PARIS, JUNE 15 – The system composed by the Venetian Works of defence between 15th and 17th centuries is among the nominations included in the upcoming assessment for for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The World Heritage Committee will evaluate 35 sites during its 41st session in Krakow, the Polish city, from 2 to 12 July.
This year’s nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List number seven natural sites, one mixed (i.e. both natural and cultural) and 27 cultural sites. The Committee will also review the state of conservation of 99 World Heritage sites and of 55 sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger during the session, which will be webcast (http://whc.unesco.org/en/35/)
Five World Heritage sites will be examined with a view to place them on the World Heritage List in Danger:
- Historic Centre of Vienna, Austria
- Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks, Brazil
- Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California, Mexico
- Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
- Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan
The state of conservation of Côte d’Ivoire’s Comoé National Park will be examined with a view to removing it from the List in Danger.
The system composed by the Venetian Works of defence between 15th and 17th centuries, a transnational site, is representative of the more complex defensive system, designed and built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice in order to control its territories and the commercial routes leading to the East.
The site extends for more than 1.000 km from the Pre Alps of Lombardy to the Eastern coast of the Adriatic, in the area between the western outpost (Bergamo, Italy) and the Bay of Kotor (Montenegro). Between the Stato di Terra (State of Land: Lombard-Venetian) and the Stato di Mare (State of Sea: Croatia, Montenegro), this unique and ancient enclave bears nowadays significant examples of the Venetian fortifications, important testimony of the interaction among peoples and, more in general, of the culture expressed by Venice in the world.
The components of the nominated property summarize the most representative expression of the defensive system –still evident at present- conceived as a real network, where any fortified element played a precise role within a wide and unitary project. The Serenissima Republic of Venice, in fact, tests and completes in a vast territory a new defensive system – technically recognized as “alla moderna” (“modern style”)- characterizing the period of time between XV and XVII century.
During the first phase, that can be considered as “transitional”, Venice undertakes a series of interventions and experiments, revealing the evolution from the medieval warfare techniques to the new and modern defensive systems (end of XV century). But it is in XVI century that the most advanced Venetian military structures see their maximum diffusion as they were to resist the newly invented firearms. Finally the XVII century is characterized by the completion of the previously started works and by the improvement of the defensive techniques, which represent as a whole outstanding examples of the new military architecture.
The site is composed by a series of complex fortified systems (Bergamo), forts (Fort of Sant’Andrea in Venice), and fortified cities designed ex novo (Palmanova), or based on the reconstruction of existing structures (Peschiera del Garda). These structures are still highly connoting the urban and geo-morphological context they are in.
This extraordinary operation conducted by Venice at a such vast territorial scale was carried out thanks to an impressive circulation of professionals, the fortifications’ architects themselves and of a consistent heritage of treaties; at the same time, regulations, social models and new type of governance led Venetian culture to merge with the cultures from the Eastern Adriatic sea and from here, by land, to the East: all territories where numerous and various material and immaterial evidences of the Venetian centuries-old presence remain. (@OnuItalia)