Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

The Fortifications

Posted by Ben on June 21, 2009

Today’s class was quite different than any I had been in before.  Rather than use the classroom at the villa, we instead jumped on a train to Bellinzona.  After a very pleasant ride, we headed into town and climbed some steps carved into the side of the mountain, eventually emerging at Castello di Montebello on a hill overlooking Bellinzona.  I’d have to say sitting on the lawn of a castle is much more interesting than a room in McBryde.  The main focus of today was on the history of the fortifications here in Bellinzona, from the initial Roman fort to the time of Napolean and the Cisalpine Republic.  Here’s a panorama shot of where we sat for class:

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From the ramparts of this castle, it was very easy to see the other, original castle in Bellinzona: Castelgrande.

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After lunch, we had some free time to explore the castle before heading back into town.  On the way from one castle to the other, we stopped in the large church in the middle of the town, the name of which I can’t remember.  The church had a lot of very nice paintings and sculptures.  From there, we advanced to Castelgrande, and even took an elevator up through the mountain to get to the castle proper.  Here’s a nice group photo inside the castle walls:

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We were actually able to go inside one of the two towers inside the castle which was really cool.  Another interesting part was the fortifications that run from the castle out into the town as part of an old wall that stretched across the narrow point in the valley.  The tops of the wals were also covered in grass, which seemed pretty unusual.

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Since people keep insisting that I get in more pictures myself, I had someone take a picture with me in it where you could see all three of the castles in Bellinzona:

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After the castle, we headed back to downtown Bellinzona for a short while, then got back on the train to Riva.

Tomorrow we travel by boat to Lugano

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