Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 20 August 2019

La Spezialocked

  • Quentin Hughes


Fortified port on the Ligurian coast of north-west Italy. Lying at the head of a sheltered bay whose western shore is indented by several creeks, La Spezia affords safe anchorage for a large fleet in almost all weathers. The old town was walled by the Genoese in 1443, strengthened at one corner by the fortress of S Giorgio, a 17th-century square-bastioned fort that acted as a citadel. Napoleon Bonaparte suggested making La Spezia into a great naval base, but it was not until after 1861 that it became the chief naval harbour of Italy. The town expanded along the waterfront and the water basins with a gridiron of streets, protected in the 19th century by additional fortified walls designed by General Domenico Chiodo (1823–70) who also designed the vast arsenal, over 1000 m long and on average 750 m wide.

To defend the anchorages, forts and batteries were built on the promontories along the indented western coast, Fort S Maria being the most interesting. Designed to resist attack from the land and to provide a platform for numerous guns to bombard attacking ships, this is a classic design of a fortification consisting of a hornwork with its demi-bastions facing the land and a star fort facing the sea. It was built by the Genoese military engineer ...

Access to the complete content on Grove Art Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.