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 Fortezza Reservoir, 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: They are called "The cathedral in the desert" (the history of this place and its surroundings - it ventures the guess that the hoar of gold of the Italian National Bank was hidden here in WWII), "BBT Infopoint" (Brenner Base Tunnel), "Bunkerd. Bunker in South Tyrol" (new) and "Art installations" (constantly being expanded). 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.

Contact info

Opening times

  • Fri 07 Oct 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sat 08 Oct 10:00 - 18:00
  • Sun 09 Oct 10:00 - 18:00
  • Mon 10 Oct closed
  • Tue 11 Oct 10:00 - 18:00
  • Wed 12 Oct 10:00 - 18:00
  • Thu 13 Oct 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 2022 (03/01/2022 - 04/30/2022)

  • 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 2022 (04/17/2022) 10:00 - 16:00

Easter Monday 2022 (04/18/2022) closed

Liberation Day 2022 (04/25/2022) closed

Summer 2022 (05/01/2022 - 10/30/2022)

  • 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 2022 (05/01/2022) 10:00 - 18:00

Republic Day 2022 (06/02/2022) 10:00 - 18:00

Whit Monday 2022 (06/06/2022) 10:00 - 18:00

Feast of the Assumption 2022 (08/15/2022) 10:00 - 18:00

Autumn 2022 (11/01/2022 - 11/30/2022)

  • 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 2022 (11/01/2022) 10:00 - 16:00

Admission

€ 9.00 adults, young people (16-18 years)
€ 7.00 groups (more than 15 persons)
€ 7.00 students (up to 27 years), apprentices
€ 7.00 people with disabilities, seniors 65+

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

The Fortezza Fortress stays open also in December, season closing in January and February.

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