The Futa German Military Cemetery
The Futa German Military Cemetery is located near the Futa Pass, on a characteristic mountain peak at an altitude of 950 MASL, halfway between Bologna and Florence. During the Second World War, this spectacular Tusco-Emilian mountainscape was part of the Gothic Line, the German defensive front that sought to slow down the Allied military advance. Built in the 1960s by the German architect, Dieter Osterlen, following agreements between Italy and the Federal German Republic, the Futa German Military Cemetery is the largest burial ground built in Italy for the German troops who died here during the war. The cemetery covers 12 hectares of ground and consists of a series of stepped terraces that follow the slope of the mountain. The tombs are protected by a 2 km long perimeter wall that spirals up to the peak of the mountain, culminating in a pointed wedge-shaped memorial under which are two commemorative crypts. This high, knife-edged feature pointing up into the sky makes the Futa German Military Cemetery a distinctive landmark that can be seen from many miles around.