Located in the Petite-Nation region of the province of Québec, Montebello is a quaint village of 1200 francophone residents, hosting visitors during the Summer, attracted by its history and beautiful scenery. Among these attractions are the Château Montebello, Parc Omega, an old seigneury, and many lush gardens. In the Spring and Winter months, there is a cabane à sucre to enjoy.

The planning done for Expo 1967 was done in Montebello.

A village in Lombardy whose name has been spread all over the world because of the battles fought there.  Each battle was the prelude to a historically momentous battle soon after.

On June 9, 1800, French general Jean Lannes attacked an Austrian force of 16,000 with 8,000 troops outside the town of Casteggio.  There was bloody fighting for a while, and the Austrians' superior numbers seemed about to overwhelm the French, when General Claude-Victor Perrin arrived with reinforcements, and the Austrians were forced to withdraw.  4,000 Austrians and 600 French (probably much more) were killed in the fighting.

During the battle, the French occupied Montebello, and someone must have liked the name, as the battle was named after the village instead of Casteggio.

At 3 PM that day, while the smoke was clearing, Napoleon Bonaparte arrived on the scene (after riding all the way from Pavia) to take command of the army. Five days later, after being softened up at Casteggio, the Austrians were crushed by Bonaparte at the Battle of Marengo.

In 1808, during Bonaparte's dynasty-building phase, he made Lannes (now a Marshal of France) "Duc de Montebello".


On May 20, 1859, during the Second War for Italian Independence, some Austrian infantry (well, actually mostly Hungarians and Italians, not very keen on dying for Austria) blundered into Piedmontese cavalry and a division of French infantry outside Montebello.  The Austrians put up stiff resistance, occupying a fortified position in the village cemetery for a while, but the French and Piedmontese eventually overran them in a bayonet charge.  1,300 Austrians and 850 Piedmontese and French (including their commander (Maj. Gen. Elie Forey) were killed.

This battle diverted the attention of the Austrian commander in Italy, Ferenc Gyulai, causing him to concentrate his troops in the wrong place. It also revealed the inadequacy of the Austrian army. Two weeks later, French Emperor Napoleon III and General Mac Mahon crushed the Austrians at the Battle of Magenta, and a later slaughter at the Battle of Solferino.   As a result, Lombardy was annexed by Piedmont.  Italian reunification became inevitable; Piedmont's king Victor Emmanuel I and Prime Minister Cavour immediately renamed the country 'Kingdom of Italy'.


Fighting alongside Lannes' troops at the 1800 Battle of Montebello were many American veterans of the Revolutionary War.   Among these was General Samuel Smith, who, on his return home, renamed his 500-acre estate northeast of Baltimore 'Montebello'.  Smith was ruined financially during the Panic of 1819 after his business partner, James Buchanan, embezzled the Bank of the United States into insolvency.  Although his son John Spear Smith eventually bought the estate back, it wound up the property of John W. Garrett, founder of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  Garrett expanded the estate, which covered a large part of what is now Northeast Baltimore.   Garrett's heirs eventually sold off the estate.

In 1881, Baltimore City water engineers dammed Tiffanys Run, a tributary of Herring Run, to form the 54-acre Lake Montebello.  This was a waystation for water from Loch Raven Reservoir. Water treatment facilities were opened in 1910 and most of the water consumed by Baltimore passes through Lake Montebello first.


In 1801, French explorer Nicolas Baudin mapped a group of islands off the west coast of Australia and named them the Montebello Islands after the recent battle.  Despite a 1956 British nuclear test there, the islands are now a tourist destination.


Lombardia in Rete (translated by Google) at
http://www.lombardiainrete.it/turismo/storico/batt_pavia_09061800.asp

The Italian Campaign of 1859 at
http://www.thehistorynet.com/MilitaryHistory/articles/1999/06992_text.htm

Live Baltimore Marketing Center -- Neighborhoods at
http://www.livebaltimore.com/neighbor/neighome.html

The Montebello Islands - History at
www.montebello.com.au/AboutMontesHistory.htm

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