One of the more eye-popping features in Google Earth is 3D terrain. I keep forgetting about it--and then I stumble over a place like this:
This little fort was built by Austrian occupiers (1849-1852) trying to block Italian attempts at independence. It's 410 meters up a spur on Mount Pastel. It went from Austrian to Italian in 1866, eventually modified in 1844 to point its guns north instead of south. If the Italian Wikipedia got translated right, there was a powder explosion in 1945 (maybe set off by retreating German troops?) that heavily damaged the place.
Forte di Monte is odd-shaped, with high walls along the north and east flanks as a landward defense. Two levels of rifle loopholes cover the switchback path coming up the mountain face to the north and the approach from a small village to the east. Going by Lynne Otter's picture of the sally port (2nd pic, from inside the fort), there's at least one flanking cannon embrasure to the right.
The western and southern walls look to be lower. It was built to hold 5 primary guns and 2 mortars when the fort was active, but there were actually 20 guns of various calibers.
The view from up here is incredible--photographer Lynne Otter has a few pics on her blog; lucky65vr has a few more.
Location: Northern Italy, southeast of Caprino Varonese.
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