UNESCO Castles of Bellinzona

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With its castles, walls, towers, battlements and gates, this impressive fortress is a source of wonder and amazement.

In earlier times, the medieval castles of Castelgrande, Castello Montebello and Castello Sasso Corbaro protected the city they now adorn. Only remnants now remain of the fortress walls that once surrounded Bellinzona. Bellinzona was a very important line of defence for the ancient Romans, and the first written reference dates back to 590.

Castelgrande, also known as Castello di San Michele or Burg Uri, is the oldest of these 13th century castles. Two towers, Torre Nera (28 metres) and Torre Bianca (27 metres) dominate Bellinzona's Old Town. The Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Art are located in the Castelgrande.

Castello Montebello, also known as Schwyz or San Martino, and the castle with the highest elevation, Sasso Corbaro – once known as Unterwalden or Santa Barbara, are among the best preserved medieval castles in Switzerland and are Unesco World Cultural Heritage sites.

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