Santa Tecla Fort

Forte Santa Tecla is part of the eastern barrage of the city and is in a strategic position both to control the ancient Roman road to S. Martino and to stop the descent of the enemy coming from Ratti.
The fort is situated almost in the middle of the town and can be reached quickly by climbing up from S. Fruttuoso or going along the upper slope of S. Tecla that leads from S. Martino to Camaldoli.
In 1747 on this hill a small redoubt was built next to a small rural church dedicated to S. Tecla and a small house belonging to the Camaldolese. But the redoubt and the defenders did not have the opportunity to go down in history because the area was occupied without a blow on June 12, 1747 by the Austrians who had come down from Ratti, and that will place here a battery to hit the Genoese outpost of Madonna del Monte.
With the Austrian retreat, Sicre had already prepared a project for a fort to be built in S. Tecla. As a design it does not differ much from that of the Diamante, but even here there is no adherence to the morphological reality of the land. The fort is textbook and for flat areas; the walls are low and surrounded by wide moats. The expense of cutting so much rocky terrain would have been absurd, and the natural defenses offered by the slope of the mountain were not considered at all.

However, in spite of the many inconveniences, in August 1747 the works were entrusted to Bartolomeo Orsolino, Pietro Cantone and Giovanni Montaldo, under the control of the Military Engineer De Cotte. The contract established very tight deadlines: two months to prepare the embankments, bomb-proof barracks to house 150 soldiers, 2 warehouses, and a cistern. As the work progressed, it was already clear that the fort would never be able to meet those safety requirements without incurring disproportionate expenses. This prediction was correct because one year later Sicre presented another estimate for the improvements to be made; from the initial 114,000 liras it rose to 174,000 Genoese liras.
In 1751 the fort was finished with its characteristic H plan given by the horn-shaped works. The Sicre still dissatisfied in 1756 proposes changes with the raising of a barracks on the front upstream, but the new project was rejected because it was considered too expensive financially.
The task of presenting new designs was entrusted to the Major Engineer Michele Codeviola in 1759, but it will have to wait until 1774 to have a truly executive project always of Codeviola.
The fort while maintaining the perimeter of the ramparts unchanged, is enriched with new rooms for the troops and warehouses.
On April 30, 1800 the Austrians unleashed a major offensive that makes them masters of some strong, but S. Tecla resists very well, also because it is one of the few in masonry. With the surrender of the city on June 5, the fort passed for a few days in Austrian possession, to return to French hands following the victory of Marengo.
With the annexation of Genoa to Piedmont was given hand to substantial work of strengthening, in a period between 1815 and 1833.
A two-storey high barracks was built on the sea side, while the horn works on the upstream side were raised by one floor to provide shelter for two posts equipped with several gunboats.
Many improvements were made to the first external defenses. A wall with an irregular course is articulated around the fort, a sort of covered chimney marked by numerous embrasures and sentry boxes. Another wall with loopholes extends downstream, on the Genoa side. On the square in front of the fortress there is an external post made with an earth filling in order to put in battery six pieces of big caliber oriented on Sturla. The portal, preceded by a moat, is surrounded by a beautiful ashlar and above it is the Savoy coat of arms.
During the riots of 1849 the fort was occupied by some rebels, but then abandoned when the Piedmontese arrived. Towards the end of the 800, lost any strategic function was adapted to prison, later on
After the last war it was occupied by evacuees and emigrants.

(Taken from “Fortificazioni campali e permanenti di Genova” di R. Finocchio, Valentini Editore)

Currently the fort is managed by the Associvile Volontari Protezione Civile Genova

Mappa Santa Tecla
Piantina Santa Tecla

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