, an institution established by Royal Decree, signed by Charles I on December 7th 1889.

Using teaching softwares like Genially, Canva, QR Codes but also the Europeana website with its resources related to the proposed topic, the project will increase the understanding of the common history of Europe and highlighting the European significance of the site.

1.The narrative (Learning process/Stages of implementation)

Promoting education about local and European heritage in schools and in the community can stimulate young people’s interest, that’s why I planned an activity on the importance of heritage conservation. As a partner, I choose a college ambassador of the European Parliament, with experience in educating and involving young people in the activities and values of the European Union.

The activity was organized in two stages:

  1. History of the Palace of the European Commission of the Danube – 30 min
  2. The ECD Palace – European Heritage Label – 60 min
  1. History of the Palace of the European Commission of the Danube

Being of a very young age (16 years old), the students did not know the history of the building that houses today the Public Library. I delivered theoretical content on history, geography, culture and civilization, using the website of the “V.A. Urechia” Library, section about The CED Palace and the electronic catalogue of library documents, where scanned images can be found, documents related to the topic can be consulted, to learn more and create an overview. The provided information was high impact, the students  were really interested to learn more:

The current seat of “V.A. Urechia” Public Library, which is the former Palace of the European Commission of the Danube (E.C.D.), was built between 1893-1896, initially serving as the administrative seat of the European Commission of the Danube, the first European institution established after the Peace Congress of Paris in 1856, which had the mission of regulating the navigation regime on the Danube.

The site itself is an European edifice:  the construction decision was taken by the representatives of eight European states, the construction was carried out with “European funds” and is representative for the values in which the E.C.D. believed in, assumed by the EU today. This is the actual place in which the clerks of different departments, such as the Secretariat General, the Accounting Department, the Archive and the Library, performed their activity. This is the location in which the E.C.D. plenary meetings took place and is also the place which provided accommodation for a part of the clerks.

The European Commission of the Danube functioned in this seat until its dissolution in 1948. Between 1948-1968, the building was the seat of several institutions from Galaţi and since 1968 it has been assigned as the seat of the “V.A. Urechia” Public Library, an institution that still functions here nowadays.

Supporting materials



Documents in the collections of the County Library “V.A. Urechia”: books, periodicals, postcards, photos, maps, medals

Europeana resources

2. The ECD Palace – European Heritage Label

Students learned theoretical information about the meaning of the European Heritage Label. They found out that all over Europe there are sites like monuments, natural or urban sites and intangible heritage assets, all of them celebrating European ideals, values and history. Working in small groups and using videos, websites, photos, scanning qr codes, they discovered the EHL sites their position on the European map. Each site has its own history and using technology, each story became known and accessible.

EHL Award for The Palace of the European Commission of the Danube was a true pride for the young people attending the activity. As it has the statute of heritage building, subject to restrictive rehabilitation/modernization regulations, the site has preserved its exterior and interior architecture intact.

Belonging to the family of European Heritage Label sites, the young people understood that they could access the site at any time to closely observe the original elements, raising their awareness of our common cultural heritage. Equally important and attractive can be the network of European sites, which can be visited online and create amazing connections between sites but also between people.

In addition to this section of the activity, students viewed an interactive presentation, a material created in a digital content creation platform (Genially), where they could find various activities carried out by The ECD palace since obtaining the EHL title. Also they visited the site by accessing the virtual tour  with infopoints, videos with YouTube links, made with the support of Europe Direct.

Supporting materials


Prezentation created by the author


Roll-up EHL, books, flyers, promotional materials of the European sites

Europeana resources

Outcomes (for you as an educator and for the students)

The main learning outcomes teaching the scenario The Palace of the European Commission of the Danube yesterday- today-always:

Special attention to young people, in particular by granting them privileged access to the site for increase awareness of the importance of cultural and natural heritage through educational programs in schools and communities.

Highlighting the European significance of the ECD site, the cultural and historical diversity of the community to promote mutual understanding and respect, by taking part in the activities of networks of labelled sites.

Inform about the importance of preserving and restoring heritage so that they are aware of the need to protect and maintain it for future generations.

Use technology and media to reach a wider audience and share heritage stories and information in an engaging and accessible way: Librarian and students used various digital learning tools in order to know better the content of the proposed activity,

Encourage responsible and sustainable tourism that respects and protects cultural and natural heritage while contributing to the economic development of local communities: The ECD Palace is part of an urban heritage ensemble located on a historical street, which is why it can become an important tourist attraction using a well-defined strategy. Young people can contribute to this with engaging stories, authentic communication and promotion that highlights the beauty and sustainable values of the site.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Historical Heritage of My Town (EN-CUR-367) created by Alen Klančar

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

PDM 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Albertina.

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