Hi all! Today I want to discover with you a small piece of the local history of Perosa Argentina: Bec Dauphin.
Here we can find the ruins of an ancient stronghold: for long periods, Perosa had been a borderland and this spur of rock was used as a supervision spot for the underlying valley.
The records of a first bastia (fortress) built by Oberto and Pietro Auruc, date back to 1240, but the history of Perosa Argentina was particularly trubled between 16th and 18th Century, when it was a disputed border between Dauphiné and Savoy.
In order to protect this frontier from sieges, in 1567, during the Franco-Savoyard War, the Duchess of Savoy decided to build on the spur of Bec Dauphin the San Giovanni Evangelista fortress. This structure had a very short life: with the Treaty of Lyon, signed in 1601, the war ended and the fort was destroyed.
In 1630 the war for the succession of Monferrato brought another local conflict: Cardinal Richelieu put Perosa under siege, and the occupying French troops built a new small fort on the spur.
At the beginning of 1700 the French Army constructed other fortifications in order to control all the communication routes in the valley. In 1713, with the Peace of Utrecht, the border was moved to Montgenèvre and Perosa went back under Savoy control, so Bec Dauphin lost his strategic function.
Thanks to a restoration project the remains of the ancient quadrangular structure have been brought to life. In the lower part it’s possible to spot some underground rooms and one of them was a water reservoir, whereas if you watch the wall which gives onto the cliff you can notice that it should have had three floors and many loopholes. If you look carefully you can find the jamb of a door which took on a terrace hanged on the spur. Figure out how breathtaking could be the view from there. Well, for sure it wasn’t appropriate for who’s afraid of heights!
How to get here
From Pinerolo follow SP23 in direction of Sestriere until you get to Perosa Argentina. As soon as you pass the town centre turn right following the signs to Borgata Brandoneugna. Near this crossroad you can see the Bec Dauphin spur, the final destination of our walk. From here, you can follow the directions to Borgata Ciapella. Near the fork to Borgata Crosie you can leave the car and walk in direction of Borgata Ciapella. After 100 meters you’ll find on your left an unpaved road. Take it and after 200 meters you’ll get to the ruins of the Bec Dauphin fortress.