The Star Fort of Turin

Star forts were the fortifications composed of many triangular bastions, created from 1520s,

to replace those of the medieval age, and able of resisting the gunpowder weapons. These fortifications were also defined as “trace italienne”, because they were first planned and built in Italy. Some of these forts are still existing today, many had been destroyed or dismantled in the past. Here we will discuss the case of one of them, cancelled by an urban planning for expanding the town. It is the Citadel of Turin, of which only the Mastio survived.

Gunpowder was invented in the 9th century in China [1]. After the earliest gunpowder weapons were made there, such weapons began appearing in the Muslim world, Europe and India. The earliest Western accounts of gunpowder seem those written by Roger Bacon, English philosopher and Franciscan friar, in the 13th century. Examples of its use for weapons are illustrated in one of the earliest Renaissance technological treatise, the “Bellicorum Instrumentorum Liber” of Giovanni Fontana, engineer [2,3]. After the developments of such weapons, the fortifications of the medieval period became vulnerable to cannon fire, and new fortifications were created. They were the star forts.

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Author: Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

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Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

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