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For Auguste Piccard's deep-sea submersible Trieste, see Bathyscaphe Trieste.

Trieste (Latin Tergeste, Slovenian and Croatian Trst, German and Friulian Triest) is a city in northeastern Italy, capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and Trieste province, population 211,184 (2001). It is located 370 miles south-southwest of Vienna at the head of the Gulf of Trieste, an arm of the Gulf of Venice .


The sights in Trieste include Miramare, a romantic castle built in the 19th century for Austrian Archduke Maximilian and his wife. On the coastal road to Trieste is the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, operating under the aegis of UNESCO and IAEA.

Through a long period of time, Trieste was seen as being peripheral to the centers of Italian commerce and culture, and lost influence—however lately it has been gaining influence as Italy's window to the east (former Yugoslavia). The Kosovo War saw large numbers of refugees passing through the city, which is now negotiating cooperation with Slovenian ports and expanding business with former Yugoslavia.

The local venetian dialect of Trieste is called "Triestino" in Italian and "Triestin" in the local language itself. It pronounces "Tree-ae-steen". Italian and the local venetian dialect are spoken in the city center while Slovenian is spoken in many of the immediate suburbs. This linguistic division is historical and cultural and dates back hundreds of years. Italian-speaking and Slovenian-speaking locals are considered autochthonous into the border region of Trieste, eastern Friuli and Istria.


By 177 BC, Trieste was under the governance of the Roman republic. Trieste was granted the status of a colony under Julius Caesar. It was also he that recorded its name as Tergeste in his Comentarii de bello Gallico in 51 BC.

After the end of the Western Roman Empire (in 476) Trieste was first under the authority of their count-bishop, then (from the year 1081) loosely under the Aquileia's patriarchy, then (from the year 1369) under the Venetian Republic, then (from the year 1372) a free commune and then, (from the year 1382) to free themselves from Venice, the Triestins donated the city to Leopold III von Habsburg, duke of Austria. (External link: The original Latin version of the Dedication)

During the Middle Ages, Trieste grew into an important port and trade hub. It was constituted a free port by Emperor Charles VI and remained a free port from 1719 till July 1 1891. Its role as the principal Austrian commercial port and shipbuilding center was emphasized by the construction of the Vienna-Trieste railway, completed in 1857.

By the end of the 19th century, Trieste was a buzzing cosmopolitan city, frequented by artists such as James Joyce, and Italo Svevo. The city was a very real part of Mitteleuropa, with a cosmopolitan mix of Italian (75 %), German (5 %) and Slavic (18 %) and other cultures, and a feeling of being a border town that it retains today.

The thought of an Italian population under Austrian domination was an offense for Italian nationalists, who considered Trieste the main "unredeemed" territory; whence the term "irredentism" for the movement pleading for incorporation to the Italian state of every Italian population.

In 1918, after the end of World War I and the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, Trieste became a part of Italy.

At the end of World War II, on May 1 1945, the troops of Yugoslav 4th Army together with the Slovenian 9th Corpus NLA occupied the town. The German Army surrendered to the Allied forces which entered the town the following day. The Yugoslavs had to leave the town some days after.

After WWII, in 1947, Trieste became the capital of the Free Territory of Trieste. When that state was de facto dissolved in 1954, the city of Trieste reverted back to Italy, while the southern part of the territory went to Yugoslavia.

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