The Ticino Military Museums

The Ticino Military Museums

On December 18, 1844, this is how General Guillaume Henri Dufour expressed himself in his "memoirs" regarding the methods and the means to strengthen Bellinzona’s strategic position:

"All the military personnel involved in defending Switzerland have recognised the importance of Bellinzona’s position from both a strategic and a tactical point of view. Bellinzona is therefore the hub where the roads and passages that cross Ticino’s border converge and from where those that penetrate into the territory depart, so that by occupying it in a timely manner, a considerable expanse of Switzerland is protected and defended".

Between 1848 and 1853 the internal defence - south of the castles - and the external defence - the Dufour line comprising the forts of Camorino and Sementina were constructed.

The opening of the Gotthard railway tunnel in 1882 required the creation of a defensive system by means of fortifications in the region of Forte Airolo in 1887, and the fortifications of San Gottardo and Monte Ceneri from 1892 - 1920.

Peak expansion was reached between 1933 and 1948 with the LONA fortification system and Magadino - Ponte Brolla.

Visit the military museums to explore the rich history of their strategic and winning architecture!