Bunker Soratte

Today I wanna tell you about a great italian work, unfortunally little known, but that deserves attention because it’s a massive work of military engineering and represents an important part of Second World War and Cold War history. I’m gonna tell you of Bunker Soratte, that it’s located in the Soratte Mountain, that it has been builded for wich of Benito Mussolini.

In 1937, it starts realization of several galleries within Soratte Mountain, that were meant to be an antiaircraft refuge for the highest charges of Italian Army (while it was told to the inhabitants of the zone that it was building an arms factory of Breda: protected workshops of the leader). The works were conducted by direction of Military Genius of Rome, and still today, this hypogeal represents one of the most big and imposing works of military engineering in the Europe (almost 4 km of length, a real underground city).

During World War II, in the September 1943, the high command of the south of german forces of occupation in Italy settled in Soratte. For almost ten months, the galleries were used like secret refuge for nazi troops and endured at the heavy ally bombing of 12 May 1944. Before to leave the area, the Field Marshall Kesserling ordered to undermine and set fire all the galleries and to inter boxes containing part of the gold stoled at the Bank of Italy (never found).

After the escape of the nazi troops, the hypogeal lived a period of abandonment. Only in 1967, during the years of Cold War, under the guide of N.A.T.O., a part of the galleries was modified and turned into an anti-atomic bunker. This would have hosted the Italian Government and the President of the Republic in case of atomic attack to Rome. The works, partially completed, continued untile 1972, when, for unknown reasons, were suddenly stopped.

Since few years, the municipality of Sant’Oreste administrates the area and this is object of a project of recovery and preparation of a historical museum, named Route of the Memory. Today, the galleries are visitable thanks to the commitment of the free cultural association of Sant’Oreste “Bunker Soratte”. It’s thanks to this association that I could visit this beautiful hypogeal, full of history and anecdotes, where you can see the great Italian talent. There are in fact, various techniques and technologies that at that time were advanced with the time and that allowed at the bunker to resist at the bombings and get to the present day.

From a while I thought to visit this hypogeal, beacuse I love the history of that period and because I like to see places that celebrate the great Italian works. Given the eventful period of these last weeks, I had to postpone until this last weekend, when the Association Bunker Soratte has organized a photograph tour of the hypogeal whit a relative contest. So I went to visit the area and thank to the guides I received a rich explanation of the place, with many details, that has made really nice the visit. Plus, after the explanation of the Bunker, I had the possibility to go around in the hypogeal (with a guide) and make photos in the Bunker in total calm, using my own equipment. The time flew, it was only because of a commitment that I had that I had to leave the hypogeal. I entered at 3pm and exited at 20pm.

I reccomend you to see the Bunker e contact the Association Bunker Soratte to organize the visit of the hypogeal, with super guides that will explain to you the structure of the galleries, the story and curious anecdotes. To reach the Bunker is easy; you have to go to Sant’Oreste e from there follow the directions to Bunker Soratte.

To get more informations I leave you the official site of the Association Bunker Soratte:

http://www.bunkersoratte.it/index.html

Good light to everyone.

Carlo

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