UNESCO World Heritage

Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona

Journey through the Middle Ages

Once acting as a barrage to the Alps and now a World Heritage property, the three impressive castles of Bellinzona are among the most significant examples of medieval military architecture. They were built by the Dukes of Milan to bar the route southwards to the Swiss. Bellinzona occupied a strategic position between north and south back then too. Over the course of the centuries, the three castles of Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro have been reconstructed and restored many times. With its walls, towers, battlements and gates, this impressive defensive complex remains a source of wonder to those who view it today.

Factsheet
Date of Inscription

2000

Category

Cultural Heritage

Canton

Ticino

Criteria of Inscription

iv

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Visitor centre
Three Castles of Bellinzona
The medieval castles of Bellinzona – Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro – have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage property since 2000. With ...
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Three Castles of Bellinzona
Criterion (iv): The fortified ensemble of Bellinzona is an outstanding example of the late medieval defensive structure guarding a key strategic Alpine pass. Integrity: The ...
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Our heritage
Three Castles of Bellinzona
What is your role in this UNESCO World Heritage site? The three castles of Bellinzona are located in an important geographical position overlooking the Ticino valley, ...
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Three Castles of Bellinzona
History In the 10th century, possession passed to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. The earliest fortifications still standing today date from this period. ...
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Educational material
Three Castles of Bellinzona
A short film by the Swiss Commission for UNESCO
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Three Castles of Bellinzona
Castelgrande   The first human settlement on San Michele hill dates back to 5500/5000 B.C., in the Neolithic period. The first archaeologically confirmed ...
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