THE TOWER OF SAN MARTINO
The tower rises over the highest hill in San Martino, It was conquered, lost and gained back again by the Sardinian Army with ferocious storms and repeated attacks.
It was raised in aim to remember King Vittorio Emanuele II and those who fought for the Italian independence and union throughout the campaigns between 1848 and 1870.
The tower, a monument that can be admired for its majesty from the outside and for its artistic qualities in the inside, is located in a broad garden and is expression of the patriotic sense of the Italian population, as it was built thanks to a national collection.
Its construction began in 1880 and it was inaugurated on 15 October 1893, at the presence of King Umberto I, Queen Margherita, ministers, members of the Parliament and a large crowd coming from all the Italian provinces.
At its base there’s a tapered cylinder , surrounded by battlements and measuring 22,8 meters in diameter and 19,8 meters in height. Over this tapered cylinder we can see the tower main building, which is cylindrical in shape and has a diameter of 13 meters at the bottom and 11,4 meters up top. The tower turns wider at his top underneath the battlements as the diameter of the terrace reaches 13,9 meters.
The path leading from the hall room until the upper platform is enriched by bronze statues and precious frescos which recall facts and key figures of the Resurgence.
The Tower has and internal formation of 490 meters, is 64 meters high and in the middle of its upper platform, which is defended by battlements and walls, are located a flagpole and a large light which at night shines with the Italian flag colors.
From the top of the monument the beautiful panoramas of the underlying lowlands can be admired. Close to the bottom of the tower we can see “Villa Contracagna”, formerly Counts Tricagni’s property, which, on the day of the battle, was the target of seven assaults by the Sardinian Army fighting the Austrian troops.
Admissions (to the Museum & Tower):
ADULTS: 7,00 €
CHILDREN until 10: free
REDUCED TICKETS (AGE 11-18) and over 65 + GROUPS : 5,00 €
Opened all year long:
October to February: 9 am – 12.30 pm / 2 – 5.30 pm;
March to September: 9 am – 12.30 pm / 2 – 7 pm
From Monday through Saturday, 9 am – 7 pm (holidays)
THE MUSEUM OF SAN MARTINO
Behind the Tower we can find the Museum where the heirlooms, the documents and the memories of the battle of June,24th, 1859, are preserved, as well as significative proof of other events related with Resurgence.It was erected in 1939, it counts with three rooms where some cannon models used during the battle are displayed. We can find as well weapons, uniforms, topographical maps as proofs of a day in the life of the fighting soldiers.Some precious paintings frame these relics. They portray the major protagonists of the battle. The tour of the Museum is combined with captions that illustrate the display of the relics.
THE CHARNEL HOUSE/CHAPEL OF SAN MARTINO
Not too far from the Tower, following a short tree-lined road, particularly striking for its monuments and milestones in memory of the different Armies that took part in the war, you get to the Charnel House/Chapel, initially a noble Chapel of Earls Tracagni, later purchased by our Society.
The facade of the Chapel is decorated with three mosaics executed by artists from Salviati Laboratories in Venice. It was inaugurated on June, 24th 1870, it guards 1274 skulls in the apse, while in the crypt the bones of 2619 fallen are deposed without any specific distinction upon nationality.
A COMMERORATIVE STONE RECITES:
Indiscretis Militum Reliquis
Pia Diciate Verba
Hostes In Acie
Fratres in Pace Sepulcri
Alle Commiste Reliquie dei Prodi
Recitate parole pie
Nemici in battaglia
Fratelli nel silenzio del Sepolcro
La scritta è tradotta anche in francese e tedesco.