Conservation and Integrated documentation of fortified Towns through Advanced Digital Elaboration Systems - "CITADELS"

Basic idea

Europe is a land of castles and "citadels", small cities surrounded by walls that from ancient times until the 16th century were built mainly along the Mediterranean coasts to defend their populations. Many of them were constructed in the Middle Ages on top of Greek and Roman settlements, while others are the result of creative renaissance town planning. Bearing witness to excellent architectonic creations, they represent a common European cultural heritage, the safeguarding of which demands that coordinated action should be taken to enhance knowledge and its dissemination.
These fortified cities, exposed to degradation through lack of maintenance, changing social and environmental conditions and the specific effects of the marine environment, share a number of basic features.
They are almost always constructed using the same material found on the Mediterranean coasts - calcarenite - a stone with specific conservation problems.
The solution towards an adaptive re-use and integrated enhancement of complex urban architectural systems such as citadels, is the application of appropriate methods of conservation, which are highly flexible and compatible with the cultural and economic reality of the specific place.
Such methods of conservation must be implemented through an in-depth study of all the variables involves and the application of suitable methods for documenting and managing all the data needed to achieve sustainable restoration.

Action of support for development of the idea

To attain this objective the opportunities of the Heritage Management Mapping (HMM) and new documentation and representation techniques (GIS and multimedia, quick photogrammetry, 3D scanning & data capture, dynamic maps and databases) will be investigated.
The results will be used to implement an advanced standardised system for collecting, managing and displaying all the data referring to historico-architectonic and degradation problems involving these sites and for using an on-line data base to compare good practices used to achieve their documentation, conservation and protection.

Actions of synthesis and duration

The CITADELS project will develop a methodology combining innovative surveying of fortified urban sites with architectonic and environmental data bases.
All the data will be collected, standardised and appropriately structured in a Dynamic Modular Information System (DYMIS).
The requirements of such a system will better fulfilled by a system structured around a GIS oriented program, which is highly interactive, with multimedia capabilities and also Web based.

DYMIS will allow:

  • i) a data management methodology to be developed for recording, indexing, analysing architectonic heritage data and

  • ii) best practice for heritage documentation, preservation and management to be applied to Mediterranean citadels and made accessible on the web.

Three field case studies have been selected to develop and test this method of Heritage Data Management:

  • The ramparts of San Salvatore and Santa Cristina and the Genoese Tower in the fortified walls system of Chania on the island of Crete (Greece).

  • The Citadel of Victoria in Gozo (Malta).

  • The renaissance village of Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily (Italy)

The Citadel of Victoria - Gozo - Malta

Partners involved in the project

This project is co-funded by the European Union.

Web design by Elymos Valley.

Last update: 30/09/2005