St. Cross Fortress

Original name

St. Cross Fortress

Geographic Area

Perasto, Montenegro

Reference Project

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

Site description

The Fortress of Santa Croce, built-in 1570, is located above the historic center of Perast, on a mountainous side, in a strategic position facing the Straits of the Chains. The city, which was never equipped with a wall, saw the construction of nine defensive towers during the rule of the Serenissima. The Fortress was built on four levels by exploiting the morphology of the rocky slope. On the lower floor, in addition to the officer's house, there was the so-called kaštel, the oldest element of the Fortress. A suspension bridge, now lost, connected the first and second levels, divided into two rooms used as warehouses. A staircase led to the third floor, of which only a few walls remain. All the rooms on the fourth level have been destroyed. The Fortress of Santa Croce underwent numerous modernization and expansion interventions of its structures until the eighteenth century. The raised position, in front of the access channel to the bay, in visual communication with the defensive structures on the opposite shore, was functional to protect the settlement from any attacks by land. The Fortress is now in a state of neglect: nature compromises its usability and optimal reading of the architecture and division of the interior spaces.It was built in a point that is clearly visible from different points of the village, and becomes a reference point for the orientation of the territory. The church has free sides, the main body of the church is organized according to the principle of the "quadruple octagon", and the other completes a slender octahedral bell tower. The main meaning of the tents is underlined by small domes placed at the corners of the temple cube, on the apse of the altar and by a small refectory. The construction of the temple was financed by Ivan Agafonovich Suslov (1838-1900). In the Vvedenskaya church, the ecclesiastical service of Fr. Nikolai Konyukhov, now counted among the new holy martyrs. The church was closed in the late 1920s and became a warehouse for the storage of agricultural products, which was left abandoned.


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 Subjects
University of Pavia
University of Florence
University of Bergamo
University of Verona
University of Montenegro
Municipality of Verona

State Archives of Venice
University of Split
INFN Florence
INFN Milan

Survey Activities

Terrestrial Laser Scanner
Chiara Malusardi, Dante Certomà

UAVs Photogrammetry
Francesca Picchio, Alberto Pettineo

Marco Morandotti, Anna Dell'Amico, Silvia La Placa

Post production Activities

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

Point Cloud model
The model was created by Researchers, PhD Students and Studens of the University of Pavia

  • Gallery
  • 3D Model

Documentation Methodology

The Fortress of Santa Croce, built at the foot of the hill of Sant’Elia, dominates the town of Perasto. Immersed in nature, the Fortress is today a ruin, that only partially tells of the original conformation of the defensive structure. To best perform the laser scanner acquisition operations, the survey campaign was planned in phases: a first phase concerned the acquisition of the external perimeter, while a second phase involved the survey of the internal environments, divided into different heights and only partially accessible.

The circumscription of the masonry portions, sought to divide the registration error over small and easily controllable areas, has not always been possible due to the presence of weed vegetation occluding the stone surfaces and the inaccessibility of many portions, which forced to leave some perimeter circuits open. The fortified architecture was also acquired through UAV systems. By choosing two starting points for the drone, external to the ruins, the operator made the shots by setting the acquisition mode by point of interest.


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.. Di Sandro Parrinello; Francesca Picchio. p. 1-176, Pavia: Pavia University Press, ISBN: 9788869521379​

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. Milano: FrancoAngeli, pp. 2533-2550. ResearchGate