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Territory / Fortified system

Fortified system

The military storiography related to the Assietta area demonstrates all the advantages of planning the actions in a zone characterized by a road network with only two limits: the lack of water and cover to hide the troops during aerial offensive which needed effective logistic solutions. After many improvements of the fortified system, during postwar era many defensive garrisons were destroyed and consequently the military road lost its strategical value. The ways were classified accordingly to three levels of competence: military roads to be preserved, military roads to be given to institutions in order to ensure their maintenance and those roads to be used no longer. According to these criteria the Assietta roads were divided: the main (the Meana – Colle Finestre – Depot and the Assietta military road) were included in the second group and managed by the Province of Turin, while the secondary roads (i.e. Colle delle Finestre – Gran Serin) were considered useless and abandoned.

Gran Serin Fort

At the end of XIX century Gran Serin Battery was set up to strengthen the north western frontiers. It consisted of eight 120G and six 149 mortars on emplacement. The fort was strategically connected with other external works located at high height which could be occupied by the garrison during summer time on the occasion of big manoeuvre.

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Gran Mottas

Located at around 1 km on the west of Testa dell’Assietta to support Gran Costa battery, whose targets were mainly shared, it was set by the new road. It is a small bastioned rampart construction.

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Gran Costa

It rose in the biennium 1888-89 to defend upper Chisone and Dora Valley targets and was guarded by a garrison of two hundreds men. It hosted batteries for guns and riflemen linked by a long road. A diagonal window frames the station corresponding to Gran Serin, while another opening of the adjacent wall is oriented towards the royal stair of Fenestrelle fortress, architectural devices to communicate with the optical telegraph.

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In order to stop any military invasion along the Assietta Road, the realization of the four bunkers which constitute Generis barrier was ended in 1940. Located between Colle Costa Piana and Monte Genevris, they were not equipped with any furniture nor arms and were abandoned in 1941, demilitarized but not destructed with dynamite so it is still possible to visit them.


Assietta entrenchments

It is the embryonic apparatus of the entire defensive system developed on the ridge between Chisone and Susa Valley, before the glorious Assietta battle and was realized in a brief period by the Piedmontese troops starting from 1747 and were made of closed redoubt, dry-walls. The entrenchments were unfortunately damaged by the wartime, the subsequent construction and time deterioration. They are not in good conditions but it is nonetheless possible to read the plan on the terrain.

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Fenestrelle Fort

The track “In Alta Val Chisone tra Plaisentif e Via dei Romani” (Upper Chisone Valley between Plaisentif and Roman Trail) goes alongside for a while the Fenestrelle Fort: a fortified system erected in the XVIII century in the locality of Fenestrelle, Chisone Valley ( Province of Turin). For its dimensions and development along the entire left side of the valley, the fortress is also called Great Piedmontese Wall. Since 1999 it has become the Province of Turin symbol. Designed by engineer Ignazio Bertola to defend Italian – French frontier it was completed only during the next century and never involved in any war. After a long period of abandon it has been partly restored and open to visitors. The construction is made of many forts connected by bastions, stairs, reliefs and covers 1.300.000m2 developing for over 5 km on difference in altitude of around 700 mt, being the largest European brick construction.

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Serre Marie and Blockhouse Falouel forts

Serre Marie fort was a battery set up to defend the Fenestrelle fortress. At the border with Usseaux, this fort can be considered a detached work of the Fenestrelle stronghold. Located on the road between Pra Catinat and Colle delle Finestre, it was built in 1892 to defend the upper valley and the way to Forte delle Valli. The fortress, that could host 200 men, has a rectangular plan with a plane roof where is placed some barbette artillery and mortar. The Blockhouse is built with cutten stone wall and rounded edges; it shows a big portal and is surrounded with a moat. The barrel vault cellar hosts a huge powder store which could keep 100 tons of powder.

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