Revitalisation of the historic town of Rostov

Built Heritage
Erfgoed ยป Monumenten
Rostov Veliky
Project start: 
23 maart 2013
Rostov Veliky, or Rostov the Great, is part of the so called Golden Ring of historic cities around Moscow and belongs to the oldest cities in Russia. The most impressive monument of the city is undoubtedly the walled kremlin complex, which comprises various churches and palaces. The fortification which encircles this complex and the old inner city has received far less attention during the past centuries, although also this monument has an intriguing history to tell. The bastioned fortifications of Rostov, built in 1634, are designed by the Dutchman Jan Cornelius van Rodenburg. The fact that in Rostov he put to practice the same design methods that were developed and commonly used in the Netherlands, can still be seen. Two Russian heritage organisations, the 'National Foundation for the Rebirth of the Russian Estate' and the State Museum-Reserve 'Rostov Kremlin' requested the Embassy of the Netherlands to set up a project with Dutch heritage experts. In response the Embassy and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands organised a number of heritage missions to Rostov in May 2013 and November 2013. Dutch experts presented in Rostov their first findings, identifying the design of the fortifications as distinctly Dutch and sharing some first ideas on the way this monument could be connected to the city landscape. In June 2014 a heritage mission was held bringing in an cultural tourism expert focusing not only on the city of Rostov but also assessing the potential of the nearby village of Porechye-Ribnoye. In December 2014 a delegation of Russian partners working on the Rostov project visited the Netherlands to understand how historical fortifications are dealt with in Dutch towns. The project is part of the Dutch policy on Shared Cultural Heritage and is undertaken in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Heritage as signed by the Russian and Dutch government on June 19, 2009. OBJECTIVES The project aims at identification, understanding and integrated preservation of mutual Russian-Dutch heritage present in the historic core of Rostov, by means of knowledge exchange, training, inspection and advice. RESULTS During the missions the bastioned fortifications of Rostov have been identified as unique for Russia and in line with Dutch design at the time. Presentations and workshops held during the visit to Rostov have helped understand this structure and its historical context. First steps are set towards integrating this monument into a future master plan. See also: Jon van Rooijen (Expert) Jos Cuijpers (Expert) [ Alyavdin, V.I.(et al.) Dutch fortress in a Russian city, Moscow 2014] (Publication) [ Alyavdin, V.I.(et al.) Joint Russian-Dutch Cultural Heritage of Yaroslavl land, Moscow 2014] (Publication) Vitruvius vol. 26 dec 2013 [[File:Rostov in Vitruvius26.pdf|Article on Rostov Veliky in Vitruvius 26]] (Publication)
Contact person: 
Jean-Paul Corten
Involved experts: 
Rostov Veliki
Partner country(ies) : 
Russian Federation