Consortium for the protection of the historical castles of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Motore di ricerca

Forte Hensel (Malborghetto)

Standing on top of a craggy peak overlooking the River Fella, controlling the road to Tarvisio, it is now in a state of decay. «The only road in Valcanale, used by peaceful merchants and invading armies alike, ran just below the fortress, in the narrow space between the mountain side and the banks of the River Fella.» Despite some imposing defensive features, which can still be seen on the hilltop, nothing remains today of the original fortress, defended in 1809 by Captain Hensel and his soldiers. Generically called “Malborghetto barrier” and mostly made of wood, the fortress was destroyed by order of Napoleon after being attacked on 17 May 1809. Reconstructed in 1848-50 and then extensively renovated in 1881-83, it was reopened in 1884 and renamed “Fort Hensel” in memory of the young captain who had been its earliest defender. In 1915 it was occupied by the Austrian army but then quickly abandoned, since it could not afford any protection from the Italian cannons positioned a short distance away. «The fortress was seriously damaged by continuous bombing and sometimes reduced to rubble, even though the Hapsburg flag was regularly hoisted up until 1918.»