Forts Garcia and Vittoria in Augusta
The Garcia and Vittoria forts in Augusta are two fortifications built on two contiguous islets located in the northern part of the Augusta harbor.
The two fortifications were built around 1567, at the behest of the viceroy of the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, Don Garcia de Toledo, in order to defend the city's stronghold from frequent Barbary incursions.
The two forts bear the name of the viceroy and his wife.
These fortifications were part of a larger coastal defense project to which the imposing Swabian castle headed, strengthened by the Aragonese, and to which was added a few years later, in 1570, the Avalos tower, built on another outcropping rock, to defend the entrance to the roadstead.
The defense system was so well designed that the hypothesis of treason by the commander of the stronghold was made to explain the defeat suffered by the French fleet in 1675.
The fort Garcia< /strong>, located on the west side, is more extensive in plan but it is also the lowest as it consists only of thick bastions inside which housings were made with openings only on the internal courtyard so as not to increase the vulnerability of the building. The roofing of the rooms is made with sturdy stone arches sized to be able to support the weight of the large artillery pieces which, in the eras in which the fort was used for defensive purposes, were placed behind the thick ramparts in special semicircular emplacements still visible .
The Fort Vittoria has a quadrangular shape, is smaller in plan, but has raised rooms with numerous windows towards the outside. It has a large building, largely built in later periods, used both as a hospital and as a prison and, finally, as a base for the Navy during the last world war.