The Fortress

The majestic military base built on Priamàr hill by the Republic of Genoa between 1542 and 1544, on a project  in order to keep under control the city Savona (whose port had already been buried in 1528) has been erected on a strategic spot where it’s possible to overlook the Apuan Alps and Capo Noli, as well as the region of Corsica. The military building took advantage of the peculiar conformation of Priamàr hill, divided in two hillocks, so that Lombard architect Giovanni Maria Olgiati designed two independent defensive bases: Maschio (Donjon square) and Cittadella (Citadel); Maschio, harder to be conquered, dominated the Cittadella. With the building of the fortress, one of the most important medieval quarter of the city was gradually demolished; Santa Maria di Castello Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace, Dominican convent, the ten oratories of the city confraternities and three medieval hospitals.

Since 1956 systematic archaeological surveys, conducted annualy by  Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri (IISL), are bringing back to light the ancient settlement that is enhanced progressively through the activity of the Civico Museo Archeologico e della Città and the setting of archaeological areas inside and outside the Fortress.

In 1815, with the annexation of  Liguria to Piemonte, the story of the fortress came to an end. In 1820 it became a prison and then, in 1848, a military jail.

The Fortress on the Priamàr hill is the most large and imposing military building throughout Ligury.

After a long period of neglect, the Comune di Savona has started restoration work for the complete restoration of the Fortress, that is now an important cultural and tourist pole for the entire Ligurian region.

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