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Santa Tecla – A jewel given back to the city

Once across the sturdy main entrance, you enter a world where past and future merge. The internal courtyard has been enhanced by a scenographic glass and steel cover which allows glimpsing the sky. A priceless scenery. A nice timbered staircase  leads to the old prisoners’ cells and then moves on to the panoramic walkway, from which a 360° view over the whole city may be enjoyed and where a restaurant is planned, which will become an extremely fascinating location for very romantic dinners.

The history of the fort of Santa Tecla goes back a long way. Its construction was decided by the Republic of Genova because of a popular revolt by the citizens from Sanremo as the town had asked for annexation to the Kingdom of Sardinia after the Austrian Succession war. The republic of San Giorgio reacted with violence and decided to build this fort in order to intimidate the population. That is the reason why the cannon embrasures face the city and not the sea. The fort was built in only 11 months and “opened” on the 12th of March 1756. At the end of the 18th century it was occupied by Napoleonic troops who “freed” the citizens of Sanremo from the occupation by the Republic of Genova. In 1815, with the annexation of Liguria to the Kingdom of Sardinia, Santa Tecla was converted to barracks for the Savoy infantry and later for the Carabinieri forces. For over a century, from 1864 to 1997 it became a prison, except for two moments, between 1915 and 1918, when it became a base for seaplanes, and from 1943 to 1945, when it was used as an armoury during the German occupation.

[Simona Maccaferri]

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