The lost gateway of early modern Rome: the development of the port of Ripa Grande from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century

MONDAY 2 DECEMBER 18.00–19.30

Nikoaos Karydis (Kent; BSR)


This lecture explores the development of the Ripa Grande, the main river port of Rome during the Early Modern period. This port was destroyed in the 19th century. The lecture, offers an opportunity to visualise its lost phases on the basis of vedutte drawn from the 15th to the 18th century. Comparative analysis of an unprecedented number of engravings, drawings and paintings and their interpretation by reference to coeval maps will help us to retrace the transformations of the port through time. Reconstructed plans and axonometric drawings make it possible to investigate the spatial organisation of the port and the design principles that informed its remodelling. Reconstruction also provides a closer look to key port buildings, such as the Ospizio di San Michele. The latter will be analyzed within the context of institutional architecture in European river ports. This methodology sheds new light on a highly significant if highly neglected aspect of the urban development of Rome in the Early Modern period.

Nikolaos Karydis is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Kent specialising in the fields of Architectural History, Urban Design and Conservation. He studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens, and Building Conservation at the University of Bath. The doctoral thesis he carried out in Bath from 2006 to 2009 was distinguished with the 2010 R.I.B.A. President’s Commendation and resulted in his book on Early Byzantine architecture. From 2010 to 2012, Karydis was Assistant Professor of Architecture in the Rome Studies Program of the University of Notre Dame. In 2012, he moved to the University of Kent where he founded and directs the MSc Programme in Architectural Conservation.