Page 9 - Guida della Valchisone
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con la costruzione della ridotta Carlo Alberto. Tuttora si possono ancora vede-
         re alcune rovine situate sul lato sud: i bastioni del Roudour e Des Aiguilees dei
         quali esiste ancora la cortina, il cammino coperto e alcuni ruderi.
         Il Forte di Fenestrelle è la più importante opera militare alpina esistente in
         Europa. I lavori di edificazione iniziarono nel 1727 (arch. militare Ignazio Ber-
         tola) e finirono intorno al 1850. Presenta la conformazione di una lunga mura-
         glia a serravalle, percorsa al suo interno da una scalinata di ben 4.000 gradini.
         La muraglia s’inerpica per circa 3km con un dislivello di 600m e collega, in
         successione dal basso verso l’alto, tre nuclei fortificati (Forte San Carlo, Forte
         Tre Denti, Forte delle Valli). Nel corso degli anni la fortezza divenne, oltre che
         presidio militare difensivo, anche luogo reclusorio per militari agli arresti, car-
         bonari, rivoluzionari e per delinquenti comuni.
         Fu poi definitivamente abbandonata dall’Esercito Italiano nel 1947, per obbli-
       introduction  rale.            th.
         ghi imposti dal trattato di pace. Oggi è il monumento simbolo della Provincia
         di Torino ed è gestito, su concessione del Demanio, dall’Assoc. Progetto San
         Carlo Onlus, la quale si occupa dal 1990 del rilancio turistico, storico e cultu-

                 Researching the origins of Fenestrelle is arduous; it is known that Fenestrelle already existed in Roman
         times as a small trading point along the Roman road. Numerous small towns and villages in the alpine arc
         formed the region of Donno and Cozio of which Fenestrelle was the border. It is maybe from this that the origin
         of the name ‘finis terre cotii’ originated, (land’s end). In the 11  Cent. Fenestrelle passed over to the reign of
         the Counts of Savoy and in 1078 to the abbots of the Abbey of St. Verano in Pinerolo. It remained under their
         control until 1191 when it passed to the ‘Delfino of Vienna’. From 1349 the area was then under French control
         until 1713 when the treaty of Utrecht confirmed it as Piedmont. Apart from military conflicts, the area has
         witnessed other terrible scenes such as the religious persecution of the Waldensians by the Catholics.
         What distinguishes Fenestrelle and the surrounding area above all is the rich environment of mountain pa-
         stures, woods, wild animals, military roads and breathtaking scenery which it has to offer. Fenestrelle has
         thousands of years of history as is reflected by some of the monuments: the ancient medieval city walls, the
         marvellous Parish Church of St. Luis IX of France, the Jesuit convent dating back to 1659, the ancient communal
         bread oven and the famous Fortress of Fenestrelle stretching up the ridge of Mount Orsiera. There are a number
         of hamlets that form part of the council area of Fenestrelle: Champs, Mentoulles, Villecloze, Grange, Chambons,
         Depot, Fondufaux, La Latta and the most characteristic Puy and Pequerel. They are ancient villages and preser-
         ve their typical alpine, rural architecture.
         Fort Mutin is a bastioned fort constructed under the orders of Louis XIV ‘The Sun King’ on the suggestion of the
         commandant of the French forces in Piemonte, Gen. Catinat, to block the access to the upper Chisone. Designed
         by arch. Guy de Richerand it covered an area of 96,000m² with the classic pentagonal form, according to the
         classic designs of the fortifications of the plains and it was inadequate due to the mountain terrain. The fa-
         mous French engineer, Vauban, visited the fort in 1700 and defined the fort as, «a small stone in the bottom of
         a funnel». He then went on to say, «if it hadn’t cost so much to build in the first place I wouldn’t have hesitated
         an instant to have it demolished». Vauban’s criticism was proven correct in 1708 when the fort was captured
         after a siege of only 15 days.
         The treaty of Utrecht of 1713 assigned the territory, to His Royal Highness Victor Amadeus II, and considering
         the vulnerability of the fort, had a new one built in 1728 to block the valley on the left bank of the Chisone river;
         this being the Fortress of Fenestrelle.
         Fort Mutin, now obsolete, was demolished by military engineers in 1836 and replaced with the construction
         of the Carlo Alberto redoubt, reutilising stones from the demolished fort. To this day you can still see the ruins
         of the southern face of Fort Mutin among which; the bastions of Roudour and Des Aiguiles between which still
         exists the curtain wall, the covered walkway and ruins of the casemates.
         The fortress of Fenestrelle is one of the most important alpine military structures in Europe. Construction works
         started in 1728 under the supervision of the military arch. I. Bertola and ended around 1850. The long fortress
         wall climbs for 600m over a distance of approximately 3km. The fortress isn’t a single building but a series of
         redouts and blockhouses (Fort San Carlo, Fort Tre Denti and Fort ‘delle Valli’), all connected by a covered stairca-
         se that comprises 4000 steps. Over the years the fortress, apart from just being used for military defence, was
         also a prison for soldiers, carbonari, revolutionaries as well as common criminals. It was eventually abandoned
         by the Italian military in 1947 who were obliged to do so by peace treaty. Now the Fort is the monumental
         symbol of the Province of Turin and is managed by the San Carlo Assoc., which since 1990 has been dedicated
         in promoting the fortress, be it for tourism, history or culture.
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