Aoste is a Roman town with a rich store of historical remains. The town’s best-known Roman monuments and buildings are Augustus’s Arch, the Porta Praetoria, the Pailleron Tower, the Roman Theatre and the Roman Cryptoporticus.
There are also many remains dating from the Middle Ages. Masterpieces to not be missed include the collegiate church of Saint Ours, with its Romanesque-Gothic church and its 12th century cloister, and the Cathedral, built on a 4th century building.
You are in Italy, so take the time to taste the region’s culinary specialities on one of the many terraces on Place Chanoux square!
Office de tourisme
Via Porta Pretoria, 3 Aosta Italie
+39 0165 236627
Fortress of Bard complex is the protagonist of a wide project aimed at the creation of a cultural pole in the Western Alps. From impregnable defence for the valley the Fortress has been transformed into a gateway to the Alps’ culture and traditions, with a museum centre in the forefront of the international scenery dedicated to the mountain.
The structure is formed by three buildings - joined by courtyards and passages - with a global area of 14.467 mq and 3.600 mq are dedicated to exhibitions. An internal pathway and a panoramic lifts system connect the top of the rock on which the Fortress stands to the medieval village of Bard, along a drop of 106 metres.
The Fortress history
The history of The Fortress of Bard covers over thousand years. Destructions and reconstructions and the passing of eminent characters, from Napoleon to Stendhal and Cavour, make Bard a very suggestive historical and monumental site.
Given its strategic position, the rock of Bard must have been used as a fort since the Roman age. The first fortification dates back to 1034 and was owned by the archdukes Boso from Aosta. Then it passed under Savoy control and in 1661 it became the main stronghold of Savoy garrisons in Valle d’Aosta. The most famous military episode in which the Fortress was involved was the valorous resistance to Napoleon in May 1800: the surrender was signed after a long siege the 1st of June. Consequently Napoleon ordered the “vilain castel de Bard” to be razed to the ground. In 1827 Duke Carlo Felice commissioned the rebuilding of the fortress, appointing the military engineer Francesco Antonio Olivero to carry out the project. The construction work took from 1830 to 1838.
The Fortress today
The restyling of the Fortress is characterized by a modern architectural structure, which merges military setting and new technologies: the architectural solutions give the possibility to admire the wholeness of the valley and the ancient village extension.
At the present time the Fortress offers to its public:
Museum of the Alps – heart of the museological program, it is a virtual journey, through time and space, to discover the universe of Alps.
Temporary exhibitions – Opera Carlo Alberto round floor holds a prestigious exhibition space dediated to the Alps and their heritage.
The Prison cells – The ancient prisons of the military architecture are one of the most fascinating attractions together with the walking ways and the courtyards. They were restored at the beginning of the 19th and now guided itinenaries are available on reservation.
Entertainment area and open air theatre – from june to september the Fortress courtyards are transformed into summer theatres, equipped for holding concerts, film projections and theatre performances.
Children’s Alps – an interactive museum for children. An experience with a virtual ascent of Mont Blanc. Location: Opera Vittorio, ground floor.
Fort de Bard Bard (AO) Italie
Tél. +39 0125 833811