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Virtual reconstructions in transnational research environments

The web portal “Palaces and Parks in former East Prussia”


Cooperation project, main applicant: the Herder-Institute, Prof. Dr. Peter Haslinger

CastleThe cultural heritage of the former German region of East Prussia today constitutes an integral part of the Polish, Russian and Lithuanian cultural landscape. Nevertheless, a substantial share of the architectural monuments is by now lost due to war destructions and negligence. Over 20 years after the political changes of 1989/91, many of the 18th-century palaces and parks therefore demand special effort for the historical and art-historical research and documentation.

Developments after the fall of the Berlin wall led to impulses to reinterpret the complex history of the region by integrating elements that had been a taboo during communism, making a transnational interpretation as well as ways for their dissemination possible. The starting point for the project thus requires not only an interdisciplinary approach, but also implies the need to collaborate in transnational networks to interpret the findings in a multiperspective communication.

The knowledge portal that is to be implemented is based on the documentation of two baroque palaces that are by now destroyed almost entirely (namely Schlodien/Gładysze in Poland and Friedrichstein/Kamenka in Kaliningrad Oblast). The project includes competences from the fields of architecture, art history, history, computer science and knowledge transfer. It takes aim at the definition of standards for the preparation and presentation of data in a spatial classification system as defined by the “Charter on the Preservation of the Digital Heritage“ (UNESCO, 2003).

Besides the research-based 3D-computer-reconstruction of the palaces, the project also intends to document and enhance the knowledge available today. The web portal considers itself to be an open research environment, which is designed scientifically and didactically by the involved partners including the possibility of further joint amendments after the three years funding of the project.

Map of East Prussia