Fortezza dell'Annunziata

Ventimiglia, Italy

The Fortezza del Annunziata is an ancient Ligurian fortress, located near the town of Ventimiglia. Together with other fortresses of Castel d'Appio and Forte San Paolo it was part of a defensive system created around Ventimiglia during the rule of the Genoese Republic and the reign of Napoleon. In particular, the fortress was built in the first decades of the 19th century - after the signing in 1815, the year of the Treaty of Paris, caused the overthrow of Napoleon. In this agreement, at the request of the Austrian Empire part of the compensation that was supposed to pay the French state, was provided to the Sardinian Kingdom to strengthen the Western borders of Piedmont and Liguria. In addition, the opening of the new coastal road to France (today's via Aurelia), was the reason that Austria has come forward with new claims. Therefore, it was decided to build in Ventimiglia, which was considered a strategic point, a fortified citadel to control the passage to the North-West of Italy and the Po plain.

The original structure of the Fortezza del Annunziata was used as a monastery of the order of friars minor and was known as the Convento del Annunziata. In 1831, the year the Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel Malaussena Podesta was commissioned to transform the building of the monastery in the casemates - the project also involved the Lieutenant Benso Camillo, count Cavour. The new fortress was connected with powerful defensive walls and underground tunnels from the Fort Sao Paolo 13th century. However, in 1883, the year of Ventimiglia lost their status of a fortress and a year later Ridotta was disarmed and converted into infantry barracks, and the Fort of San Paolo was demolished. Subsequently Ricotta was abandoned, and after the Second World war, was transferred to the municipality of Ventimiglia, who in turn, gave the fortress to the Council for tourism and rest.

From 1990, the year at the Fortezza del Annunziata houses the City's archaeological Museum Girolamo Rossi. The Museum is named after local scholar and discoverer of the ruins of the Roman theatre and fragments of residential buildings ancient Albintimilium. In six halls with a total area of 1200 sq. m. exposed important archaeological finds of terracotta figurines, one of the most interesting in Liguria tombstones of the 1st to 4th centuries ad, the collection of sculptures of Thomas Hanbury, a collection of ceramics, artifacts from cemeteries, etc.

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Details

Founded: 1831
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julie G (2 years ago)
Well worth a visit
Julie G (2 years ago)
Well worth a visit
Jan Evangelista (3 years ago)
Romantic terrace wonderful during sundown. Nice location for events.
Jan Evangelista (3 years ago)
Romantic terrace wonderful during sundown. Nice location for events.
Federico Fucile (3 years ago)
Perfect place is so good for a party we did a lot of this party
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Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.