Castles of Bellinzona


Bellinzona: UNESCO-Castelgrande in

Bellinzona: UNESCO-Castelgrande in

Bellinzona: Giubiasco Richtung 3 Castelli di

Bellinzona: Giubiasco Richtung 3 Castelli di

With its castles, walls, towers, battlements and gates, this impressive fortress is a source of wonder and amazement.

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In earlier times, the medieval castles of Castelgrande, Castello Montebello and Castello Sasso Corbaro protected the city they now adorn. Only remnants now remain of the fortress walls that once surrounded Bellinzona. Bellinzona was a very important line of defence for the ancient Romans, and the first written reference dates back to 590.

Castelgrande, also known as Castello di San Michele or Burg Uri, is the oldest of these 13th century castles. Two towers, Torre Nera (28 metres) and Torre Bianca (27 metres) dominate Bellinzona's Old Town. The Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Art are located in the Castelgrande.

Castello Montebello, also known as Schwyz or San Martino, and the castle with the highest elevation, Corbaro Sasso – once known as Unterwalden or Santa Barbara, are among the best preserved medieval castles in Switzerland and are Unesco World Cultural Heritage sites.

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In the year 2000, the three castles of Bellinzona and its fortifications were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – and not before time! I often stroll through the medieval streets and imagine how soldiers on horseback once rode through these alleys, or picture, high up at the castles, how ladies in beautiful gowns watched minstrels perform.

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