The Mastio della Cittadella is all that remains of the ancient citadel that used to be the main defensive stronghold of Turin. A mastio is a tower that rises above the other towers of a complex. The Citadel was built in the second half of the 16th century. The tower is the seat of the National Artillery Museum.
Address: Corso Galileo Ferraris – 10121 Turin. Phone: +39 348 7019126.
History and description
In 1559, after signing the treaty of Cateau Cambrésis, Emanuele Filiberto, Count of Savoy, declared Turin to be the capital. He then decided to build a citadel in the south-western corner of the city.
In 1564 the architect Francesco Paciotto was commissioned to design this pentagonal citadel, which was to be as large as the medieval city itself.
A great deal of money was invested in the new structure, since the city a defensive fortress. Two years later it was inaugurated.
One of the most important innovations was to dig a well in the middle of the citadel so that there would always be fresh water.
What was not foreseeable at the time was that the citadel, because of its location, would prevent the city from expanding in a south-west direction for centuries to come.
It was only in 1856 that the citadel was destroyed and the land thus reused for other purposes.
Only the tower was spared, as a reminder of the old gateway to the citadel. Inside the tower is the Museo Storico Nazionale di Artiglieria.