Kotor Historical Center

Original name

Kotor Historical Center

Geographic Area

Kotor, Montenegro

Reference Project

Integreted survey strategies for the documentation of Venetian fortification in the eastern Mediterranean basin

Site description

The urban center of Kotor owes its development to the important strategic position of the Bay of the same name, located on the border of the communication routes between the West and the East. The coastal realities, that arose in this geographical context, have developed their urban fabric with a dense network of paths that unravels up to the slopes of the rocky walls. The urban fabric is enclosed within a defensive system of walls and bastions that extend from the Bay of Kotor in the west to the foot of Lovcen in the east, along a fortified triangular perimeter. The northern border is marked by the Scudra River. The fortified city of Kotor was dominated by the Venetians for almost four centuries (1420-1792) and the traces are still visible today in the local architecture. Following the Act of Dedication, submitted by Cattaro to the Serenissima in 1420, the city became part of the sphere of influence of the Republic of Venice. For this reason, the city was equipped with a new fortified wall, which was more effective against attacks than the defensive system that was already present. Now the perimeter of the fortified system consists of five bastions and three monumental city gates. In addition to these, in the past, there were two further entrances to the city: the first was located south of Porta Mare and the second inside the ramparts close to the mountain.


Promoted by
The project was developed following the winning of a tender from the Veneto Region set up for the conservation and enhancement of Venetian culture abroad.

Sandro Parrinello

Proposing Subject
UNIPV, University of Pavia
UNIFI, University of Florence
UNIBG, University of Bergamo
UNIVR, University of Verona
UCG, University of Montenegro
Municipality of Verona

State Archives of Venice
University of Split
INFN Florence
INFN Milan

Survey Activities

Laser Scanner
Chiara Malusardi, Dante Certomà

Mobile Laser Scanner
Anna dell’Amico

UAVs Photogrammetry
Francesca Picchio, Alberto Pettineo

Silvia La Placa, Marco Morandotti

Post production Activities

2D Drawings
The drawings were created by Researchers, PhD Student and Student of the University of Pavia

Point Clouds and Models
Models and Point Clouds were created by Researchers, PhD Student and Student of the University of Pavia.

  • Gallery
  • 3D Model

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Documentation Methodology

The research project on the documentation of the Venetian fortifications in Montenegro has made it possible to experiment with a rapid mapping methodology, through the use of KAARTA technology based on a mobile Lidar system (SLAM) and DJI drones. The choice to operate with fast survey systems was fundamental to complete, in the short time available, the extensive documentation of the urban reality of Kotor. For the wall portions, that required more detailed documentation, a FARO CAM2 S150 was used alongside the fast survey technologies. The consolidated experience with TLS instrumentation has allowed us to obtain a highly reliable database for the entire portion of the low walls, a UNESCO heritage site.

The documentation with MLS has imposed a subdivision of the historic center into different macro-areas corresponding to as many paths: a first outside the walls, a World Heritage Site, of the old city; a second over the defensive system; a third including the main urban nucleus divided in turn into macro-areas and a fourth relating to the fortified route developed above the city itself. The measurements of each identified area were acquired through the segmentation of the circuit into smaller paths, of about 600 m, and allowed the obtaining of complete dimensional data concerning the volumetric dimensions of all the architectures and connection systems (scales, alleys, squares, etc.). The survey with Laser Scanners Mobile STENCIL KAARTA counted a total of 237 scans for the acquisition of the entire urban center carried out in about 16 hours of field activity.

The acquisition campaign with DJI drones, to document the historic center and its fortified system, saw the setting of different flight modes. In particular, to obtain complete data of the walls and the urban area, manual acquisition parallel to the perimeter walls has been integrated into the automatic flight plan for the survey of the city.


Picchio, F., De Marco, R., Dell’Amico, A., Doria, E., Galasso, F., La Placa, S., Miceli, A. (2020). Procedure di analisi e modellazione urbana per la gestione dei centri storici. Betlemme, Solikamsk, Cattaro e Santo Domingo. Paesaggio Urbano, 2, 103 – 115. ResearchGate

Parrinello, S., La Placa, S. (2020). Ricostruire la memoria dello Stato da Mar attraverso un percorso di conoscenza, documentazione e disegno/Rebuilding the Memory of the State da Mar through a path of knowledge, documentation and drawing. In Arena A., Arena M., Brandolino R.G., Colistra D., Ginex G., Mediati D., Nucifora S., Raffa P. (a cura di). Connettere. Un disegno per annodare e tessere. Atti del 42° Convegno Internazionale dei Docenti delle Discipline della Rappresentazione/Connecting. Drawing for weaving relationships. Proceedings of the 42th International Conference of Representation Disciplines Teachers. 2533-2550. ResearchGate

Parrinello, S., Picchio, F. (a cura di) (2019). Dalmazia e Montenegro. Le fortificazioni Venete nel bacino del Mediterraneo Orientale. Procedure per la conoscenza e la Documentazione Digitale del Patrimonio Storico Fortificato. Pavia: Pavia University Press