Military architecture

Military architecture as a discipline was born and developed in Italy in the last years of the fifteenth century. Italian architects had to deal with the rapid growth of artillery mobility and power and conducted an in-depth study of the relationship between artillery and architecture.

The artillery of the fifteenth century revolutionized this situation. Although gunpowder and artillery had long been invented, only the development of portable artillery called into question the traditional fortifications based on swooping defense, consisting of very tall thin perpendicular walls to the ground with protruding crowning. The taller these structures were, the more exposed they were to artillery shells. In the second part of the fifteenth century, to counter the technological innovations of artillery, two practices began to follow, which over time influenced each other.

First fortifications

Modern fortifications (or Italian-style fortifications) are fortifications developed in Italy starting from the 15th century, whose purpose is to overcome the problems caused by the development of artillery shells. Enfilade firepower was considered the key to defending the fortifications through artillery fire. This greatly influenced the project. The main purpose of modern military architecture was to position fortifications so that offensive artillery could not defeat any fortifications. The complex design of modern-style fortifications was valid against cannon fire, but proved much less advantageous in the case of more accurate fire or rifled barrel weapons or explosive grenades. The moat was protected from the fire guaranteed by the caponiers located in the moat itself or in the counter-escarpment. The profile of the fortress became very low, surrounded on the outside by the moat with a slight slope so as not to offer protection to the invaders. The counter-escarpment, the outer side of the moat, was usually vertical, while the upper part of the escarpment was oblique and often covered in stone. Access was guaranteed through a ramp, and then passed through a guardhouse located in the escarpment.

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