Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

Ricognizioni del Genio e dell'Artiglieria francesi

Ricognizioni del Genio e dell'Artiglieria francesi sulle fortificazioni costiere liguri-tirreniche. Interventi e progetti (1810-1813)
Gemignani, Carlo, Guarducci, Anna & Rossi, Luisa
In: Echarri Iribarren, Víctor (Ed.). Defensive Architecture of the Mediterranean. XV to XVIII Centuries: Vol. V: Proceedings of the International Conference on Modern Age Fortifications of the Mediterranean Coast, FORTMED 2017. Alacant: Publicacions Universitat d’Alacant, 2017. ISBN 978-84-16724-75-8, pp. 263-270


It’s well-known that the presence and activities of the French Corps of Engineers in Italy, in the Napoleonic era, was very important. The research, conducted with geo-historical methodology, considers an unpublished and considerable corpus preserved in the military archives of Vincennes (Paris). This corpus – composed of written memoirs, general and detailed cartographies, statistic tables, etc. – concerns the system of the Ligurian and Tuscan coast fortifications (fortified towns, individual forts and watchtowers). The detailed surveys, conducted between 1810 and 1813 by these military engineers, were designed to detect the state of affairs, the problems and the rationalization of the defense systems (new buildings, adaptations and demolitions). This study sheds new light on the processes that affect the long coastal arch between the French border and the Lazio region, in the Napoleonic era, thanks to a documentation that allows you to locate and identify the status of any minimum defense structure in its historic, landscape and environmental context.