The Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar consists of six components located in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro and spanning more than 1000 km between the Lombard region of Italy and the eastern Adriatic Coast. Together, they represent the defensive works of the Serenissima between the 16th and 17th centuries, the most significant period of the longer history of the Venetian Republic; and demonstrate the designs, adaptations and operations of alla moderna defences, which were to feature throughout Europe.
The introduction of gunpowder led to significant shifts in military techniques and architecture that are reflected in the design of fortifications – termed alla moderna. The organisation and defences of the Stato da Terra (protecting the Republic from other European powers to the northwest) and the Stato da Mar (protecting the sea routes and ports in the Adriatic Sea to the Levant) were needed to sustain the expansion and power of the Republic of Venice.
The expansive territory of the Serenessima was indisputably the near-exclusive setting of the genesis of the alla moderna or bastioned system during the Renaissance; and the extensive and innovative defensive networks established by the Republic of Venice are of exceptional historical, architectural and technological significance. The attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value include earthworks and structures of fortification and defence from the Venetian Republic in the 16th and 17th centuries. Strongly contributory to these are the landscape settings, and which strengthen the visual qualities of the six components, as well as urban and defensive structures from both earlier (Medieval) and more recent periods of history (such as the Napoleonic and Ottoman period modifications and additions) that allow the serial components to be truthfully presented and the tactical coherence of each military site in its final state to be recognised.