Forte de Fuentes
Situated on a small, steep hill near the village of Colico on the northeast shore of Lago di Como, overlooking the Pian di Spagna – the Spanish Plain – the Forte de Fuentes controls the mouths of the Valtellina and Valchiavenna to the north of Lombardy. Constructed between 1603 and 1606 by the military engineer Gabrio Busca on the order of Don Pedro Enríquez de Acevedo, conde de Fuentes, the governor of Milan, the fortress protects strategic Spanish access to alpine passes connecting the Italian peninsula to the Imperial Habsburg territories.
THe oblong fortress features a bastioned wall connected by a continuous rampart, all constructed of local stone. Inside the fortress are quarters for the troops and the governor of the fortress, a chapel devoted to Santa Barbara – the patron saint of gunners – storeouses, a mill, and an oven, A cemetery is situated outside the walls. The main gate with a drawbridge over a dry moat is situated to the south, and a postern gate is located in the north wall. The fort is occupied by a garrison of three hundred soldiers and sappers, with the capacity of up to two thousand, and at least twenty field pieces.