Como Monument to the Fallen - History and Facts | History Hit

Como Monument to the Fallen

Como, Lombardy, Italy

Como's Monument to the Fallen is an imposing memorial designed to honour fallen soldiers of World War I.

Peta Stamper

01 Apr 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Como Monument to the Fallen

Como’s Monument to the Fallen is an imposing memorial designed to honour fallen soldiers of World War One, and displays the inscribed names of 650 fallen soldiers. This granite memorial rises to 33 metres high, towering over the shores of Lake Como.

Como Monument to the Fallen history

In 1931, Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party government of Italy approached architect Giuseppe Terragni to design a monument for the casualties of World World One. Terragni was presented with sketches of a proposed monument by Italian futurist Antonio Sant’Elia, who died in 1916 at the Battle of the Isonzo. Sant’Elia had originally imagined the design as a lighthouse. Both architects were from Como, then one of the centres of the Italian Modern Movement.

Terragni with the support of his brother, Attilio who was the Facist mayor of Como, began construction of the tower. The monument was built with reinforced concrete, covered in blocks of Carso grey marble and with two large windows. The polished surface of the monument acted like a mirror, and along with the names of fallen soldiers were the words of Sant’Elia, “tonight sleeping in Trieste or in paradise with the heroes”.

The structure towered over the public garden near to the Tempio Voltiano at Lake Como, and reflected the growing influence of the fascist state through modern buildings that dominated the surrounding landscape. The completed monument was inaugurated in November 1933 and dedicated to all fallen, in particular Sant’Elia.

Como Monument to the Fallen today

Today, the Como Monument to the Fallen continues to dominate the lake’s shoreline, a reminder of Italy’s fascist history and great modernist designers. The site is also one of reverence – visitors can pause on the staircase leading up to the monument and take a seat while remembering those who died in the conflict.

You can also view the original watercolour and pencil sketches from 1914 by Antonio Sant’Elia, now housed in Como’s Civic Art Gallery.

Getting to Como Monument to the Fallen

Situated on the edge of Lake Como, the monument is within walking distance of the town of Como. You can reach it from the Como S. Giovanni train station, 700m away. Alternately, buses 11, C10, C20, C28 and N7 will take you to the Viale Fratelli Roselli road, a 500m walk from the monument.