parking place of the memorial building in Redipuglia you go
towards the Hill Sant’Elia, on the right side of which there
is the Museum of the
Memorial Building, made up of one hall and four
rooms; the exhibition includes weapons used during the First
World War, reconstructions of trenches, photos about the
soldiers’ life and various kinds of equipment; there is also
the opportunity to watch a video from those days.
From the Museum you then go to the
now Memorial Park; this area was once the Cemetery of the
30.000 Undefeated which had been opened in 1923 and was then
deconsecrated after the Memorial Building had been erected.
The Park now looks like a large avenue made of huge steps
leading to the top of the hill among bronze reproductions of
old relics and epigraphs of the tombstones in the old
Cemetery; on top there is a 5th-century Roman column
commemorating the fallen which has been found during the
excavations in Aquileia.
Going back, you reach the massive stairs of the
Memorial Building in
Redipuglia; it was opened in 1938 and contains the
mortal remains of 100.000 soldiers who died during the war.
The memorial looks like a parading army: first there is the
tomb of the Duke of Aosta, commander of the Third Army,
behind there are the tombs of the five generals who
accompanied him during the war; behind these, the twenty-two
steps containing the remains of the 40.000 known soldiers,
while the last step contains two large mass graves for the
60.000 unknown soldiers; these two graves are separated by
the Chapel of the Fallen. Atop the stairs you can see three
large bronze crosses symbolizing the sacrifice for the
country; behind the last step there are two exhibition rooms
containing photos, paintings, personal belongings of the
soldiers and the graves containing the remains of the fallen
of the Second World War. In the garden of the Memorial
Building there is the Observatory.
Along the street leading to Doberḍ del Lago you go towards
Mount Sei Busi, in
the “Dolina of the 15th Bersaglieri Battalion”, also known
as “Dolina of the Five Hundred” because the mass grave built
here contained five hundred corpses which now lie in the
Memorial Building in Redipuglia; the dolina was an efficient
backing position for the front lines, here there were
dressing posts, protected positions for the headquarters,
storehouses and ammunition dumps. Still to be seen nowadays
are the remains of the field hospital, a memorial tablet
listing the names of the doctors who served here, some tombs
of high-ranking officials and the ruins of two buildings,
probably simple sheds for the soldiers or warehouses, and
reconstructions of battlefields.
Going towards Sagrado, turn into the street leading to San
Martino, so that you reach the centre of this village,
marked with the plaque on which a poem by Ungaretti has been
engraved; going on towards the cemetery you reach the top of
Mount San Michele,
a large square with a view and the entrance to the museum:
glass showcases, photo exhibitions with material from that
period, gun barrels, gas masks and personal belongings of
the soldiers testify of their life in the trenches.
You can conclude this tour by reaching the top of the
mountain where from the Balcony San Michele you can see the
whole valley of Gorizia.