The fort on Monte Ercole, due to its proximity to the town Gemona del Friuli also known as the fort Ospedaletto, together with the forts in Osoppo and on Monte Festa, formed part of the defence system of the upper course of the Tagliamento River. As early as 1904, the military authorities decided to build a fort on Monte Ercole to control the Foredor Pass, the passage between the Mts. Cuarnan and Chiampon. Permanent gun positions were set up above the fort on the hill Cumieli and the Sella di Sant’Agnese saddle.
In contrast to the fort on Monte Festa, the fort on Monte Ercole was not used for defence against the advancing Austro-Hungarian and German troops in the Twelfth Isonzo Battle. On 27 October 1917, the arms were taken from the fort and the guns were moved to the Tagliamento. Two days later, an order came that the fort should be destroyed to prevent its falling into enemy hands.
It is still possible to see today some of the remains of this military complex: observation posts, three dilapidated buildings―former depots, and dwelling quarters for soldiers. Along the path to the fort, three 20-metres deep tunnels are visible on the left; two were used as arms depot and ammo depot, and a third was used for the elevator which was connected with the interior of the fort―a machine-gun pillbox.
Four 149-mm guns were emplaced on the top of the hill Monte Ercole. Today, access to it is not possible because the passage has been walled up. But it is possible to see a covered trench with embrasures that practically encircles the entire hill.
From the A23 motorway, turn for Gemona del Friuli and continue towards Tarvisio/Trbiž/Tarvis. Along the SS13 state road, continue to the fork with signposts for Ospedaletto and then turn right to Via Nazionale. Continue until you reach Via Priorato on the left. It is recommended to leave your car here and continue on foot along Via del Lago and then along the path leading to the Fort.
IAT Gemona del Friuli
Museo Civico di Palazzo Elti
Via G. Bini, 7
I‒33013 Gemona del Friuli (UD)
+39 0432 981441