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Gavi Fort

Forte di Gavi

The existence of the castle in Gavi is certified as early as 973, with an imperial diploma dated 30th May 1191, Henry VI, son of Federico I Barbarossa, gave in feud the castle and the village to the Republic of Genoa. In 1418, following the war, the estate passed into the hands of the Visconti of Milan, and after other changes of ownership, in 1528 it returned to the Republic of Genoa, who wielded it until 1815, when the old republic was annexed to the kingdom of Savoy.

Over the centuries the castle took on the appearance of a mighty fortress. The first radical changes were made in 1540 by Giovanni Maria Olgiati, a military engineer in the service of the Republic of Genoa, who designed and completely rebuilt the city walls, building new bastions and strengthening the original structure.

In the seventeenth century, the fort was further expanded with the participation of the Dominican friar Vincent of Fiorenzuola, born Gaspar Maculano. Who was known for being an inquisitor at the trial of Galileo Galilei, was not only a religious, but also an expert in military architecture. The works to transform the building into a great fortress were made between 1626 and 1629, but other interventions were followed up till the nineteenth century. On the east side was built the "redoubt" by Monte Moro, which is connected by a tunnel to the fort. Inside the fort were built housing for soldiers and officers, tanks, powder-magazines, guard and parade, all this with the aid of the most famous military engineers of the time: Stefano Domenico, Scaniglia Orsolino, Peter Morettini and Pierre De Cotte.

In 1859 the old Genoese fort was disarmed and deprived of its historical identity to be transformed into a civilian penitentiary. During the First World War it became a military prison. In the interlude between the Wars, in some of the fort embankments were planted some experimental vines by the Consortium Antifilosserico. During the Second World War the fort was again a place of detention. In 1946 it was given to the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage of Piedmont, which since 1978 has embarked on a steady and gradual process of restoration and preservation of this rare example of military architecture.


 

Director: Marco Motta

Via al Forte, 14 - 15066 Gavi (AL)

Tel. e Fax: 0143 642679

e-mail:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.fortedigavi.it


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