The impressive fortification in Valle Isarco dates back to the 19th century and was constructed under Ferdinand I of Austria.
Image gallery: Fortezza Fortress
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Along the Brennero road, at the lakeside of the artificial lake of Fortezza, there 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 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.
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.
Winter opening hours - museum:
from November 2017 to April 2018
from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm
closed on Mondays
Summer opening hours - museum:
from May to October 2018
from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm
closed on Mondays
guided visits from May to October:
from Tuesday to Sunday at 11 am and 3 pm (duration: 1.5 hours)
Admission - museum:
Exhibitions in the Lower Fortress and Middle Fortress:
7.00 Euros (adults), free for kids under 6 years
5.00 Euros (children and young people from 6 to 14 years, students, seniors over 65)
family ticket available
Exhibitions with guided historical tour:
12.00 Euros (adults), free for kids under 6 years
10.00 Euros (students, seniors over 65)
9.00 Euros (children and young people from 6 to 14 years)
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