Forte di Bard, Aosta Valley
The Forte di Bard is a museum, cultural center and exhibition venue housed in a former fortress overlooking the Dora river valley in the Aosta Valley region.
Designed by army engineer Francesco Antonio Olivero, the current fortress, composed of three buildings and a monumental defensive wall, was built between 1830 and 1838 on the site of a medieval castle razed to the ground by Napoleon in 1800 after a two-week-long siege.
Acquired by the Aosta Valley Region in 1990, the fortress has been restored and converted into a museum, opened in 2006.
View of the fortress from the village of Bard; photo Sergio & Gabriella
The fortress, which can be accessed from the village of Bard either by foot or by panoramic elevators, accommodates five small museums.
The main museum is the Museo delle Alpi (Museum of the Alps), which depicts landscape, history, geology, and nature of the Alpine mountains as well as the cultures of their inhabitants.
The permanent exhibition, divided into four sections encompassing 29 rooms, is mostly based on videos, interactive installations, and dioramas.
The complex also comprises three other museums: the Children Museum of the Alps, two small museums which present history and architecture of the fortress, and a museum focused on the concept of “boundaries” and the socio-political history of the alpine border, which at the same time divides and connects northern and southern Europe.
The program of events and activities of the Forte di Bard Foundation includes temporary exhibitions, site-specific art installations, workshops, music concerts, lectures, and special events. The fortress also contains a hotel, a cafe, a restaurant, and a book & gift shop.
The village of Bard with the Forte on the right; photo Minghe Luciano
Exterior and interior view of the architectural complex of the Forte di Bard; photos Francesco Crippa (up) and Edoardo Forneris
Cover image, Forte di Bard, exterior view; photo mat’s eye
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copyright Inexhibit 2021 - ISSN: 2283-5474