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Fort Belvedere Gschwent


Tens of thousands of visitors each year explore the galleries of the great Austro-Hungarian fortress near Lavarone, in the mountains between the Adige valley and the Asiago plateau. If they used to be gloomy, today they are rightfully illuminated. They do this because it is an experience that is not only not boring but also educational. To see how the emperor's soldiers were forced to live between 1914 and 1918, to be moved by the sight of their uniforms and their furs as a precarious protection from the frost, to think that today there are snowshoes instead of those made of wood and string, are experiences that provide a lesson in war and peace.

A substantial component of the communication capacity at Forte Belvedere is then in the multimedia. The voices of Kaiserjäger are surprising in the dark, maps of military fronts light up subtly but relentlessly, tales of history summarise the events of the First World War. These are the results of a project designed and realised in 2008 in agreement between the Folgaria, Lavarone and Luserna Tourist Board, the Belvedere Foundation, the Municipality of Lavarone and a professional company in Milan. The project is named "The fortress of emotions", and it is a well-justified title.

The fortress consists of various blocks excavated in the mountain: the main casemate, the battery block, a counter-block in the moat and three armoured outposts. The concrete roof is over two and a half metres thick, with a triple layer of steel beams inside. There were ample storage facilities, an aqueduct with a water purifier, a power station, an emergency service, a telephone exchange and an optical telegraphy room. The Italian bombing raids were extremely harsh, but Gschwent never had to witness direct combat.

Fort Belvedere Gschwent
Via Tiroler Kaiserjäger, 1, 38046 Lavarone TN, Italia
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