With respect

Some time ago, I read about, and saw photos of, a military ossary on Mount Grappa, above Bassano del Grappa. I was seized with the desire to see this monument, if I possibly could.

I found there was no public transport to the memorial, the only options were: hire a car or hire a taxi. I found it would be a more reasonable option to use a taxi for the 20-some kilometers of winding mountain road.

 I hummed and hawed my way through a sandwich and orange juice in Bassano del Grappa, then I thought “”Well come on, woman. You want to see this, and you’ll be so sorry to be so close and not go.”  For once, I listened to myself, and I’m so glad I did.

The gentleman who drove me up there knew a lot about the history of military action in the Grappa Mountains, so the time passed quickly.

Soon, we were in snow country, and still had a long way to go.

 

As we climbed higher, the clouds began to gather and thicken. I was worried it would be completely closed in at the top.

We finally got there, after countless hairpin bends (thank goodness I didn’t take the rent a car option.)

To reach the monument and see the series of graded semicircular ossaries that make up a major part of this monument, there was nothing for it but to gird my loins and climb through that snow to the peak of the hill. My boots are not made for snow travel .. they have no grip whatsoever, so it was a slip and slide climb.

My photos are disappointing, it was dark and cloudy, and the size and scope of this military memorial site just couldn’t be captured. The snow also hid the architectural features of the monument.

Too much snow!

After the First World War, many bodies were scattered through the mountains. 10,295 Austro-Hungarian bodies were found and are interred here. 12,615 Italian bodies are also at rest here, with 2,2831 identified.

The monument was begun in 1932, and inaugurated 22 September 1935.

If you can go there in July-August, you may gain an appreciation of the compelling beauty of this memorial.

There are some good photos on this site, please take time to look, and to pay your respects.

http://www.fotopaesaggi.it/fotopaesaggi/Storia/Sacrario%20Monte%20Grappa/Sacrario%20Monte%20Grappa%20home.htm

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Venice

11 responses to “With respect

  1. Pingback: The Memorial on Monte Grappa | Hello World

  2. MaryK

    How timely that you’ve posted this. Jon and I were watching some of the Giro d’Italia the other night and some shots of this came on and we were intrigued. We could work out that it was a memorial – and approximately where it was – but apart from that we had no idea about it.

    It is definitely going on our “must visit list” when we finally get to that area!

    Like

  3. Thank you, Arthur. So many young men, of many nationalities, killed senselessly.

    Like

  4. Fine essay and photos… thought provoking.

    Like

  5. Laaura Morrison

    Just looking at that last picture brings tears to my eyes. I’ll need to go back to the museo degli Alpini to really see the objects on display. What I saw was enough to giveme tears down my face non stop. As an Italian I know
    how much we owe to those young heroes who lost their life to defend
    our country against an incoming oppressor.

    Like

    • You have expressed so well what many people feel when they stop and think about all the young lives wasted in senseless wars, Laara. I would like to go back to the memorial one day when the snow is gone.

      Like

  6. Many thanks for this special visit. I really like the last photo.

    Like

  7. Yes, Respect. Our friend Gigi climbs in the Dolomites, and has shown us many photographs of mountain redoubts and ruins of war ranging throughout the rugged mountains, the silent reminders of the horrors of a part of the “Great War” of which most are unaware.

    Thanks for making the trek and sharing this stunning – and respectful – reminder.

    Like

Now it's your turn

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s