Rocca di Riva is a medieval fortress located in Riva del Garda, on an artificial island, on the shore of Lake Garda. Today, Rocca di Riva is one of the two locations of the MAG Alto Garda Museum.
Rocca di Riva was built in 1124 at the behest of Altemanno, prince-bishop of Trento, to defend the port of the town, a strategic point for trade in Trentino.
In the 14th century, after the conquest of the town by the Della Scala family, lords of Verona, the fortress was renovated and enlarged. The structure could be accessed directly from the water, and was isolated from mainland by moats.
In 1516, Riva del Garda was conquered by the emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg. With the return under the Austrian domination, the military importance of the fortress diminished and it was used as the seat of the court of the bishopric of Trento.
In the 19th century, the fortress was transformed into an army barracks, as part of the project to strengthen the border between the Austrian Empire and Italy. Important works were carried out, such as the lowering of the corner towers and the reconstruction of all interiors.
In the 1950s, the Civic Museum of Riva del Garda was established inside the fortress.
MAG Museo Alto Garda has three main sections – a painting gallery, a history section and an archeology section. The painting gallery shows various aspects of the local culture between the 14th and 19th centuries. Among others, in this section we can find works by Pietro Ricchi, Vincenzo Vela, Francesco Hayez and Francesco Gualtieri.
The History section, housed in the upper part of the fortress, illustrates the history of the Sarca river from prehistory to the Second World War. The Archeology section gathers many important findings on the territory of Riva del Garda, between the Middle Paleolithic and the Early Middle Ages, up to the 8th century AD.
HOW TO GET THERE
Rocca di Riva is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the main bus station of Riva del Garda. The closest bus stop for the Line 484, which connects Riva del Garda with other towns on Lake Garda (such as Malcesine and Garda), is in Viale Martiri, about 500 meters away.
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