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Welcome to the cultural heritage project 2017

The Archive of Landscapes

cover photo:
UNESCO Natural and Culturo - Historical region of Kotor
Prcanj, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

photo by Bogdan Kusevic

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About the cultural heritage project

The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, which has been World Heritage Site since 1979, has been facing unprecedented degradation during the last decade due to unplanned and excessive development that has been carried out without implementation of any study for protection and management of cultural landscape. And now, when you look at the images of cobbled hills of Bay of Kotor, destroyed picturesque seashore villages, masterpieces of fortification and residential architecture in danger, you might wonder how come the most beautiful things that we, as citizens of Montenegro could be proud of, are about to vanish just because of us.


The cultural heritage is, after all, a civilisation code of one area and thus the cultural language of architectural heritage. This is not a photography project because I am not a professional photographer, nor it is a project for architectural restoration because I am not a restorer yet, nor even a tourist guide because I do not work in tourism sector. This is The Archive of Landscapes that will never be the same again and as harmonious as it used to be. Over the past decade, the landscape of Bay of Kotor has degraded very much and has been turned into excavations site, into trenches and landslides between concrete structures. Bay of Kotor is a bay in Montenegro where various cultures overlap due to Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian rule. Today, the devastation of the cultural landscape and the architectural heritage has worsen, which implies that the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor will most likely lose the UNESCO status of the World Cultural Heritage Site acquired in 1979.


On this occasion, I would like to ask all scientific organisations in Montenegro, state bodies, dedicated experts and foreign organisations to come to Bay of Kotor and to give the utmost scientific support in maintenance, protection and regeneration of cultural landscape of UNESCO Natural and Culturo-Historical region of Kotor, so that its outstanding universal value can be preserved and left for the future generations to come.

Bogdan Kusevic, MSc Arch

Piacenza, May 2017.

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About the website

The cultural heritage project 2017 titled "The Archive of Landscapes" aims at raising awareness about the degradation of cultural heritage and landscape in the UNESCO Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor, providing an insight into the appearance of the landscape during the last decade.
​The website "The Archive of Landscapes"  was developed entirely during my master studies in architecture at Politecnico di Milano from 2017 to 2018.  The main purpose of creating this website was to present the permanence of the landscape of my homeland to my mentors, to gain the feedback from the community about the most important areas considered for valorisation, and to inspire the members of the local community to think creatively about how the local cultural heritage can be preserved. During my studies, the responses of the community members were included as the basis for future research about the local heritage, and the results of that work were published online in the form of a research paper in both English and Montenegrin language. Furthermore, the responses obtained were helpful and were used for determining the zones for protection and valorisation of the most valuable part of the cultural landscape in the town of Prcanj.
As my wish was to make general public aware of the importance of valorisation of the cultural landscape in the Bay of Kotor, the contents of the thesis were made public while it was being written. In that way, the project of raising awareness about the significance of the cultural landscape of the Bay of Kotor titled "The Archive of Landscapes" was born.


Bogdan Kusevic, MSc Arch

Piacenza, July 2018.

Medieval pathway above Prcanj, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

I am an architect based in Kotor. In July 2018, I obtained the master’s degree in sustainable architecture and landscape design at Politecnico di Milano. Before that, I acquired a bachelor’s degree and a specialist’s degree in architecture at the University of Montenegro - the Faculty of Architecture, where I studied between 2010 and 2015.


Many years before I enrolled in architecture school, I started to observe, document and photograph the buildings in my homeland. My passion for cultural heritage and photography continued during architecture studies, when I found an immense inspiration for landscape photography in my hometown Prcanj. Furthermore, my grandfather was an artist-photographer whose photographs allowed me to examine the tremendous change in the landscape of the Bay of Kotor for almost an entire century.


The cover photo above represents the street called Ulica Lukovica - Lukovic Street situated in the town of Prcanj in Montenegro. It is one of the most beautiful Baroque coastal streets in the Southern Adriatic. However, this street, together with other settlements which belong to Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor under the UNESCO protection are now facing the unprecedented degradation because of poorly planned and excessive development. I appreciate the cultural landscape of my homeland very much as well as the native traditional building techniques and, above all, the local architectural heritage, so my photographs almost always represent the landscape with its unique architectural particularity. Harmony of the sea, the mountains and the palaces lined up along the waterfront is probably one of the most picturesque scenery in the entire region, especially in the morning.


Belonging to the native population of Bay of Kotor, I feel overwhelmed by this scenery because this is the place where I have been living since I was born. I think that photography could have a big role in raising awareness of the general public about the heritage, its role in the local community and its peculiarity on the global scale. Here, in the area of Bay of Kotor, sometimes referred to as “The most secure port of the world”, the echo of the past centuries has been overwhelmingly present. Today, landscape has changed in a negative way but there is still a hope for its preservation and regeneration.

Bogdan Kusevic, MSc Arch

Piacenza, July 2018.

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