Bard, Aosta Valley
|Comune di Bard
Commune de Bard
|Province / Metropolitan city||none|
|Frazioni||Issert, Crous, Albard, Valsourdaz|
|• Total||3 km2 (1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||400 m (1,300 ft)|
|• Density||45/km2 (120/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Assumption of Mary|
|Saint day||15 August|
Fort Bard (Italian: Forte di Bard; French: Fort de Bard) is a fortified complex built in the 19th century by the House of Savoy on a rocky prominence above the town. After many years of neglect, it has been completely restored. In 2006 It reopened to tourists as the home for the Museum of the Alps. The fort also has art exhibitions. In the summer, the main courtyard is used to host musical and theatrical performances.
Bard lies at the centre of a deep, narrow gorge at the head of the Aosta valley. This strategic point has been inhabited since the Neolithic period as archaeologists have found several large engraved stones around the area. It later became a major route between Celtic Gaul and the Roman world of the Italian peninsula.
Fort Bard, which protects the pass, is built on the site of many earlier fortifications. In May 1800, it halted an entire French army launching a surprise attack on Northern Italy. It eventually fell to the division of French general Joseph Chabran on June 1, 1800.
Geography and climate
Bard is located at the narrowest point of the Aosta Valley. At this point, the Dora Baltea makes a sharp turn around the large rock promontory on which Fort Bard is located. The steep valley sides means the village is full of small streets that are bordered with historic stone buildings.
The climate is mild for most of the year. The winter is cold but generally dry.
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