The Belvedere Fortress - Werk Gschwent in Lavarone houses a museum that tells the story of the mountain warfare (1915-18)
Image gallery: War Museum
Among the original seven fortresses of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which served to protect their own borders on the Trentino high plateaus, the Werk Gschwent is the best preserved. This fortress was the only one to survive intact during the 1930s, when the other bulwarks in the area were partially or totally destroyed. Forte Belvedere - Werk Gschwent, a project by Ing. Rudolf Schneider, was built between 1908 and 1912 on a rock above the Astico Valley and can be visited today. Here, near the hamlet of Óseli, in the municipality of Lavarone, the borderline between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy used to be. Three armoured positions for artillery and 22 for submachine guns characterise the Werk Gschwent, one of the largest Austro-Hungarian mountain fortresses. Its main objective was to resist gunfire and bombardment on its own day after day to secure the border.
Today, the Belvedere Fortress houses a museum commemorating the bloody mountain warfare between the Trentino-Alto Adige mountains. The tour extends over three floors: Multimedia installations tell the story of the building, its occupation and the war on the plateau. The rooms on the ground floor show the protective positions in this area, while on the first floor the events during the war are illuminated. Exhibits remind of the "White War" (Guerra Bianca), so called because the soldiers here had to fight not only against the enemy but also against the mountains and the dangers associated with them such as avalanches, famine and much more. On the 2nd floor there are objects, propaganda material and documents which - matching the 1st floor - tell of the life of the soldiers in the fortress. Images and sounds in the war museum allow visitors to imagine everyday life in this fortress even more vividly.
Please note: If you want to visit Forte Belvedere, suitable clothing is recommended, as the thick walls and humidity can make it unpleasantly cold even in summer.
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Adult: 8.00 Euros
Reduced: 6.00 Euros (Over 65, Children 7 – 13 years, Groups - min. 10 persons)
Family Card: 18.00 Euros (Parents and children under 18)
Free entrance: Children (under 7), people with disabilities and carers, Trentino Guest Card