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Ossuary and Monument to the Battle of Magenta


Not far from the Milan-Turin railway line, there is a war memorial dedicated to the fallen of the Battle of Magenta (1859). The structure situated in a great park, consists of an imposing obelisk with four identical facades at the cardinal points of the compass. The architect was Giovanni Brocca from Milan. Work commenced in 1861 and was completed in 1872 when all the bones of the fallen which were scattered along the railway line had been collected and buried in the space beneath the monument. A flight of steps in gneiss leads to the entrance. The door jambs and window frames as well as the bas reliefs are made of Viggiù stone. On each facade, the first bas relief is of military emblems, the second of five laurel wreaths. There are four entrance doors surmounted by a female figure distributing laurel wreaths. The interior is shaped like a Latin cross: the walls are covered with bronze plates bearing the names of the French casualties. A circular hole is located in the centre of the floor and gives access to the crypt below where the walls are covered with human bones. A stairway carved into the pillar leads to the top of the building which offers a breathtaking panorama of the city. The complex was inaugurated in 1904 by Vittorio Emanuele III and in 2009, on the 150th anniversary of the battle, the monument and surrounding park were completely renovated.

via Giovanni Brocca - Magenta