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Alessandria Citadel

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Alessandria (Italian. Alessandria, drink. Lissandria) - a small city, the center of the province of the same name. The city is located 90 km southeast of Turin, on the banks of the Tanaro River, in Piedmont (Italy).

Alessandria was founded in 1168, on the site of a previously existing settlement. The city is named after Pope Alexander III and this in itself speaks of the reasons for its occurrence. The city emerged as a well-fortified fortress to protect the Lombard League from the imperial claims of Frederick Barbarossa - a fierce opponent of the papal throne. Alessandria was built on the territory that at that time belonged to the Marquis Monferrato, a faithful ally of the emperor. In the years 1174–75, the city survived a severe siege by imperial troops. In 1198, Alessandria was proclaimed a free commune and since then has been constantly involved in conflicts with the older communes of the region. In 1348, Alessandria passed into the hands of the Milanese Dukes of Visconti, and then, together with their possessions - to Sforza. It was ruled by Milan until 1707, until it was transferred to the House of Savoy and became part of Piedmont.

As a result of the victory of Napoleon in the battle of Marengo (Marengo, 1800), the city passed into the possession of France and became the center of Napoleonic Marengo Department. Every year, on June 14, in the suburb of Alessandria, Spinetta Marengo, a restoration of that battle takes place.

Since 1814, Alessandria was again included in the territory of Savoy, which became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Alessandria became the first province in the history of Italy governed by a socialist: on July 25, 1899, it was headed by the watchmaker Paolo Sacco.

During the Second World War, the city was an important strategic point and was repeatedly subjected to intense bombardment by anti-fascist coalition troops. April 30, 1944 as a result of such a bombing killed 238 residents, April 5, 1945 - 160 residents, including 60 children.

November 6, 1994 as a result of the spill of the Tanaro River, the city was flooded and significantly damaged ..

Photo and description

The Alessandria Citadel is one of the best-preserved 18th-century European fortifications. This is the only fortress in Europe, still located in its original surroundings - there are no houses around it that would overlook the ramparts, or a busy highway near the moats.

For the first time in Italian history, on March 10, 1821, during the Piedmont Uprising, a tricolor (flag of Italy) was erected over the bastions of the citadel by Colonel Ansaldi. Since 2006, the citadel (formerly a National Monument) has been included in the UNESCO “Preliminary List” for inclusion in the list of World Cultural Heritage sites.

The fortress is located on the banks of the Tanaro River in the northwestern part of the town of Alessandria. Since its founding in 1168, Alessandria has been a border city with an extremely advantageous strategic location. In the 14th century, the city was supported by Visconti against Monferrato and Asti, in the 15th century it was ruled by the Sforza family, and in the 17th century the Spaniards owned it.

The construction of the fortress began shortly after the signing in 1713 of the Utrecht Peace Treaty, according to which the ownership of the citadel passed from the Spaniards to the Savoy dynasty. In order to meet the new defensive requirements, it was decided to erect a massive fort, which was to serve as an obstacle on the old military road from Genoa and Savona to Holland. The project was developed by the architect Ignazio Bertola - under his leadership, already in 1732, a fortress in the shape of a six-pointed star was built. It occupied an area of ​​74 hectares, and its longest wall ran parallel to the river. Tunnels and casemates were provided in the fortress. A wide moat was laid around, which was connected to the Tanaro River via flooded tunnels.

The citadel was first quenched by fire in the years 1745-1746, when during the War of Austrian Succession it was besieged by the French and Spaniards. In those years, the fortress was not yet fully prepared and armed. And at the end of the First Italian Campaign, the citadel was in the hands of the French: in July 1799, it was besieged by Austro-Russian troops under the command of Alexander Suvorov. After three days of shelling, the fortress was significantly destroyed, and the French were forced to retreat.

Education

Alessandria was founded in 1168, on the site of a previously existing settlement. The city is named after Pope Alexander III and this in itself speaks of the reasons for its occurrence. The city emerged as a well-fortified fortress to protect the Lombard League from the imperial claims of Frederick Barbarossa - a fierce opponent of the papal throne. Alessandria was built on the territory that at that time belonged to the Marquis Monferrato, a faithful ally of the emperor. In the years 1174–75, the city survived a severe siege by imperial troops. In 1198, Alessandria was proclaimed a free commune and since then has been constantly involved in conflicts with the older communes of the region. In 1348, Alessandria passed into the hands of the Milanese Dukes of Visconti, and then, together with their possessions - to Sforza. It was ruled by Milan until 1707, until it was transferred to the House of Savoy and became part of Piedmont.

As a result of the victory of Napoleon in the battle of Marengo (Marengo, 1800), the city passed into the possession of France and became the center of Napoleonic Marengo Department. Every year, on June 14, in the suburb of Alessandria, Spinetta Marengo, a restoration of that battle takes place.

Since 1814, Alessandria was again included in the territory of Savoy, which became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Alessandria became the first province in the history of Italy governed by a socialist: on July 25, 1899, it was headed by the watchmaker Paolo Sacco.

During the Second World War, the city was an important strategic point and was repeatedly subjected to intense bombardment by anti-fascist coalition troops. April 30, 1944 as a result of such a bombing killed 238 residents, April 5, 1945 - 160 residents, including 60 children.

November 6, 1994 as a result of the spill of the Tanaro River, the city was flooded and significantly damaged.

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