Castles and Palaces


1900 Postcard collection

 Entry stair and door

Stone heads in the window and doorway keystones and transems

Palazzo Besenghi degli Ughi
Izola / Isola, 17th century

The Baroque Besenghi degli Ughi Palace in Izola was built between 1775 and 1781, as can be seen from the inscription on the lintel above the main entrance. The palace was built for Pasquale Besenghi and the attributed architect is Venetian-schooled Filippo Dongetti of Milan. The floor plan of the palace is typical of Venetian Baroque palaces. The ground floor is functional, containing an entrance hall and at the back a magnificent staircase. Most impressive is the first floor, also called the piano nobile, the centre of which is occupied the main salon which extends in height to the upper storey. At the level of the upper floor runs a wooden gallery with a carved balustrade supported by consoles. Decorative emphasis is given to the salon by murals and stucco work. The rich stylistic expression of the facade, which is decorated with stucco work and iron grilles, hints at the interior which is rich both in terms of architectural design and detailed decorative features.

There are four heads visible on the facade of Palazzo Besenghi degli Ughi: in stone on the keystones of the doorway and center window, and on their transems. A similar face is on the ornate Rococo copper transem above the front door. The palace's prominent doorway, set atop a grand staircase, and its ground-floor windows, with their magnificent grilles and rococo stucco-work decorations, make it well worth viewing. The salon, partitioned by a wooden balcony, is unique in present-day Slovenia but it may not be unique to Istria.

Pasquale Besenghi (Isola d' lstria 31 March 1797 - Trieste 24 September 1849) was a member of a Venetian family which lived in Istria. He later married a descendant of an ancient family from Izola - Degli Ughi. He ordered the construction of the most prominent and luxurious building in Izola, whereas his own family's palace was built between 1775 and 1781. He combined his own name with that of his wife's which is why the palace is nowadays known as the Besenghi degli Ughi palace. Pasquale inherited a rich library from his father, which he continuously supplemented. Even though a large number of books were lost, there are still about 3,000 books and manuscripts from the 16th and the 17th centuries in the Besenghi palace.


Il fondo Besenghi comprende oggi quanto rimane della biblioteca personale del poeta istriano Pasquale Besenghi degli Ughi (Isola d'Istria 1797 - Trieste 1849), che morì di colera. Un pessimista, il poeta combattè per la libertà in Grecia con Byron. Amico di Tommaseo, lasciò molti scritti, tra i quali canzoni romantiche e opere satiriche. Va ricordato anche il prete Vascotto che nel 1820 aprì i primi bagni termali: una tettoia con una decina di cabine e di vasche. Il fondo Besenghi si trova nel Palazzo Besenghi di Isola, sede della locale Comunita' degli italiani, gia' casa natale del poeta. Comprende complessivamente 2.968 volumi.


  • 1900 black & white photo - Piero Grimalda's Postcards of Old Istria

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This page compliments of Marisa Ciceran

Created: Wednesday, July 28, 2004; Last updated: Tuesday November 27, 2012
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