Fortifications in the Strait of Messina

Plan of coastal battery, Messina, Italy

Cultural heritage and fortifications built for defence of the Strait of Messina in the late 19th century.

The two coasts of the Strait of Messina saw the construction of a permanent fortification in the late 19th century/in the 1880s, consisting of over 20 forts or coast batteries, for the defence of an area of the Mediterranean, which had always been of strategic importance for navigation.

Since time immemorial, the centrality of the role of the Straits in the Mediterranean has, been object of great attention stimulating the collective imagination,as far back as Homer, and highlighting its singularity. Yet the myth of Ulysses and events associated with crossing the Straits are nothing more than a tribute to the uniqueness of the place, endowed with impressive natural beauty which stimulates fantasy and pathos.

Both scholars and travellers have alike been enchanted and have often abandoned themselves to reflection, as happened to Goethe, who, in 1787, on sailing out of Messina, is said to have been overwhelmed by the beauty of the sight of the coasts of the Straits, and by Scylla (Scilla) and Charybdis (Cariddi), a cliff and arock, which have been identified in myths with dangerous, gigantic monsters.

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Author: Massimo Lo Curzio

Article and Image Source: http://wbia.pollub.pl

Keywords: Messina,Fortifications,Coastal Batteries,Italy,19th Century


Massimo Lo Curzio

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