Werk Gschwent, better known as Fort Belvedere, sits 1,177m above sea level on a spur of grey chalky rock dating back to the Jurassic period overhanging the Astico and Rio Torto Valleys.
Built between 1909 and 1912, Fort Belvedere was once part of a line of modern fortresses built on the orders of the Chief of the Austro-Hungarian army to ward off any attempts by the Italians to break through to Trento across the highlands.
Located at the centre of a sort of ‘steel trench’ stretching between Folgaria and Vezzena, with its dominant position Fort Belvedere was used to block access to the Trentino region across Valdastico and, together with forts Luserna and Cherle, to stop the Italian army from advancing across the Highlands of Lavarone. Right from the initial plans, the fort was designed to be an articulate building made up of various blocks, each with its own specific function, placed far away from one another. They would be linked by corridors and tunnels dug into the rock.
Fort Belvedere is made up of the following structures:
– the main bunker, which was used for living quarters, offices and technical services;
– the battery block, which was where the fort’s main artillery was stored.
33 km - 44m