Colico – Lecco
Built in early 1600 the Forte of Fuentes represents a military fortress placed in Colico, mentioned also in The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
The Forte of Fuentes is named after, in the early 1600s, Pedro Enriquez Acevedo, Count of Fuentes, wanted to erect the fort on the top of the hill Monteggiolo in Colico, which dominates Pian di Spagna, the beautiful nature reserve today to visit.
Colico was chosen for its strategic location, because here you meet the three way of communication to and from Milan, Val Chiavenna and Valtellina. Colico was a borderland between the Duchy of Milan and the Three Grey Leagues (current Grisons).
The Forte of Fuentes was an important fortress with two entrances: the large main door and a smaller one called door of Socorso (Relief). On the main door, in addition to the walkway and to the driveway, it is also visible a walled door, actually a false door that had only the aesthetic value torespect the symmetry of the facade.
Within the area of the fort and to the side of the parade ground of about 15,000 square meters, there were several buildings:
- the Governor’s Palace: seven rooms for each of its two floors; a first floor room used as a private chapel. The palace also had a large stone staircase, of which no trace remains;
- the church dedicated to Santa Barbara, on the west side of the parade ground, was also destroyed. The church, with a barrel vault and two side altars, were decorated with frescoes;
- housings for the chaplain and Lieutenant of the Fort at the side of the church;
- barracks for 400 soldiers;
- water tanks;
- underground warehouses.
The Forte of Fuentes has played its territorial presence function until the Austrian Emperor Joseph II in 1769 considered it militarily useless and struck off the imperial fortresses putting it up for auction. The fort thn became private property.
It was destroyed by the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796.
During the period of the First World War in the area of Forte of Fuentes a vault location that housed eight cannons was built: it was divided in two by four batteries of which one headed to Val Chiavenna and the other towards Valtellina.
In the same period it the nearby Forte Montecchio Nord was built, today the best preserved military fortress in Europe.
Fortunately, the war did not touch so closely this fort that was not involved in the First World War, and only touched in the War of Liberation during the Second.
From the literary point of view we have a written record of the Fore of Fuentes in The Betrothed, the masterpiece of Alessandro Manzoni, who shows us how the Count of Fuentes was the Spanish governor who wrote out many of the edicts – “fully informed of the wretched condition of this city and state, in consequence of the great number of bravoes that abound therein, and resolved wholly to extirpate them,” publishes, on the 5th of December, 1600, a new decree, full of the most rigorous provisions, and “with firm purpose that in all rigour, and without hope of remission, they shall be wholly carried into execution. “(chap. I, the Betrothed).
At the entrance of Palazzo Belgiojoso in Lecco you can see, on the portico walls, some vestiges of the Forte of Fuentes: the coat of arms of the Count of Fuentes, the plaque that was placed above the main door and the weapon of Spain.
Cover’s image: Ph. Emilio Buzzella
- From Saturday 1st May to the end of October / Saturday – Sunday and holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.mm on
- July and August / from Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 1-2-3-6-7-8-9-10 September open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed if bad weather
Rates for a single visit to the Fort of Fuentes:
- FULL ticket € 5 (from 18 years and up)
- REDUCED ticket € 3 (from 6 to 17 years)
- FREE ticket – free entrance (reserved for: children up to 5 years, Museum members)
To visit both forts (Forte Montecchio Nord and Forte di Fuentes) it is possible to buy cumulative tickets:
- FULL CUMULATIVE ticket € 10 (from 18 years upwards)
- CUMULATIVE ticket REDUCED € 6 (from 6 to 17 years)
- It is always possible to book extraordinary openings reserved for organized groups.
- The management dedicates one or more guides to organized groups for the visit in Italian, English, French and German according to requests.
- For safety reasons, guided tours can only take 25 visitors at a time.
- Guided tour of the fort: € 65 per group (max 25 people)
tariffe biglietti singoli per gruppi organizzati:
- FULL GROUP TICKET € 4 (from 18 years and up)
- REDUCED GROUP TICKET € 3 (from 6 to 17 years)
- FULL GROUP TICKET € 9 (from 18 years and up)
- CUMULATIVE ticket REDUCED GROUPS € 5 (from 6 to 17 years)
- FREE ticket – free admission (children up to 5 years, 2 teachers every 25 students)
- by train: from Milan, Lecco, Sondrio Trenord lines, stop at Colico station. The fort is located 20 minutes from the station on foot
- by car:
from Milan and Lecco – take S.S. 36 towards Sondrio, exit Piona. Here take SP72 (Via Nazionale) towards Colico-Sondrio. Immediately after the center and the Colico railway station turn left and then proceed under the railway underpass to get out onto Viale Padania. Go along following the signs.
from Sondrio: take S.S. 38 Stelvio towards Milan until the “Trivio Fuentes”, crossing of roads to Lecco-Milan, Como, Chiavenna. Here take SP72 (Via Nazionale Nord) that leads to Colico and continue for 3 km until the intersection with Via Monteggiolo, then follow the signs.
For more information [email protected]
Forte of Fuentes Via Forte di Fuentes 24, 23823 Colico – Lecco
Articolo aggiornato il 6 June 2021 da eccoLecco