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Following the construction of the Galleria del Frejus in 1871, the Bardonecchia basin became a strategic point to be defended with a new permanent fortification. The site of the ancient castle of Bramafam was chosen; a steep cliff slope overlooking the wide valley below. The fort was a masterpiece of military technology. It managed to reconcile old materials such as stone and thick volumes of land with new military engineering discoveries, in other words, concrete and steel domes. The masonry structures of the surface works were mainly facing the gorge and were well protected; inside there were the logistic rooms and the dormitories for 200 men. The close-up defence was ensured by slit walls and shooting stands for fusiliers. The armament was significant and particularly modern for the time: 2 Gruson style towers for 120 mm guns and 4 retractable Gruson towers for 57 mm quick-fire guns. The barbette artillery room housed six 87mm cannons, and two 149mm pieces could be deployed on an outside emplacement. In the warehouses there were then four 87mm mortars to be installed if necessary. The objectives included all the strategic points of the Bardonecchia basin, especially on the outskirts of the various Alpine hills. In the last decades the fort has been recovered thanks to the work of the ASSAM (Association for History and Military Architecture Studies) and is now completely restored and can be visited. Inside the fort, a museum of military history is set up.

Strada Forte Bramafam
10052 Bardonecchia TO

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