Silk Production as a Silk Roads Imported Industrial Heritage to Europe: The Serbian Example

  • Milica Kocovic De SantoEmail author
  • Vesna Aleksic
  • Ljiljana Markovic
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This chapter investigates industrial heritage related to silk production in Serbia. Silk and silk processing craft were imported from Asia through Silk Roads (across the Balkans and Italy towards Europe). Silk production on industrial level started in today’s Serbia in the middle of the 18th century. The whole process of silk production initiated the growth of mulberry trees, that changed cultural identity in the sense of the ‘everyday way of life’ and broader application and use of wood plant even today. Mostly based on our archival data, we mapped cities that had silk production in Serbia, highlighting interrelated fields such as culture, economy and identity, initiated by silk production. We emphasised the importance of imported silk-related phenomena and common cultural heritage, but also the authentic cultural identity that came out from the silk production in Serbia. It was important to examine all relevant institutions and sectors involved (historical perspective) around the silk production in Serbia, with consideration of possible alternative ways of integrative management options in order to govern and make industrial silk heritage more visible and valuable. Our focus and proposal in this sense go to the direction of participatory governance options, which will enable the multi-departmental approach. Our main research questions are:
  1. I.

    How important are the phenomena that came from Silk Roads seen as common but also authentic heritage?

  2. II.

    How to create a new system solution (for use, managing, conservation and risk mitigation of silk (roads) heritage (creation of new alternative (touristic) products and better local integration, regional, international)?

  3. III.

    What type of new system solution/management model is optimal for achieving optimal integration in relation to heritage-local people-values?

  4. IV.

    Why do we propose participatory governance with the aim to increase synergy and involvement of stakeholders?



Industrial silk heritage Participatory governance Mulberry tree cultural identity Alternative solutions for commons 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milica Kocovic De Santo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vesna Aleksic
    • 1
  • Ljiljana Markovic
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Economic SciencesBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of PhilologyBelgradeSerbia

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