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Blockhouses and Batteries

Blockhouses and Batteries are perfect examples of the military architecture that has characterized this territory for over two centuries. The island of La Maddalena’s strategic position in the Mediterranean has given it an ever-increasing military interest since the second half of the 1700s. A perfect place to hold off smugglers, the Barbareschi and the attempt of French revenge that was always at the door. The defenses were mainly positioned on the island of La Maddalena and the island of Santo Stefano (Guardia Vecchia1, Balbiano2, Tegge3, Carlo Felice4, Casemattata tower and San Giorgio fort5). The increasingly modern and sophisticated armaments gradually made these structures obsolescent.

Towards the end of the 1800s, however, La Maddalena’s location was once again seen as strategic, not only to defend ourselves against the French invasions but from all over the Western Mediterranean. Batteries with greater firepower were then made along the coast (Opera Nido d’Aquila6, Opera Punta Tegge3, Punta Sardegna, Opera Punta Rossa7 and Opera Capo Tre Monti) but also on the surrounding hills (Opera Guardia Vecchia1, Opera Colmi8, Opera Trinita9 and Opera Punta Villa 10). The same fate occurred to the island of Caprera: Opera Arbuticci11 and Poggio Rasu12 were built on the lands that were taken away from General Garibaldi‘s successors.

Blockhouses and Batteries

The technological progress in the military field made these works, once fundamental and functional, extremely fragile and vulnerable to air attacks. It became necessary to resort to a greater attention to mimicry. For this reason, batteries were made with concrete and granite boulders, in order to recreate, with the utmost fidelity, Sardinia’s rocky and tormented landscape. These works can still be observed on the island of Spargi (Zanotto13, Pietrajaccio14 and Cala Corsara 15), the island of Caprera (Candeo16, Mass of the Deer, Poggio Baccà17, Punta Coda and Isola del Porco), the island of Santo Stefano (Punta dello Zucchero) and of course the island of La Maddalena (Spalmatore18, Guardia del Turco19, Carlotto8 and Puntiglione).

These works are particularly interesting as they show how the logic of defense determined the place’s morphology and induced military engineers to omit all the logics hitherto used to exploit the environmental elements in their favor.

Montebello21 ✓ Forti e Batterie

Blockhouses and Batteries Sources and Insights

La Maddalena


Blockhouses and Batteries