/ / The citadel of Alessandria: photo description (Cittadella di Alessandria)

The citadel of Alessandria: photo description (Cittadella di Alessandria)

The citadel of Alessandria is one of the best preserved European fortifications of the 18th century. It is the only European fortress still located in its original environment - around her are no houses that would shut down the types on the rampart, or of a busy motorway near the ditches.

For the first time in the history of Italy on 10 March 1821, the year during the Piedmontese insurrection tricolor (the Italian flag) was erected on the bastions of the citadel by Colonel Ansaldi. Since 2006, the year the citadel (the former previously a National monument) is included in the "tentative list" of UNESCO for inclusion in the UNESCO world cultural heritage.

The fortress is situated on the banks of the river Tanaro in North-West of Alessandria. Since its Foundation in 1168, the year Alessandria was a border town with a very strategic location. In the 14th century the city supported the Visconti against the Monferrato and Asti, in the 15th century was ruled by the Sforza family, and in 17th century it was owned by the Spaniards.

The construction of the fortress began shortly after the signing in 1713, the year of the Utrecht peace Treaty, according to which possession of the citadel passed from the Spaniards to the Savoy dynasty. In order to meet the new defensive requirements, it was decided to build a massive Fort, which was to serve as a barrier on the old military road from Genoa and Savona to Holland. The project was carried out by the architect Ignazio Bertola - under his leadership, already in 1732, the year the fortress in the shape of the star was built. It covers an area of 74 hectares, and its longest wall was parallel to the river. The fortress was provided by the tunnels and casemates. Around was built a wide moat, which was connected to the Tanaro river, through flooded tunnels.

For the first time the citadel has been quenching the fire in 1745-1746-th years when in the course of the War of the Austrian succession it was besieged by the French and the Spaniards. In those years the fortress was not yet fully ready and armed. And at the end of the First Italian campaign the citadel was in the hands of the French: in July 1799, the year it was besieged by Austro-Russian troops under the command of Alexander Suvorov. After three days of bombardment the Fort was significantly destroyed and the French were forced to retreat.