FORT BELVEDERE

 

 

The strategic importance of the height of Mount Belvedere was exploited in 1747, with the construction of a line of trenches. In the area that today is occuppied by Fort Belvedere, there used to be two redoubts, reused during the revolt of 1800. Even with the presence of the Tenaglia, the hill of Belvedere facilitated the systemisation of an enemy battery in order to hit the Walls. It was therefor indispensable that a new fortification was built in order to defend the Line. The work to begin its construction was begun in 1815 and was finished , according to a French spy, around 1825. A house already present in the second half of the 1700īs, which belonged to the old owner of the land, was used and transformed by the Piemontese into a Tower (or Casa-Forte - House-Fort) overlooking the Fort. Its construction was, until now, wrongly attributed to the French. The house was in the shape of a trapezoid; the structure was built on two floors, with the perimeter walls strongly reinforced. The Casa-Forte overlooked the Lunetta, which is a pentagonal embankment (which still exists) lined by a trench with the function of a covered road. Towards Sampierdarena a small bastion named "Freccia" was constructed.

During the revolts of 1849, the fortification was occupied by Piemontese soldiers without them having fired a shot. At the end of the 1800īs, seeing that the Fort was no longer of strategic importance for observing the city Walls, it was changed and "declassified", into a Battery to defend the port. To adapt the complex to its new function, in the period between 1883 and 1890, it was necessary to completely destroy the Casa-Forte (of which today there is absolutely no sign) because it blocked the shots of the new artillary. In the trench underneath, numerous reserves were dug.

Around 1938 on the Lunetta four anti-aircraft cannons were placed there along with ammunition deposits and various services. In 1943 the fortification passed into German hands; the soldiers surrendered only three days after the Liberation of the city. At the end of the conflict it was occupied by a private citizen. Today, in that location there is the Morgavi Sports Camp, built in 1970. The external structures of the Battery are now in terrible conditions. The reserves, instead, are in good condition; along the internal corridor of each one, one can still note the traces of the rails that were used to transport ammunitions. On the walls one can still read some grafitti of the time. The covered road and the walkway to the Freccia are now completely covered over by vegetation, and a layer of cement. At some places one can still see bits of the walkway.

 

 

 Other images:

 Batteria Belvedere Inferiore, ex-fort: A particularity of the structure in 1968

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