In July this year, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to include the Zadar city walls or ‘’Zadarski bedemi’’ onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A few days ago, the mayor of Zadar Branko Dukić was officially presented with the UNESCO Charter for the entry of ‘’Zadarski bedemi’’ on the UNESCO’s list as a cultural asset within the transnational project ‘’Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra - Western Stato da Mar’’.
In January of 2016, Croatia, Italy and Montenegro sent UNESCO a proposal to enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site list within the joint cultural asset.
After a long and demanding process of making the appropriate documentation and evaluation of the proposal, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at the session held in Krakow, Poland on the 9th of July 2017, positively assessed it and reached the decision to register this complex cultural asset in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Zadar from the sea
This asset consists of six components; the fortified city of Bergamo, the fortified town of Peschiera del Garda and the fortress town of Palmanova in Italy; the defence system of the city of Zadar and the St Nikola fortress in Šibenik in Croatia and the city of Kotor in Montenegro. It spans more than 1,000 km between the Lombard region of Italy and the eastern Adriatic Coast.
The fortifications throughout the Stato da Terra protected the Republic of Venice from other European powers to the northwest and those of the Stato da Mar protected the sea routes and ports in the Adriatic Sea to the Levant. They were necessary to support the expansion and authority of the Serenissima. The introduction of gunpowder led to significant shifts in military techniques and architecture that are reflected in the design of so-called ‘’alla moderna’’ (bastioned fortifications, which were to spread throughout Europe).
It is interesting to note that Zadar has already been positioned as a significant spot when it comes to protecting the cultural heritage because Zadar is a home to the world’s first UNESCO Underwater Archeology Centre.