The monumental complex

Almost intact from the moment of its construction, Fort Bard represents one of the best examples of early 1800 military strongholds.

The Fort Bard is formed of three main defence stations positioned at different levels upon a high imposing rock spur, the lowest at 400m above ground and the highest at 467m. The Ferdinando Opera is the defence structure at the bottom, the Vittorio Opera in the middle, and the Carlo Alberto Opera at the top. There are a total of 283 rooms in the entire fortress.

The Ferdinando Opera is a tenaille (pincer-shaped) structure and is formed of two buildings, the Inferior Ferdinando Opera and the Superior Ferdinando Opera. Both are presently inaccessible to visitors.

The Mortai Opera with the Polveriera next to it are found behind the Ferdinando Opera; these two buildings are used for educational workshops.

The Vittorio Opera hosts The Children's Alps, a highly interactive museum entirely dedicated to the young. Through playful activities the children learn about mythology and take on the challenge of a virtual climb up Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc).

At the very top of the rock sits the most impressive of the defence stations, enclosed by a wall upon which all the buildings are sustained. Defending the south side is the Gola Opera with its internal courtyard, and overlooking the north is the Carlo Alberto Opera with its magnificent Piazza d'Armi, a great quadrangular courtyard surrounded by a wide arcade. The first floor of the Carlo Alberto Opera hosts the Museum of the Alps.

On the south side of the fortress there is an external footpath that leads you into the courtyard of the Gola Opera. There is also an internal footpath which with its hairpin bends supported by high mighty walls leads you up the north slope to the Carlo Alberto Opera.

The top of the fortified rock is easily accessible thanks to futuristic external glass lifts with stunning views, taking you from the medieval village of Bard at the foot of the fortress right up to the Carlo Alberto Opera.