The DESIRE project is being implemented by a project consortium from 8 countries, the leading partner is the Italian municipality of Lavarone, and the partner for Serbia is the Danube 1245 from Sremski Karlovci. As part of this activity, it is planned that 30 young citizens will attend an interactive lecture and concert in the Chapel of Peace.
The event was organized primarily for the group of 30 young citizens age of 17 to 19, most of them are the last school year of the high school. In total, 37 citizens came to listen the concert and participate in the project activity.
In his introductory speech, the host of the event Мr. Rajko Marinković, President of the Association of Citizens Danube 1245, introduced the participants to the DESIRE project, goals and activities realized so far. The introductory speaker stated that the project is now in the third phase of the realization of local activities called “Multipliers” and expressed his satisfaction with the great response of young people. This was an opportunity to announce the upcoming international conference in Sremski Karlovci as the final event of the project, which will be attended by 10 partners from 9 European countries and expressed hope that Sremski Karlovci and Danube 1245 will be good hosts to their guests. Considering that the composition of foreign guests is planned so that half of them are young participants, Mr. Rajko Marinković kindly invited those present to take part in the work of the Conference over the period 8-11. May 2022.
The special significance of Sremski Karlovci and the Chapel of Peace is contained in the fact that the Karlovac Peace Treaty was negotiated and signed here in 1699, an event inscribed in the history of the world, where there are 2 empires (Ottoman and Austrian) or “West” and “East” made peace after 16 years of continuous wars and conflicts. Dejan Đurđev, a history professor from Karlovac High School, spoke to the participants in more detail about the course of negotiations and the signing of the peace agreement, as well as the drama that took place during the 72 days of negotiations, where one of the negotiators passed away. The professor presented the event and the atmosphere in a vivid way, pointing out some interesting facts that there were 4 doors on the original building that allowed independent and simultaneous entry of negotiators 4 great powers of the time (Ottoman Empire, Austrian Empire, Venice and Russian Empire), that for the first time a round table was used for negotiations in order to make the negotiators feel equal – apart from the mentioned forces, Poland attended these negotiations as a Christian ally, and was mediated by England and the Netherlands. Professor Djurdjev also showed lithographs from that time that refer to this event and invited the participants to ask questions and discuss the topic of peace in general. By carrying out activities in this way, where the participants were brought to the place of signing the peace and acquainted in detail with the event and the atmosphere that accompanied it, the act of concluding peace in Karlovac was revived in the minds of participants, as one of the most important agreements in Europe. The Chapel of Peace, as a permanent place to mark this world-important event, says that negotiations and finding solutions, which neither side will be completely satisfied with, and yet not completely humiliated, are the best way to resolve conflicts and reduce suffering. The search for peace is invaluable, as is the persistence of the people to maintain peace. Here, the symbolism of the Chapel of Peace can be seen as a place where peace was signed between members of the two great world religions, Muslim (Ottoman) and Christian.
After an interactive lecture in the Chapel of Peace, an “Early Music Concert” was organized and the renaissance music was performed by a Brazilian wind instrument performer and a female soprano. In the specific space of the Chapel of Peace, participants could better experience the spirit from earlier epochs and feel better the centuries through which the old Europe was built to become the foundation for the new one.
This activity is well aligned with strong support of European values existing as a part in project under EU programmes. This is a link to the very foundations built-in Schuman’s Declaration and EU heritage.