Cittadella of Alessandria

Alessandria, Italy

The Cittadella of Alessandria is a star fort and citadel in the city of Alessandria, Italy. It was built in the 18th century by the Kingdom of Sardinia, and today it is one of the best preserved fortifications of that era. It is one of the few fortifications in Europe still in their original environment, since there are no buildings blocking the views of the ramparts, or a road that surrounds the ditches.

The fortress extends over 74 hectares whose longer side is parallel to the axis of the river. The Citadel is a perfect example of modern fortress composed of six bastioned fronts supplied with cavalieri crossed by tunnels and casemates. The fortress is surrounded by a wide moat, in connection with the Tanaro river through flooding tunnels, scheduled to be flooded by the waters of the river, and protected by tenaglioni, ravelins, counterguards and ridottes.

The citadel was besieged first time between 1745 and 1746 when it resisted the French-Spanish army for seven months, during the War of the Austrian Succession. At the end of the First Italian Campaign, the Citadel was in the hands of the French: in July 1799 it was under siege by the Austro-Russian Army led by Aleksandr Vasilyevich Suvorov. After three days of bombing were inflicted serious damage to the fortified structures and the French were forced to surrender. 

In 1814 the Austrian army captured the fort and transferred it to the restored Kingdom of Sardinia. The fort was renovated, and by the mid-19th century it became an important bulwark against the Austrian Empire.

On 10 March 1821, during the Piedmont insurrection, the blue, red and black tricolour of the Carbonari was raised on the Cittadella's bastions by Colonel Ansaldi. This was the first use of a tricolour flag in the history of Italy.

IIn 2010, a permanent exhibition of about 1500 uniforms, weapons and memorabilia of the Royal Italian Army was established within the fort.



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Founded: 1732
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rayana Konashkova (2 months ago)
Looks interesting from the outside, but not really interesting inside. If not on your route, not worth visiting.
daniel cellier (11 months ago)
If you likes big buildings…not my cup of tea, need to be combined with exposition or any other activity to makes it more interesting. And you jave a lot of space for this.
Thomas Williams (2 years ago)
Very disappointed how neglected this place is. Not recommended!
Lenny Dellavalle (2 years ago)
Historical and beautiful nice people and staff that are very helpful.
Domenico Piccolo (3 years ago)
Can you immagine a better place where to talk about the story of Jossua and the walls of Jericó?
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