Theme Week Ticino – Bellinzona

Saturday, 29 October 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Bellinzona and Castelgrande castle in the foreground © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bellinzona and Castelgrande castle in the foreground © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bellinzona is a municipality, a historic Swiss town, and the capital of the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. The town is famous for its three castles (Castelgrande, Montebello, Sasso Corbaro) that have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2000. The town lies east of the river Ticino, at the foot of the Alps. It stretches along the river valley, surrounded by the southern ranges of the Lepontine Alps to the east and west, and by the Lugano Prealps to the south.

On 2 April 2017 the former neighbouring municipalities of Camorino, Claro, Giubiasco, Gnosca, Gorduno, Gudo, Moleno, Monte Carasso, Pianezzo, Preonzo, Sant’Antonio and Sementina merged into Bellinzona. The town is located at a point at which the river Ticino, which has been flowing in a generally southerly direction, makes a turn to the west, to flow through the wide Pionoa di Magadino before entering the Lake Maggiore, and after it finally reaches to the Italian Po Valley and Lombardy. Upstream, several valleys reach into the high Alps, with access to northern Switzerland over or through the Passo del San Gottardo via the Valle Leventina, the upper valley of the Ticino, and further to the west with access to the Valais over the Nufenen Pass via the Val Bedretto, and access to the Grisonian Surselva of the Anterior Rhine via the Valle di Blenio over the Lukmanier Pass. The river Moesa, running down the Valle Mesolcina from the San Bernardino Pass with access to the Gresionian valley Rheinwald of the Posterior Rhine, joins the Ticino on the northern boundary of the town. To the south the Monte Ceneri Pass crosses the Lugano Prealps to give access to Lake Lugano and an alternate route to Lombardy, whilst the San Jorio Pass provides a possible route east to the upper Lake Como.

Old town © G.  Salluzzi Three castles of Bellinzona, seen from Sasso Corbaro © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0 Town wall © Clemensfranz/cc-by-2.5 Bellinzona and Castelgrande castle in the foreground © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0 Castelgrande © H005/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Massimo Macconi
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Three castles of Bellinzona, seen from Sasso Corbaro © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0
Bellinzona is home to twelve buildings or areas that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. Additionally, it is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Three Castles of Bellinzona. The merger on 2 April 2017 added seven additional buildings or sites. The entire old town of Bellinzona, along with the villages of Moleno and Preonzo, is listed on the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. In addition to the Three Castles and the town walls, the medieval and early modern town is included on the list. Three religious buildings, the Church of S. Maria delle Grazie, the Collegiata dei Ss. Pietro e Stefano and the Church of S. Biagio a Ravecchiai, are on the list. The Cantonal Archives, Bagno Pubblico, the secondary school (Italian: Scuola media) on via Lavizzari 28 and the Teatro sociale are the rest of the buildings on the list.

The Three Castles, officially listed as the Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona, have been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The group is composed of Castelgrande, castle Montebello, castle Sasso Corbaro and fortified walls. The Castelgrande is located on a rocky peak overlooking the valley, with a series of fortified walls that protect the old town and connect to the Montebello. The third castle (Sasso Corbaro) is located on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other two.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Bellinzona, ticino.ch – Bellinzona: the city of Castles, Wikivoyage Bellinzona and Wikipedia Bellinzona. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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