Virtual and didactic approach to the defensive heritage of the 16th century Fort of the Trinitat (Roses, Girona)




virtual archaeology, poliorcetic, 3D matte painting, re-enactment, fortification


The Trinitat Fort, built in the mid-16th century, is an extraordinary example of European military architecture from the mid-16th century, conceived as an artillery machine, whose mission was to protect the natural port of Roses (Girona, Spain). The fortification had a long history of warfare that ended with the Peninsular War (1808–1814), which turned it into ruins. In 2002, the Roses city council planned an ambitious architectural intervention to recover the fortification. The works restored the overall exterior volumetry, with current construction materials. The large interior spaces resulting from the intervention had little in common with the original structures. Starting in 2016, the museum projected to open the fort to the public. The strategy focused on 3D works, which were used to plan museographic proposals and to make an interior space understandable, with an aspect very distant from that of the original construction. It entailed extensive fieldwork analyzing the sources and structural remains that were preserved and surmising the possible architectural solutions the fortress originally contained. Based on evidence and hypotheses, the group carried out a reconstruction from virtual archeology, and it developed a didactic iconography to explain the artifact to a broad spectrum of visitors and students. This iconography was applied on the panels, in the scenography and audiovisuals of the museum, and in the dissemination materials. The museography was implemented between 2019 and 2021. Considering the variables and comprehensive needs for a wide range of users and visitors, we completed the virtual archeology proposal based on realistic criteria, giving importance in 3D to textures and colors. It incorporated the anthropic and movable factors through matte painting techniques and images obtained with the support of re-enactment groups.


- The Fort of the Trinitat, built in the middle of the 16th century, is an extraordinary poliorcetic piece, conceived as an artillery machine, whose mission was to protect the natural port of Roses (Girona, Spain).

- Between 2019 and 2021, an ambitious reconstruction of virtual archaeology has been carried out, developing a didactic iconography aimed at broad-spectrum visitors and formal education students.

- The didactic iconography proposal developed in the Fort of the Trinitat does not try to compete with the large market productions, but it does try to explore sustainable intervention models to make the past and its heritage known.


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Author Biographies

Francesc Xavier Hernàndez-Cardona, Universitat de Barcelona

Department of Applied Didactics

Rafael Sospedra-Roca, Universitat de Barcelona

Department of Applied Didactics

Josep Ramon Casals-Ausió, Universitat de Barcelona

DIDPATRI Research Group


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How to Cite

Hernàndez-Cardona, F. X., Sospedra-Roca, R., & Casals-Ausió, J. R. (2022). Virtual and didactic approach to the defensive heritage of the 16th century Fort of the Trinitat (Roses, Girona). Virtual Archaeology Review, 13(26), 103–115.