War as town-planner

War as town-planner

Nikos Skoutelis
War as town-planner. The network of city-fortresses in the sea state of Venice, 16th-17th century.

Athens 2013, 232 p., 49 ill., 71 maps and 13 architectural plans
ISBN 978-960-244-158-9
€ 44.79

In this comprehensive work on the evolution of defensive architecture in Greek and Dalmatian coastal cities during the period of Venetian Rule, architect Nikos Skoutelis illustrates, from an anthropocentric viewpoint, the influence of war on the urban and natural landscape. The book’s first section delimits the space-time frame of the fortification works’ development according to the defensive plan Venice, as a political and administrative decision centre, elaborated in its possessions. The second section presents the contribution and action of the military engineers and architects. The third section focuses on each cityscape, such as the port and fortified walls, the administrative centre and the houses, as well as on the relationship between town and hinterland. Lastly, the fourth and fifth sections cover, respectively, the war preparations (the town of Handakas, or Candia, being the central reference point) and the author’s conclusions about the network of city-fortresses.

Furthermore, the volume’s iconographic documentation, which includes paintings, photographs, archival chartographic material and ground plans of the fortified cities and their evolution in terms of town planning, provides information about their image, both in the past and today.

Covering a broad and important period of time, Nikos Skoutelis’ book, the first of the «Historical Centres» series, presents the entire spectrum of these historical cities' town-planning evolution, from their physical planning and architectural design to their urban constitution and their adaptation to the natural habitat