Mitterberg Fort

In 1882 the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy signed the Triple Alliance, a military pact with a defensive purpose. At the same time, both countries began to construct a fortified line of defence along their common border. Forts were placed along the entire length of the Empire’s southern border, on the passes and in the valleys. The same was done on the Italian side of the border.
At Sesto two forts were built on the two sides of the valley: the Mitterberg Fort on the north side and the Haideck Fort on the south side, linked to each other and to the other forts of the Empire’s line of defence by telephone and by optic telegraph.

In the event of a breach in the defence at the Montecroce Pass, the two forts were to have prevented descent to Sesto and access to the Pusteria Valley. At the start of hostilities, a wide trench system was built, complete with barbed wire, which cut off the valley between the two forts. The rapid technological evolution of the artillery, however, made it an easy target and hence of little effectiveness.

Unfortunately, the Haideck Fort has been destroyed, although the Mitterberg Fort is in excellent structural condition and is a magnificent example of a nineteenth century defence fort. It is a three-storey construction of large dimensions with granite reinforcements, fortress gun emplacements and a frontal defensive rampart facing towards the Montecroce Pass. After the war, the building became Italian Military property and was utilised by the Alpine Troops as an operations base and for storage.

The view from the Fort of the valley, Moso and the Croda Rossa is magnificient, its history is fascinating, and the imposing architecture and the wide open spaces offer the possibility of manifold historical and cultural uses of great significance, to relate both the history of the building itself and that of Sesto and Upper Pusteria.
A construction of such proportions and historical, architectonic and cultural merit is a resource of considerable importance for the Bellum Aquilarum project to preserve the memory of the Great War.


1 Kommentar

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