The passion for ancient ruins means the passion for the history of every territory. And even in Riva del Garda, there are no shortage of beautiful ruins to see… like the Bastion!
From the center of the village, you can easily reach the ancient fortress called Bastion with a walk and enjoy the spectacular view from above…
The history of the Bastion
Built under the Mount Rocchetta, in severe gray stone, this stronghold was the safety of the village of Riva, at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Started by the Venetian rulers in 1508 to provide bulwarks for defense against the attacks of Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg, perhaps it had risen on a previous medieval casement, mentioned in 1155.
Once the domination of the Venetian Republic in this area of Garda was over, already a few years later, the Bastion seemed to provide a complete view of the surroundings and safeguard the inhabitants on the lake and the port. Already the following year, in 1509, it was the Prince Bishop of Trento, Giorgio Neideck to expel the Venetians on behalf of the German imperial troops, taking the territory under the Tridentine church.
Its function, closely linked to the beautiful architecture, lasted until the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the French troops of General Vendôme arrived at the Bastion and undermined its central part. Since then, it has remained so, becoming a symbol of Riva del Garda and its history.
You can still admire the ruins, recently restored by the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage of the Autonomous Province of Trento.
The conservative restoration has preserved its austere charm, the coat of arms of Bishop Neideck in memory of the conquest of 1509, and the opposing walls. The restoration has highlighted peculiarities such as the helical development (circular) of the tower. It was built asymmetrically, singular for the time as an architectural solution, perhaps to make it easy for soldiers to spot the lake – it was from that side that the walls rose higher.
The Bastion was equipped with various gun ports and, in addition to military needs, was also well organized for the accommodation of soldiers with drainage channels, cistern, oven, and oil jars.
In short… a fundamental element on the borders of the citadel of Riva, which was part of a defensive system also consisting of the Rocca di Riva and the Palada.
The view from the Bastion… with the elevator!
The Bastion can be reached via an easy walk in the black pine forest, an old mule track that climbs on the Rocchetta, a path of pebbles that starts from Via Monte Oro and reaches the fortress in about fifteen minutes, at about two hundred meters above sea level.
This is a perfect point to admire the scenario on Lake Garda and on the mountains surrounding Alto Garda. A spectacle that can also be enjoyed with a refreshment break, given that during the warm season near the Bastion there is an open bar-restaurant.
To increase the scenic beauty of the place, today in alternative to the path in the woods, there is a brand new inclined panoramic elevator, which connects the historic center of Riva del Garda with the Bastion in about two minutes.
Prices of the elevator
The departure is always from Via Monte Oro, and the height difference is about 130 meters with the arrival station – they quickly pass in a few minutes in the glass panoramic cabins. The ticket price is about € 3 for a single trip or € 5 for a round trip. From 7 pm, the fare is discounted and becomes € 2 for the A / R route.
From the Bastion of Riva del Garda, you can also continue along the path 404 which leads in about 1 hour to the church of Santa Barbara, located at about 600 meters in altitude.
In addition, going beyond on the road of friendship, in about 2 hours you reach the Cima Sat (about 1500 meters).
To the north of the Bastion, instead, there is also another large path that leads to the religious settlement of Santa Maria Maddalena, dating back to the twelfth century.