Fortified systems: from frontier places to European Cultural Corridors

a cultural, environmental and scientific open approach to fortified heritage

15-16 September 2022

“Frontier places and European cooperation”. This theme, which has an important historical and commemorative value, is also important in future cultural and social cooperation, not only between European countries. We think that border areas, which with their fortified systems over the course of history have divided countries and communities, should become the new European cultural corridors and meeting spaces for young Europeans, to raise awareness of common cultural values. The common European historical heritage could encourage shared actions in which the various territories recognize themselves in the common European identity. Fortified systems can become the connecting elements of exchange and collaboration in order to promote a balanced cultural and social development of the communities to be increasingly integrated into the European unification process. (F. Meneghelli)

In Europe, one fortress network exists: EFFORTS with FORTE CULTURA, with both operating closely together. They have already jointly initiated programs and projects and, tools have been created to strengthen, preserve and develop and make the cultural heritage of fortified monuments in Europe accessible to a broad public. These include, for example, the FORTE CULTURA Cultural Route of Fortified Monuments, the European Fortress Summer and EFFORTS AWARD, as well as the Joint Scientific Committee of both networks with the EFFORTS Fortification Heritage Knowledge Centre at Forte Marghera in Venice. Numerous events have disseminated important knowledge on fortification construction, fortification history, marketing and tourism development in forts, project development or successful management models, and highlighted the great need for transnational exchange of expertise as one of the most important basics for the preservation and sustainable use of fortified heritage. 

The conference pursues the following goals:

• Challenges and best practices for the cultural heritage of fortified monuments

• Establishment of the Joint Scientific Committee as an expert group for the cultural heritage of fortified monuments 
A. Presenting its Mission and Vision, preparing fortified sites and partners for the major tasks for the fortified heritage (Green Deal, Digitalization, Social Inclusion, etc.)
B. Agreement on a work program of the Joint Scientific Committee and its experts for the following fields:
– Inventory and building research
– Restoration and preservation, conversion and sustainable use
– EHL and World Heritage nomination
– Urban and regional development
– Tourism development and implementation
– Climate change and sustainability

• Discussion of funding possibilities for the work of the expert group (e.g. ERASMUS+, cross-border cooperation, etc.)

• EFFORTS Fortified Heritage Knowledge Center project preparation, e.g. Fortified Heritage Impact Study; student projects, etc.


15 september morning session

(Italian/English translation)  live streaming

9.20 Conference opening, brief greetings 
Stefano Mondini President Forte Marghera Foundation / City of Venice
Frank Petter President EFFORTS and Mayor of Bergen op Zoom (NL)
Rafaël Deroo Secretary general EFFORTS
Dirk Röder Forte Cultura Vice President

9.40 Local and regional fortifications and best practice 

Fortification systems of Veneto Region and Verona/Mantua Provinces
Fiorenzo Meneghelli Director Forte Marghera Study Center- Joint Scientific Committee EFFORTS/Forte Cultura

Forte Marghera, Venice: Reuse and management of a multi-functional fortified site 
Stefano Mondini President Forte Marghera Foundation / Metropolitan City of Venice 

Scientific cooperation and works – the Framework of the Joint Scientific Committee EFFORTS/Forte Cultura
Nataša Urošević Joint Scientific Committee EFFORTS/FORTE CULTURA

10.45 Coffee Break

11.00 Case studies on (external) scientific support and knowledge transfer for fortified sites – Part I

Key issues of European fortified heritage and The Fortification Heritage Impact Preliminary Study (FHIS): Part 1
Daniele Sferra EFFORTS Board Member/Foundation Forte Marghera
Giulia Miraglia, Michele Bettin Ca’ Foscari University of Venice – Department of Economics

FORTITUDE expert workshops (Karlovac, Herceg Novi, Bar)
Đurđa Vrljević Šarić, Fortress of Culture Šibenik

Fortified Sites as a Educational Training Ground in Architectural and Landscape Studies – Examples from Poland
Marcin Górski Warsaw University of Technology Anna Staniewska Krakow University of Technology

Models of Sustainable Valorisation of Fortified Heritage – Fort Center Pula
Nataša Urošević, Kristina Afrić Rakitovac Juraj Dobrila University of Pula Katarina Marić Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria

Introduction, ‘Pasubio – Theatre of Peace‘ student project: transforming war memorials into shared spaces for peace 
Volker Pachauer OeGF Austrian Society for Fortification Research, Daniel Gethmann Waltraud Indrist, Graz University of Technology

Management analysis of municipal castles in the Province of Alicante (Spain): management models and government structures
Juan Antonio Mira Rico Open University of Catalonia

Transcultural fortified heritage in Ukraine: Pidhirtsi and Zbarazh bastion castles
Olha Tikhonova IHPAN – Polish Academy of Science

Perspectives of museums for fortified heritage – cross-border examples of the Upper Rhine region 
Alexander Jordan Museum of Military History – Rastatt

12.45 Debate

13.00 Lunch

afternoon session

(Italian/English translation)  live streaming

14.10 Best Practice of knowledge contributions on a fortified site

Students Input in Suomenlinna fortress 
Tuija Lind Helsinki, Finland

14.30 Part II

Funding opportunities for scientific work – best practices / running projects 
Daniele Sferra Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Dirk Röder Forte Cultura

Peer reviews during the Recapture the Fortress Cities project 
Wim Debaene Regional Landscapes Antwerp

ERASMUS+ – National Funds – Horizon Europe – Other EU funds

end of streaming

15.15 Coffee break

15.30 Site visit  



Joint Scientific Committee and hosting partner

(Italian/English translation)  shooting streaming

17.00 Think tank: discussion of next activities of scientific work in the topics – proposals/tips for the EFFORTS/FORTE CULTURA  Joint Scientific Committee:

Platform, technical infrastructure/communication tools

Common Declaration

Discussion and networking for scientific support/projects at member sites

Decision on next steps, projects and responsibilities for the Joint Scientific Committee

Brief cross-fertilization on the following topics: culture, tourism, European cooperation, sustainability, communication, art and young people



16 september morning session

(Italian/English translation)  live streaming


9.20 Summary of the proceedings 
Dirk Röder Forte Cultura

9.30 Joint Scientific Committee 

•Mission and Vision

•Future roadmap of the Joint Scientific Committee 

•Signing of Common Declaration of the Joint Scientific Committee

10.00 Coffee break

10.15 The Forts, places of culture and peace 

The network of Italian Fortified Sites in the European scenarios
F. Meneghelli
Short contributions: Forte Aurelia, Roma, Bruno Buratti | Forte Bard, Aosta, Ornella Badery | Forti Trentini, Giuseppe Ferrandi | Forte Vinadio, Cuneo, Pietro Cornara | Fortezza di Anfo, Brescia, Giovanmaria Flocchini | Forte Ardietti, Ponti sul Mincio (MN), Massimiliano Rossi | Forte Tesoro, S. Anna d’Alfaedo (VR), Raffaello Campostrini | Memoriale Veneto Grande Guerra, Montebelluna, Monica Celi | Forte Marghera, Venezia, Stefano Mondini.

Fortified Heritage sites as ideal crossroad sites of peace and bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the current international scenario

Presentation of the poster “The Forts, places of culture and peace”
Fiorenzo Meneghelli  Joint Scientific Committee EFFORTS/FORTE CULTURA
Luisella Pavan-Woolfe Direttrice -Consiglio d’Europa Ufficio di Venezia


11.45 Speech 

Region Veneto representative
Representative of the Italian Ministry of Culture
Representative of the Council of Europe – 
Assessor of Veneto Region
Mayor of the City of Venice  

Final Conclusions and hand-over welcoming next EFFORTS Congress in Kaunas in October
Rafaël Deroo and Stefano Mondini 

I Fabbricati

La Fondazione

Forti e Sistemi difensivi