La Maddalena's Fortifications

Fort Carlo Felice

Position: inside the Italian Navy’s ‘Scuole’, thus it can only be visited with permission

It was built between 1808 and 1809. Its name derives from Genoa’s Duke, who ruled as Governor of Sardinia from 1800 to 1806. Its initial aim was to provide protection and to supervise the roadstead of Cala Camicia, the area known as Passo della Moneta and all the north-eastern part of La Maddalena. 

This construction has a majestic structure, characterised by high and impenetrable walls, with two lateral fortified towers and two lookouts on the northern wall. In the corners, always on the northern wall, there are two spaces: the one closer to the staircase was used as accommodation for the marshal in charge of the garrison, while the other was the smithy for cannonballs. The weapons were kept in the middle of the outdoor service area, protected by an enclosure and covered with a tarp in case of rain. 

In September 1943, during the German occupation of La Maddalena, Fort Carlo Felice was involved in a gunfight. Several heavy machine guns were used to oppose the Germans, who were trying to occupy the fortifications on the eastern side of the island.


Position: western side of La Maddalena island, closed 10 months per year. 

Punta Tegge is known above all for its amazing flat cliff, which hosts a fort dating back to the end of the 19th century. At that time, the original building was made by: a firing platform with six QF 6 pounders and two retractable cannons; a wide service area with ammunition magazines; the small barracks that could host up to forty seamen; the accommodation for non-commissioned officers; two water tanks and a landing space facing east. Not far, there was the kitchen and the dining hall, as well as the spaces with sinks and outhouses. 

The anti-aircraft batteries were built later on, between the two World Wars: in 1943, four 76/40 cannons were in use thanks to the Regia Marina personnel.

Guardia Vecchia

Position: all along the panoramic road; military area where visits are not allowed.  

Visible anywhere in La Maddalena, Fort ‘San Vittorio’, a.k.a. ‘Guardia Vecchia’, is a unique reference with its black and white checkered tower.
It was built in 1808 on the highest point of the island, 146 m above sea level. Throughout the years, several changes were made, but historical documents only report 16-calibre and 8-calibre cannons mounted on platforms. There were also specific areas for the troop, a tank and a kitchen. 

Since 1887, with the revamping of La Maddalena Archipelago as a military stronghold, Fort San Vittorio went through important transformations: on the northern plateau a structure for six howitzers and two firing platforms was built; on the southern plateau instead, four encampments for up to 250 men were created. 

Guardia Vecchia was not only used as a defense installation, but also as a prison for about one century. 




Source: Barbara Calanca, Il Cammino delle fortificazioni: La piazzaforte di La Maddalena


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