Immerse yourself in the Middle Ages and relive history… the Fortress of Bellinzona is one of the most admirable examples of medieval fortified architecture in the entire Alpine region. It consists of three castles, an imposing bulwark, and the town walls and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
Visit the Fortress of Bellinzona and discover a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s unique in Europe.
The largest of the three castles that make up the Fortress of Bellinzona, along with the bulwark and town walls, it stands on a hill that has been inhabited for over 6000 years.
The second castle in Bellinzona is located on the hill of Montebello about ninety meters above the level of the city, dominating the Castel Grande from above.
Its name in Italian means “Raven rock”(from the dialect word “corbatt”), because it stands on a rock as dark as the feathers of a crow. Sasso Corbaro is a typical fortress in the Sforza style, with thick walls reduced to the simplicity of a geometric figure.
The bulwark and town walls
The bulwark and the surrounding walls formed the barrier between the north and south. A border between two cultures, the Latin and the Teutonic.
UNESCO World Heritage
“The fortified ensemble of Bellinzona is the only visible example in the entire Alpine Arc of medieval military architecture comprising several castles, linked by a wall that once closed off the whole Ticino Valley, and the ramparts which surrounded the town for the protection of the civilian population.
Bellinzona thus constitutes an exceptional case among the greatest fortifications of the 15th century, both by the dimension of its architecture, influenced by the site and topography, and by the excellent state of conservation of the ensemble”.
UNESCO – Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, 2000