English Fort

Located on top of the San Rocco hill 51 meters high,from which dominates with a beautiful view across the most modern part of Portoferraio city and on the majestic walls of the De’ Medici fortress. The English Fort has had a troubled history also perceptible to the various names that have been attributed over the years.Wanted By Cosimo III Grand duke of Tuscany, who in 1700 ordered its construction in the former Forte di San Giovanni Battista in order to protect the city from attacks by land.

Originally the fort covered an area of ​​about 2800 square meters, surrounded by a moat from which the walls erected on the highest point arrived at a height of about 20 meters. The entrance protected by an arched door, it was once equipped with a drawbridge, later replaced by concrete one.

In 1728 Gian Gastone, the last of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, dismantle the fortress because of its high vulnerability, which would contribute in case of siege, to strengthen the enemy, giving them a strategic assault place once conquered and on they hands.

In 1796, in fact, the British landed at Portoferraio on the Acquaviva beach, settling and rebuilding the fort that has taken the name of English Forte, where four hundred men commanded by the Admiral Nelson, placed their headquarters inside the fortress and who left after just nine months of long diplomatic negotiations with the Grand Duke.

In 1802, the French besieged Portoferraio, commanded by Napoleon at the time First Consul, who built and fortify various points located around the city of Portoferraio, demolishing and rebuilding the fortress making it become a crucial place for the external protection of Portoferraio together with Fort Montebello, the Redoubt of San Rocco and the Fort of St. Cloud that is located in the port area of ​​the city.

In 1814, Napoleon arrived in Portoferraio by exiled but sovereign Elbe, year in which when decided to bring back to the top the English Fort, enlarging and equipping it with cannons, officers and soldiers at the garrison in order to make it the headquarter of his great imperial fleet on his return winner and Emperor of Europe.

Between 1816 and 1817, following the outbreak of typhoid, the fortress became a place where to intern the infected people. In subsequent years the fort suffered some decades of dereliction and no longer manned, except during the period of brigandage as a place of meeting of forced house.

During World War II, was equipped with an anti-aircraft battery, with a turret armed of Breda machine gun of 20 mm and was a refuge place for the local people during the bombing of Portoferraio.

Thanks to its recent renovation now the Fort can be visited.

Informazioni sul Forte Inglese


Chiuso durante il periodo invernale è possibile visitarlo fissando un appuntamento. 

Luogo e info

Paese di Portoferraio

Partendo da Portoferraio, è necessario imboccare la via in salita che giunge alla collina di San Rocco dove è segnalato l'ingresso della Fortezza

Biblioteca Foresiana Tel. (+39)0565.937371 

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