History of Trieste







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History of Trieste                                                   (Back to Trieste main information page)  

The first inhabitants of this region lived in large caverns in the upland plains at the beginning of the Ice Age. They were named the ?Carni?, an Indo-European tribe. Subsequently sporadic settlements were recognized in the Histri, until around 2000 B.C. and the Paleo Veneti whose villages rapidly became commercial trading ports.

According to mythological ancient texts, Jason and the Argonauts were said to have landed here on their quest for the mythical Golden Fleece; it was also the place where Antenore and Diomedes were said to have disembarked during the battle for Troy.
By 177 B.C. the Romans came and the antique Tergeste became a colony of the Roman Republic.

Commerce and trading began to increase at an astonishing rate, particularly during the second century A.D together with architectural development.

After a succession of Barbarian invasions, the region passed through the hands of the Goths, the Longobards, the Byzantines and the French.

In the middle-age, Trieste had grown into an important port and trade hub and in 1382, an indissoluble relationship was created between Trieste and the Hapsburgs until 1918.

The city was occupied by French troops three times during the Napoleonic wars from 1797 to 1809 and later annexed to the Illyrian province by Napoleon. Following the Napoleonic Wars, Trieste continued to prosper as free city under the Austrian rule.

The reign of Maria Teresa of Austria marked the beginning of a flourishing era. Merchants and entrepreneurs from all over the world flocked to Trieste and the city was radically restructured.

By the end of the nineteenth century the city expand in population and large insurance and shipping companies began to appear opening shipyards and factories.
This migration gave rise to a multi-ethnic community unpararalled in the rest of Europe. Numerous religions and corresponding places of worship were welcomed to the area.

Beginning of the XX century, the city atmosphere was quite cosmopolitan as it was also frequented by artists such as Joyce, Svevo and Umberto Saba.

Later, together with Trento, the city was the main supporter of the Irredentist movement for the Unity of Italy aimed to unify the lands and culture of the Italian people.

In the aftermaths of the Second World War Trieste was invaded by Tito's Yugoslavian troops witnessing one of its most tragic events, the incarceration of thousand of Italians in the Foibe, underground rock cavities in the Carso Region.

It was not until 1954, during which time Trieste was under a US military rule as an independent state (free territory of Trieste) that the city returned to Italy.

The border questions with Yugoslavia and the status of the ethnic minorities were settled definitively in during the ?70 with the Treaty of Osimo.

Now, Trieste has become the most important centre for scientific research in Italy notably with

The ?International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the International School for Advanced Studies and the National Institue of Nuclear Physics.





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