Restauro del complesso monumentale del Forte di Bard

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Under the regeneration of the Bard castle project, the site benefited from some €11 million in EU funding from 1996 to 2006. The goal was to restore a ruined fort to resemble the military building that had withstood an attack by the French army in 1800. Just an empty shell in the mid-1990s, the newly restored site drew some 80.000 visitors in 2008. The imposing Bard fort dominates the narrow gorge forming the Eastern approach to the main valley floor of the Aosta Valley, at Pont Saint Martin. A castle since the 11th century, Bard was later turned into a military fort. In 1800, an enraged Napoleon ordered the fortifications be razed to the ground, after they had held up his army for two weeks. Bard was rebuilt as a military fort, but fell into disrepair in the 20th century. Bard appears somewhat isolated today. Yet a quick glance at a 19th century map of the area shows that it was once part of a network of forts lining the former Savoy region’s borders with other countries. Since taking over the fort in 1990, Italy’s Aosta Valley region has been engaged in the immense task of restoring its walls, roofs, rooms and even the road leading up to the building. It was reopened to the public in January 2006, after 13 years of work funded by the EU, the Italian State and the region.