Belvedere Fort 1815/1827

The entrenchments planned by Sicre at Belvedere covered a vast area extending from the church of N. S. di Belvedere, reaching the point where the Fort stands today and descending the slope to the mouth of the Polcevera torrent, ending with a series of arrows to the west of the village of Sampierdarena.
In 1747 there was little or nothing to suggest a fortress, but an extensive defence system made up of low walls, trenches, crôse, strips of vegetable gardens with short sections of parapet, small embankments arranged in the form of crude bastions, small squares and houses; a simple but extremely effective system because, by making the most of every corner of the land, it succeeded in creating a line of protection that was elastic and not very vulnerable to enemy batteries.

On 27 April 1747, Marshal Sicre and Engineer De Cotte went to the site to start work, which was to be completed in a few months, so much so that a year later, on 14 May 1748, the Council of Fortifications set the number of cannons to be installed in the Crocetta and Belvedere entrenchments.
Once the War of Succession had passed and all danger had ceased, little by little the fortifications on the western side were
side were abandoned, preferring to withdraw the few defences at S. Benigno, at Tenaglia and on the Mura degli Angeli.
of the Angels. In a report dated November 25, 1795, possibly sent by Brusco to the Giunta delle Fortificazioni (Council of Fortifications), at a time when the ominous foreboding of a new world conflict was looming, we read that it had not been judged necessary to bar the roads leading to the Belvedere, nor to equip the ancient or to equip the old entrenchments with cannons, which at the time were completely lacking. The whole of the long Belvedere ridge was very exposed, and any movement of enemy troops could easily be checked and by the great bastion of the Conception and the “horn work” of the Tenaglia, so that even during the siege in the spring of 1800, the line of the enemy’s spring of 1800, the line of entrenchments established in 1747 was unused.
Its military importance was only taken into consideration again later on, when under the Kingdom of Sardinia, it was under the Kingdom of Sardinia, it was possible to deploy a regular army along all the fortifications and without economy, far superior in men and armament.
The Piedmontese Military Engineers began the construction of a Fort in 1815 and completed all the work in 1827, a relatively long time span, but a relatively long period of time, but justified by the complexity of the problem. We know the first plans of the Belvedere from some pencil sketches drawn on much older but extremely precise maps. One of these – Table E 322, preserved at the Superintendence of Monuments of Liguria – clearly shows the position of the ancient monastery and a small road which is exactly the beginning of the present salita Millelire, ending with a large rectangular building accessible by a side staircase and enclosed to the east by an enclosure; the following plans indicate that this was a Napoleonic-built fortified house, built on the same plan and using the same construction techniques as the “ridotte dei Due Fratelli”, around which the Belvedere lunette was later developed.
On the northern and western side of this fortified house, traces of masonry can be seen that undoubtedly belonged to the former 18th-century entrenchments. In the middle of the little street, at the height of a second house.
In the middle of the narrow street, at the height of a second house that still exists, a wall that was partly used as a covered road began to head south, and which today corresponds to the ridge that reaches the houses of Sampierdarena downstream.
The embankment in front of the monastery and the position chosen for the construction of the Fortress were at approximately the same height, so it was difficult to plan a blocky, unitary construction – like, for example, Fort Crocetta – without also fortifying the vicinity of the church. As we can read in another drawing, again drawn in pencil using the same method, the possibility of demolishing the convent and the church of Belvedere to build a small fort with a singular trilobate plan was discussed. Later it was decided to simply use the rammed-earth square in front of the wing of the convent for the emplacement of a battery, of which a plaque remains affixed to the inner enclosure forbidding stopping when firing exercises took place, and to build on the northern side of the vast vaulted basement, now used as cellars for the local Fighters’ Club.
The actual Fort was designed and built by the Sardinian Corps of Engineers, developing a vast pentagonal platform pentagonal “lunette” platform, grafted to the house-fort and in turn protected by a moat with a high counterscarp wall that followed it.
The design of the external platform was the same as that of Fort Crocetta, from which it differs above all for a pentagonal bastion projecting beyond the moat and placed in the direction of the extreme vertex of the lunette overlooking the Polcevera Valley.
Another interesting distributive singularity is given by a small triangular lunette, an autonomous architectural element perched on a diagonal ridge of the mountain and connected to the moat by means of a narrow corridor protected by two walls with loopholes.
One of the two plans of Fort Belvedere kept in the I.S.C.A.G. Archives in Rome shows the planimetric form and the structure of the fortress.
the planimetric shape and structure of the nucleus of the house-fort of which today unfortunately only the large base large base walls cut off at the height of a reinforced concrete lay-by from the last war.
On a simple trapezoid plan divided by a backbone masonry, there were three floors with three large, strongly tapered perimeter walls ending with a bomb-proof terrace, on which a battery armed with cannons was placed. The volumetric form of the nucleus of the fortified
The volumetric shape of the nucleus of the fortified house was that of a high, truncated pyramid, with two sequences of gunports and loopholes opening on the fronts.
The volumetric shape of the core of the fortified house was that of a high, truncated pyramid, with two sequences of embrasures and embrasures opening on the fronts, which was made even more slender by the insertion of four semicircular buttresses.
Another modification developed by the Sardinian Military Engineers was the different distribution of the access and the characteristic rounded chamfer at the corners most exposed to fire. The Fort, which in the lists is clearly distinguished from the Lunetta, was connected to the latter by a passage in a trench protected by an embankment; it also had an autonomous connection with the outside through a long tunnel that ran in the direction of Via Millelire, illuminated on the northern side by a series of singular round openings, carved in a single square block of stone, which still exist.

planimetria Belvedere

Da “Fortificazioni di Genova” di L.C. Forti