Bellinzona and valley, direction St. Gotthard. Foto/Photo: TES

Bellinzona City and Region

Bellinzona is the capital of the canton of Ticino. The city and the surrounding valleys and regions ( Biasca and the Riviera, the Blenio Valley and Leventina) have a varied landscape interwoven with distinctive cultural characteristics and numerous historical and architectural monuments.

The Fortress of Bellinzona is the largest and the only example of a medieval structure consisting of three castles and a large defensive wall that once closed off the whole valley, the city and the city’s ramparts.

Photo from UNESCO World Heritage Bill Board

The city has grown over the centuries around the fortress.  The Dukes of Milan built the fort as a defence against the invading Eidgenossen. In vain, they acquired the city, the Leventina, the Blenio Valley and Riviera in 1500 after a century of changing tides of war.

However, the city has more to offer: parks, churches, chapels and monasteries, city palaces, monuments and the country’s longest bridge (Il Ponte Tibetano) across the Ticino River.

The Spazio publico (the public space) is the oldest square in the city, developed between the 11th and 12th centuries. The main transit routes of the roads leading to the St. Gotthard, Lukmanier and San Bernardino passes merged here.

The town hall was rebuilt in 1921-1929 in the neo-Renaissance style to replace the ancient town hall from the 14th century. The 26 artworks in the internal courtyard evoke the history of Bellinzona from the 15th century onwards.

(Source and further

The building of the government and parliament of the canton