festung franzensfeste mit kapelle
festung franzensfeste mit kapelle

Fortezza Fortress

The impressive fortification in the Valle Isarco valley, one of the most striking fortresses of the Alpine area, dates back to the 19th century

Along the Brennero state road, at the shores of the reservoir in Fortezza, there is the Fortezza Fortress - "Festung Franzensfeste" in German, "Forte di Fortezza" in Italian. It is one of the 11 Provincial Museums of South Tyrol, an entity that also comprises other museums such as the South Tyrolean Wine Museum in Caldaro and the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology in Bolzano. On an area of 20 hectares, this fortress was built under the rule of Ferdinand I of Austria in the period between 1833 and 1838 AD. The building comprises a giant labyrinth of rooms, corridors and stairways. The German name of the fortress, Franzensfeste, derives from Francis (Franz) I of Austria who ruled in the period when it was planned. The purpose of the Fortezza Fortress was to safeguard the traffic connection across the Alta Valle Isarco valley via the Brennero.

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.

Nowadays the complex features a museum: The permanent exhibitions are split between the buildings and casemates. The fortress is also venue for various events such as the European Biennal of Contemporary Art Manifesta7. And how to reach it? It is located along the Brennero state road, and on the opposite side there's a huge parking space. Also the cycle route leads past it: Near Fortezza, the "Pusterbike" Cycle Path, coming from the Upper Val Pusteria, continues as Upper Valle Isarco Cycle Path towards the town of Vipiteno and the Brennero Pass.

Contact info

Opening times

  • Sat 25 May 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun 26 May 10:00 - 18:00
  • Mon 27 May closed
  • Tue 28 May 10:00 - 18:00
  • Wed 29 May 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thu 30 May 10:00 - 18:00
  • Fri 31 May 10:00 - 18:00

Despite careful control we cannot guarantee the correctness of the provided data.

Full timetables
Despite careful control we cannot guarantee the correctness of the provided data.

Spring 2024 (01/03/2024 - 30/04/2024)

  • Mon closed
  • Tue 10:00 - 16:00
  • Wed 10:00 - 16:00
  • Thu 10:00 - 16:00
  • Fri 10:00 - 16:00
  • Sat 10:00 - 16:00
  • Sun 10:00 - 16:00

Easter 2024 (31/03/2024) 10:00 - 16:00

Easter Monday 2024 (01/04/2024) 10:00 - 16:00

Liberation Day 2024 (25/04/2024) 10:00 - 16:00

Late spring 2024 (01/05/2024 - 02/06/2024)

  • Mon closed
  • Tue 10:00 - 18:00
  • Wed 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thu 10:00 - 18:00
  • Fri 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sat 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun 10:00 - 18:00

Labor Day 2024 (01/05/2024) 10:00 - 18:00

Whit Monday 2024 (20/05/2024) 10:00 - 18:00

Republic Day 2024 (02/06/2024) 10:00 - 18:00

Summer 2024 (04/06/2024 - 08/09/2024)

  • Mon closed
  • Tue 10:00 - 18:00
  • Wed 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thu 10:00 - 18:00
  • Fri 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sat 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun 10:00 - 18:00

Feast of the Assumption 2024 (15/08/2024) 10:00 - 18:00

Autumn 2024 (10/09/2024 - 31/10/2024)

  • Mon closed
  • Tue 10:00 - 18:00
  • Wed 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thu 10:00 - 18:00
  • Fri 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sat 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun 10:00 - 18:00

Late autumn 2024 (01/11/2024 - 10/11/2024)

  • Mon closed
  • Tue 10:00 - 16:00
  • Wed 10:00 - 16:00
  • Thu 10:00 - 16:00
  • Fri 10:00 - 16:00
  • Sat 10:00 - 16:00
  • Sun 10:00 - 16:00

All Saints 2024 (01/11/2024) closed

Admission

€ 9.00 adults
€ 7.00 groups (more than 15 persons)
€ 7.00 students (up to 27 years)
€ 7.00 apprentices
€ 7.00 people with disabilities
€ 7.00 seniors 65+
€ 2.00 school classes

free for children under 6 years

€ 18.00 family ticket (2 adults with children under 16 years)
€ 9.00 family ticket (1 adult with children under 16 years)

More information

New art biennale Fort Biennale "In the Body of Language - Nel corpo del linguaggio", curated by Ulrike Buck and Margareth Kaserer, from July 6 to November 10, 2024: Every two years, the biennale will present a topic which regards the fortress and its future orientation as a museum-like centre for the newer and the newest history of South Tyrol.

The Fortezza Fortress stays open every year from early March to mid-November, winter closure in December, January and February. Season start 2024 on the 1st of March.

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