/ / Fort Bard: photo description (Forte di Bard)

Fort Bard: photo description (Forte di Bard)

Fort Bard is a fortified complex built in the 19th century by order of the house of Savoy on a rocky promontory above the small town of Bard, in the Italian region of Val d'aosta. After many years of neglect, the Fort was completely renovated in 2006, the year opened its doors to tourists as the Museum of the Alps with the exhibition halls and galleries. And in the summer on the territory of its main courtyard hosts music and theater performances.

The Fort of Bard, situated at the entrance to the Aosta valley, is in a narrow gorge above the river Dora Baltea. For over thousands of years it was used to control for this historical road between Italy and France. The current fortification was built by order of Charles albert of Savoy between 1830 and 1838 years on the site of the castle of the 10th century, which in turn was built on the foundations of ancient buildings of the 5th century. The castle was owned by the powerful rulers of the bard until the middle of the 13th century, and then passed into the possession of Savoy. It was the last Fort was strengthened and modernized.

In may 1800, the year the 40-strong French army was stopped by 400 Austro-Piedmont soldiers at Fort Bard. They kept this passage for two weeks, completely upsetting the plans of Napoleon for a surprise attack on the valley and Turin. After learning about the defeat of his troops, Napoleon called Fort evil castle bard" and personally ordered to raze it to the ground. Only in 1830, the year of the Sardinian king Charles albert of Savoy, fearing new attacks from the French, decided to rebuild the Fort. This task was entrusted to the famous Italian military engineer Francesco Antonio Olivero. As a result of these works, which lasted eight years, came to light a two-level Fort. The upper part was traditional walls with loopholes, and the lower 50 gun embrasures with a separate casemates, designed to protect the weapons in case of attack. Only 238-room Fort could accommodate 416 soldiers. On the upper level also housed a courtyard with the arms depots and barracks. Supply of food and ammunition could be enough for three months of the siege.

By the end of the 19th century Fort of Bard lost its military value and fell into disrepair, however, the Italian army continued to use it as a powder warehouse. After the closure of the Fort in 1975, the year he became the property of the government of the Autonomous region of Val d'aosta, and in 1980-ies became a tourist attraction of the valley, despite the fact that many of his designs were in need of repair. Only in the late 1990s years, the Fort was again closed, this time for reconstruction, and then was turned into a Museum of the Alps.