The Citadel of Alessandria was built by Carlo Emanuele III King of Sardinia in 1732 and terminated by Napoleon in 1808. With its 74 hectares it represents one of the greatest examples of eighteenth-century fortification with bastions in Europe and one of the few that still exists today. The Citadel was the scene of several important moments for Italian and European history. It was one of the most spectacular forts of the Napoleonic empire and the richest arsenal in Europe. During the Risorgimento era (Italian Unification) it was a symbol of revolutionary movements in favour of the Constitution.
During the Second Italian War of Independence, it became the assembly centre of the French army of Napoleon III and his main centre of manoeuvre during the first phase of the campaign. During the Second World War, the Citadel was used as a prison and for the shooting of partisans during the Resistance until the liberation and the establishment of the Allied Command in 1945. It passed through several historical figures: from Emperor Joseph II of Austria to the Duke of York, from Napoleon Bonaparte, passing through Garibaldi to the kings of the of Savoy dynasty.