The restoration work on the English Fort was completed in October 2014, and it was inaugurated in February 2015, exactly when a historical revival of Napoleon's departure from the Island of Elba took place; the perfect moment because this was when the English Fort was completed, as well as being the Emperor's last wartime piece of work.
The Fort is an architectural piece of work that is a significant part of a complex defence organisation with its head in the town of Portoferraio, consisting of the English Fort and other important fortresses like San Cluod and San Rocco.
When the restoration work was completed, some interesting particularities of the fortress, built as a defence against the enemies came to the light : very strong walls, a roof that was practically impenetrable, a ventilation system to clear the air from the smoke from the rifles and musketry all over the building, in order to fire at the enemy with more precision; not only that, two huge water tanks under the floor that were more than enough for at least 150 men, as well as a ditch with a drawbridge at the entrance. There are stone canons at the back of the building and several internal passageways to enable the soldiers to move the ammunition from the powder magazine up to the first floor and those further up
On the first floor of the English Fort some fragments of frescos came to the light in one of the rooms with a fireplace and a wardrobe, while on the ground floor, the large rooms used by the soldiers for sleeping in, the original bricks used for the floor, with traces of the soldiers' paces still to be seen, came to the light under the more recent one.
The graffiti on the walls of the cells done by the prisoners and the number of each cell painted above the door came to the light in the prison cells of the Fort. The only surviving door has been renovated and put on one of the cells on the first floor.
The discovery of the underground passages of the Fort consisting of narrow corridors that end up under the hills next to the Fort and at the ravelin, was a wonderful surprise.
But the renovation work as well as having given the Fort a new lease of life, also means that now the public have access too: an area of over six hundred square metres that at long last is there for the public to admire, that includes show rooms for conventions, exhibitions, and a bar, as well as outdoor shows and exhibitions, both in the ravelin and in the inner courtyard, with all the necessary audio and video systems, waterworks for the toilets, burglar alarms, fire prevention, and indoor and outdoor lighting.
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