The battle of Marengo (about 5 km from Alessandria), narrowly won against the second coalition by Napoleon during the second Italian campaign on 14 June 1800, pitted the French against the Austrians. After this victory and his accession to the imperial throne of France (December 2, 1804), Napoleon Bonaparte decided to enlarge and restore the fortress and to surround the city with new defences and eight new fortifications.
The construction and state of preservation of these buildings are unique today. Their efficiency, proven during the French occupation, made the citadel of Alessandria, which Napoleon wanted to be the "eastern gate" of France, one of the most spectacular fortresses of the empire.
But it is also possible to visit in Alessandria the residence built by Giovanni Dellavo and inaugurated in June 1847, which today houses a Napoleonic museum dedicated to the battle of Marengo, six medallions in the entrance hall representing the generals Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, Lannes, Marmont, Masséna, Soult and Victor, as well as a statue of the First Consul, work of Benito Cacciatori.
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