forte di monte ricco
The Montericco upland, in the Pieve di Cadore Municipality, is located at the intersection of the Boite and Piave valleys.
The Fort, situated 953 meters above sea level, dominates it.
If you’re coming from Belluno, at night, its elongated southern front, bathed in light, is already visible from the Cadore Bridge. Behind it, a few hundred meters back, the Batteria Castello can be found.
Documents of the XII century mention a first Piave Castle, erected here during the jurisdiction of the Aquileia Patriarchate.
Halfway through the XV century, the Castle, now under Venice‘s rule instead of the Cadore‘s, was rebuilt, and became the Venetian Captain‘s residence.
It was rebuilt again between 1882 and 1895, together with the other fortifications of the Cadore’s entrenched camp, a full-fledged defensive system built as a defence of the territory against the Austro-Hungaric Empire.
The Austrians took over it in 1917, and blew it up a year later, at the end of the Great War when, following an attack from the Italian army, they abandoned it.
In 1940, right after WWII began, the Fort was still on the front line, part of the Alpine Wall. But the strenghtening of the Cadore’s defence system was never carried out, and once again the Fort was abandoned.
In its latest configuration, the Fort housed four cannons and four rapid-firepieces, which with the caponier, constituted the moat’s defence. Inside, there was room for an 80-men garrison, with spaces for provisions and materials, as well as the armoury. Other rooms include the entrance hall, the guard-house and command quarters, the latrines, the service spaces and a series of storage rooms.
The spaces were built with the clay-brick barrel vault technique, which supported the roofing, set up on thick stone masonry.
In recent years, the Pieve di Cadore municipality’s administration ad the Central Cadore Mountain Authority have launched, together with the Venice, Belluno, Padova and Treviso Provinces’ Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendence, an enhancement and tutelage program of the historic and architectural testament represented by the Montericco Fort and Batteria Castello compound.
The Forte‘s restoration procedure, curated by the Architect Luigi Girardini, began in 2015, and came to a conclusion at the end of 2016.
The restoration was possible thanks to the commitment of the municipality’s administration and to the fundamental support of the Cariverona Foundation.
The Fort’s reopening
The Monte Ricco Fort constitutes an exceptional architectural, historical and cultural emergence in the Cadore area, in the Belluno Province, in the Dolomitic region.
The finalisation of its restoration is an important moment, as is the activation of the structure.
The Fort is an extraordinary territorial resource, whose future identity must be determined with care and attention.
The Fort will be handled by the Foundation for the Study of Titian and the Cadore and by the Glasses Museum.
It will be open to the public for the first time ever.
The Municipality and the supervising authorities have decided to involve Dolomiti Contemporanee in this extremely important reactivation process, demonstrating with that gesture their faith in the contemporary and in the innovative cultural strategies and methods.
The official reopening of the Fort is scheduled for Spring 2017, with a active hub-lab of contemporary art. It will rely on an Artist’s Residency program which is being established in Pieve di Cadore, Tiziano Vecellio’s birth place.
- Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendence for the Venice metropolitan area and for the Belluno, Padova and Treviso provinces, From the Ruins of the Great War, the Superintendence’s activities for the enhancement and tutelage of the territory’s memory.
- Maddalena Vedana, Retreading the abandoned Fort of Monte Ricco: a conservation and re-composition project, Preservation Architecture Master’s Degree Thesis, 2008, supervised by Architect F. Doglioni and co-supervised by Architect L. Giardini, IUAV University of Venice.
Photos: Giacomo De Donà
June 20, 2017
March 19, 2017