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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday March 11, 2024

Updated on Tuesday April 9, 2024

portrait of Lorena Aldana

Lorena Aldana

Head of External Relations and Advocacy , Europeana Foundation

Discover the heritage gems submitted to the Twin it! 3D for Europe's culture campaign

Under Twin it! 3D for Europe’s culture, Ministries of Culture of EU Member States are invited to submit at least one 3D digitised heritage asset to the common European data space for cultural heritage. From a dinosaur skeleton to churches, castles and an entire archeological site, discover the inspiring monuments and artefacts that have been submitted so far!

Twin it! 3D for Europe's culture campaign imagery showing a windmill, the Europeana logo, European Commission Logo and Swedish and Spanish Presidency logo
Twin it! logo. A composition of Windmolen van Elene by FrDr, CC BY-SA 4.0 and Elene windmill by visualdimension, CC BY-NC-ND
Ana Moreno
Europeana Foundation

To date, 22 European Union Member States have identified the cultural heritage assets that will be their contribution to the Twin it! 3D pan-European collection. This includes a total of 27 impressively diverse heritage objects, as Belgium, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia have selected more than one asset.

Buildings, sites and objects in 3D

We are proud of the rich and intricate Twin it! collection, which ranges from scientific and architectural heritage, to unique portable objects, impressive statues and rock reliefs. It also encompasses exemplary samples of classical architecture, mediaeval fortresses and religious buildings. The collection spans from the Early Cretaceous (dating back to 125 million years!) to the 20th century.

The majority of the contributions are buildings and sites, while a third are portable objects. These include the Bote de Zamora (submitted by Spain), a luxurious pyxis or box which contained diplomatic gifts; and the Hungarian Holy Crown, an important piece of the Hungarian royal insignia. Some countries have submitted entries which comprise both movable and immovable elements. For instance, Poland’s entry features the Collegiate Church of St Martin the Bishop in Opatów along with the tombstone of Krzysztof Szydłowiecki, a Grand Chancellor of the Crown from the early 16th century.

UNESCO World Heritage and European Heritage Label sites in 3D

The collection also features eight sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Heidentor building, one of the best-preserved structures in the Roman City of Carnuntum in Lower Austria, and the Petäjävesi Old Church in Central Finland, a typical illustration of the architectural tradition of wooden churches in Northern Europe, are just some examples.

Two sites among the Twin it! collection are closely linked to the European Heritage Label which celebrates European ideals, values, history and integration. The Olomouc Premyslid Castle and Archdiocesan Museum in the Czech Republic are a focal point of Moravian presence in European history. The Rotunda of St. Margaret of Antioch in Slovakia is part of a larger Gothic route which includes a series of twelve churches awarded with the Label due to their significance in the European Gothic art movement.

Preserving vulnerable heritage in 3D

The Twin it! pan-European collection is also wide-ranging in terms of the needs and opportunities that 3D digitisation presents for each submitted asset. 3D digitisation can enhance preservation and conservation and enables non-intrusive analysis of cultural heritage. This is the case for the 300-year-old maritime globe submitted by the Netherlands, which is in such a vulnerable state that it cannot be handled, studied or exhibited.

3D technology can also improve access and audience experience, including for tourism purposes. This is the case of the Gozo Citadelle submitted by Malta, a tourist attraction facing challenges from a high influx of visitors and the need for more effective and engaging interpretation.

The full list of Twin it! 3D heritage

Curious to learn more? Explore the cultural heritage assets through the slideshow below. 

Next steps

The Twin it! pan-European 3D collection will be showcased at the Closing high-level event of the Twin it! 3D for Europe's culture campaign on 14 May 2024 in Brussels, in the framework of the Belgian Presidency. This event will be upon invitation only, but the collection will also be featured in a dedicated online exhibition in, which will be published in June. Stay tuned for more updates!

This post was edited on 9 April 2024 to update the number of European Union Member States which have identified the cultural heritage asset(s) that will be their contribution to Twin it! to 22; and the number of heritage objects submitted to 27.