HISTORY OF THE VENINI FORT (first part)
Its history began in 1899, when the threat of an Austrian invasion urged the Supreme Commission of Defense to build a fortified position in defense of the Stelvio road. The idea was abandoned for a few years until 1908 when the defenses of Valtellina returned to be considered of primary importance. The Chief Command judged that the “Dossaccio” of Oga at 1740 mt above sea level, was the most suitable site to build a new military structure.
The construction of the fort began in 1909 and ended shortly before the outbreak of the war.
The fortress was equipped with four long-range cannons (about 13 km.) which, thanks to the particular east-west building, could rotate and defend all the passes potentially subject to the danger of an Austrian attack, hitting targets at Foscagno Pass, at Pedenolo, at Torri di Fraele, at the Stelvio Pass and in Valfurva.
The artillery of the Fort operated for defensive purposes throughout the World War I. The task of the Italian lookouts was to communicate the command of the Fort the targets to be fired. These reports followed a series of checks on the accuracy of the trajectory, which involved a close collaboration between the command and the stations located throughout the area.
The fort was militarily manned until the end of World War II and then it was abandoned in 1958, when the army decided it had exhausted its functions. The doors and windows were walled. At that time the cannons were dismantled too. After the fort was abandoned, many thefts and destructions of valuable historical artifacts were possible. Since 1985 it has been gradually restored and reopened to the public. (To be continued)