PORTICO is a cooperative project of the following European partners:

  • Chester (United Kingdom)
  • Gent (Belgium)
  • Köln (Germany)
  • Utrecht (the Netherlands), including the ‘Initiatief Domplein 2013’ foundation.
    Utrecht is lead partner.

Connection of partners

To a great extent, North-West European countries have a common history. This is reflected in the structural and archaeological heritage. These PORTICO partners were in their own way, all important landmarks during the Roman Empire or Medieval Europe. They all face the same challenges: how to protect this heritage while making the most of the assets and facilitating sustainable development.


PORTICO's goal is to make the partner cities' archaeological heritage visible by developing new methods, techniques and ways of thinking about urban development - above and below ground.

  • Discovering better techniques to build on subsurface archaeological remains using ultralightweight construction;
  • Discovering solutions for climate and light problems when excavations remain;
  • Discovering new conservation techniques;
  • Creating innovative ways of displaying cultural heritage so that visitors experience the past.

Communities of Practice

Central to the project are three transnational Communities of Practice (CoPs).These ‘laboratories’ will join local representatives and technicians from each of the partners, experts from knowledge institutes, representatives of European knowledge networks and other experts. They will collaborate over an extended period, to share ideas, find solutions, innovate and communicate the project results to their respective organisations and networks. We will update our News section with the latest information about the exchange of best experiences.

Why this name?

A portico or porticus is a doorway that provides access to a building. It is sometimes extended as a colonnade, with a roof over the pathway, supported by pillars or enclosed by walls. This design first appeared in ancient Greece and has influenced many cultures. We use this ancient name to establish a link to the archaeological heritage that partners wish to
make visible. 


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