The Hangar was built in order to provide South Italy with an air defence by
airships against the continuous attacks from German u-boats during the First
world war.Its costruction began in 1917.They intended to finish it in very short
time,but it was not possible and when it was really finished,the war had already
ended and all the strategic efforts seemed to be useless.
However it became operative and in the 20's the military area consisting of the
hangar,barracks,cook-house,storage-house, wash-house , infirmary and some houses
for the commander and officials was opened .The first Airship flying over Augusta was a O.S.type
of 5.000 m3 (cruise speed : 31 mph at 492 feet) which
had been transferred from a Centre Italy air-base.
Some years later the engineer Nobile,known for having
flown over the North Pole by an airship ,designed and
built a new type 7.000 m3 N2 airship.
On August 29th 1925 King Umberto I of Italy visited
the hangar. Later , aiming to reinforce the harbour
air-defence, a sea-plane station was built complete
of cranes , workshops for the Second World War
seaplane-torpedo and sea-plane reconnaisance.
The alighting on water area was near the Fortresses
"Garcia and Vittory" and 3936 feet long. During the
Second World War Augusta was the scenery of very
hard air and naval battles and the town was bombed
several times,suffering heavy damages. Fortunately
and probably not by chance ,military buildings such
as the Avalos Tower , the "Garcia and Vittoria"
Fortresses , the Swabian Castle and the Hangar with
the below seaplane station remained intact .
After the war and till 1958 an English Company,BOAC,used the seaplane-station as
commercial basin among England-Italy-North Africa. For many years seaplanes
alighted on the water of the Megarese port bringing goods and passengers.For a
long period the Hangar became the base for Italian Financial Police helicopters.