Begato Fort 1819/1823

The Begato fort is located at an altitude of about 475 meters on the mountain of the same name, was built on an angle of the layout of the walls, inside the walls, taking advantage of the exceptionally flat area of that stretch of ridge marked in the eighteenth-century cartography as “Piana delle Fosse”. The first news about the presence of elements of fortification on this area refers to 1624 and concerns a barracks, whose architecture is not specified, included in the following years within the perimeter of the new walls. In Brusco’s surveys of 1796 there are the ruins of a “Baraccone” (perhaps the same barracks of the 17th century), a powder magazine placed towards the west and, to the east, a battery with a moat and a ravelin, placed orthogonally to the walls where it is inserted. The proposal for the realization of the “New Barracks in Begato” was put forward in 1817 by the Sardinian Military Engineers.

The work was carried out between 1819 and 1823 by exploiting the flat area behind the old Battery preserved and integrated into the new fortified complex. The external enclosure of the side towards the city and its entrance with drawbridge were completed in 1836. The fort has not undergone substantial changes since then; some recent constructions have been scattered outside the nineteenth-century structure. One enters the large parade ground from the portal, after having crossed a drawbridge that has now been rebuilt in masonry. All over the lawn in front of the fortress one can see ramparts, ravelins, embankments and ditches testifying to the positions and the orientation of the open-air pieces aimed towards the port and the Polcevera valley.

The entrance to the building of the fort, which has a perfectly symmetrical square bastioned plan, is possible through two opposite openings arranged on the axis of symmetry from northwest to southeast. A large ramped staircase in front of the northwest entrance leads to the upper floor and to the roofs. Another set of stairs, made in a rectangular room, faces the opposite access and the walkway leading to the large inner courtyard. The rooms between the bastions are barrel-vaulted on lines orthogonal to the fronts; in the corner connections are large crosses of arches made entirely of brick whose lunettes constitute vertical communications opened by grates between the two floors, on the model of what has already been seen in the Specola Tower. On the northern side is the eighteenth-century battery surrounded by a moat that separates it from the structures of the fort.

Piantina Forte Begato

(Taken from “I forti di Genova” Sagep Editrice)