FortMed 2015: International Conference
The first international conference on Modern Age Fortifications on the West Coast of the Mediterranean took place in Valencia, Spain, on 15th-16th-17th October. Studio Masiello Strutture was present with an article and an oral contribution by Matteo Pierotti, together with prof. Marco Giorgio Bevilacqua, prof. Roberto Pierini and prof. Pietro Ruschi from the University of Pisa. The subject of the contribution was a research project for the valorisation of an Ottoman fortress in Butrint, Albania, carried out as a University project in 2012. Here you may find the abstract of the contribution.
An important programme of valorisation of the architectural heritage involved the 17th-century Triangular Fortress in Butrint, a village near the Grecian border which, throughout the centuries, played an important role in the Mediterranean Sea. Being an outpost between Corfu and the Balkans, it witnessed a series of wars since the ancient times and was conquered by Grecians, Romans, Venetians and Ottomans. Nowadays, it is one of the two Albanian UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Such an important historical background contrasted with the little available knowledge on the supposedly 15th-century Venetian Triangular Fortress, the most notable fortification along the Vivary channel, and constituted a stimulating task for a research, which was funded by the Cooperlink 2012 project.
The research started off with a thorough architectural survey of the Fortress, followed by close stratigraphic analyses and a material and deterioration survey, in order to define the state of conservation of the whole structure and to finally unravel the historical phases of construction. No architectural conservation project can be thought out without a proper historical research, and finding any affordable information on the time of the building was by all means the most challenging task, the few written books and essays being hardly compatible and lacking confirmation.
Therefore, a meticulous research was carried out in Venice, both in the State Archives and in the Museo Correr Library. Such research unveiled unpublished manuscripts and drawings, casting a completely new light on the history of the Fortress: while it had always been thought that it was a 15th-century Venetian building, it is now possible to suppose that it was the Turks who erected it, no sooner than 1655. The manuscripts and the drawing also helped to depict a plausible sequence of historical phases until its deliberate damaging by the French in 1798.