Fortezza Fortress

Franzensfeste, Italy

Fortezza Fortress is one of the most striking fortresses of the Alpine area. On an area of 20 hectares, in the period between 1833 and 1838 AD, this fortress was built under the rule of Ferdinand I of Austria. The building comprises a giant labyrinth of rooms, corridors and stairways. The German name of the fortress, that is Franzensfeste, derives from Francis (Franz) I of Austria who ruled in the period when the fortress had been planned. The purpose of the Fortezza Fortress was to safeguard the traffic connection across the Alta Valle Isarco via the Brenner pass.

Partly 3,000 to 4,000 men were occupied with construction works at the same time. At the altitude of the caverns, munition was stored, while the lower part of the buildings houses the barracks. The two parts of the fortress were connected by a stairway with 433 steps, hewn in stone. Even if the fortification was actually designed for war purposes, it was never really involved in struggles. Still today, in the surroundings, there are several more pillboxes that were constructed around 1930 by the Italian army in order to once more fortify the Fortezza Fortress.

Today the complex can be visited in guided tours and features a museum. The permanent exhibition provides information about the history of this place and its surroundings. It also ventures the guess that the hoar of gold of the Italian National Bank was hidden in this place in WWII. Moreover the exhibition forges a bridge up to the present days and the future. By the way, the fortress today is also venue for various events such as the European Biennal of Contemporary Art Manifesta7 as well as some cultural events.

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Details

Founded: 1833-1838
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nadège Seznec (2 years ago)
Worst museum ever! You have one exposition showing how useless was this construction, and then the people keeping the museum makes you feel that you should speed up. Don't them want people to visit their crapy expositions! Parking is also a rip off, they gave you voucher instead of change ....
Désirée Sédière (2 years ago)
very interesting, but do a tour otherwise it can be kinda boring
Mario Ander (2 years ago)
Stunning place for art exhibitions. Spend your time here it is worth it
Ondřej Trojan (2 years ago)
Nice place, but missing more information
Thomas Sapelza (2 years ago)
It's a nice and interesting tour!
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