The “blockhouse” on the Majella massif
Among the peaks of the Majella mountain massif, in the heart of the Abruzzo Apennines, there is one that has a rather intriguing name: Monte Blockhaus. With German origins, it means “blockhouse” and refers to a military fortification.
In the area, you can in fact find the remains of an outpost built by German soldiers in the second half of the 19th century, to defend against marauders. Evidence of the presence of raiders in the area can also be found along the dirt path that leads to the so-called Tavola dei Briganti, a series of rocks carved by shepherds and farmers, determined opponents of Habsburg unification in Abruzzo.
At the summit of Monte Blockhaus, 2,145 metres above sea level, you can admire breath-taking views, encompassing the Gran Sasso, the pristine nature of the Majella Park and even the Adriatic Sea.
The location lends itself perfectly to summer hiking, with routes winding through dense pine forests. In winter, meanwhile, the snow makes it perfect for snowshoeing and alpine skiing.