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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Fort de Ronce (Forte Roncia)

I came across this picture of Fort de Ronce in the snow. Wonderful, I thought, where is that? The name suggested France and the general architecture suggests late 19th century when Séré de Rivieres was in charge of rebuilding France's border fortifications but this is not one of his designs.

After some digging I found this. Forte Roncia, built by the Italians during 1877 - 1880, at Moncenisio. After WW2 the borders in the Alps between France and Italy were redrawn and France gained a few strategic valleys, including what now became Mont Cenis and the French Armée had its fort, Fort de Ronce.

The main armament was 3 150mm cannons and 2 120mm cannons, firing across the lake and up the valley towards France.

For me, this is a magnificent piece of military architecture in a glorious setting (although I'm sure that is coincidental and was not in the designer's brief). Yet another place to add to my list of future visits.

The Italians built a number of forts in the Alps during the later 19th century, including the work below, on Mont Chaberton. I have to do some more research on this defensive line.

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