Trieste in the 1911 Encyclopædia Brittanica
[Source: The Encyclopædia Britannica: a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Eleventh Edition, Volume 27 (New York, 1911), pg. 269-270.]
TRIESTE (Ger. Triest; Slav. Trst; the Roman Tergeste, q.v.), the principal seaport of Austria, 367 m. S.W. of Vienna by rail. Pop. (1900), 132,879, of which three-fourths are Italians, the remainder being composed of Germans, Jews, Greeks, English and French. Trieste is situated at the northeast angle of the Adriatic Sea, on the Gulf of Trieste, and is picturesquely built on terraces at the foot of the Karst hills. The aspect of the town is Italian rather than German.
It is divided into the old and the new town, which are connected by the broad and handsome Via del Corso, the busiest street in the town. The old town, nestling round the Schlossberg, the hill on which the castle stands, consists of narrow, steep and irregular streets.
The castle, built in 1680, is believed to occupy the site of the Roman capitol. The new town, which lies on the flat expanse adjoining the crescent-shaped bay, partly on ground that has been reclaimed from the sea, has large and regularly built streets, and several large squares adorned with artistic monuments. The cathedral of San Giusto was formed as it now stands by the union in the 14th century of three adjacent early Christian buildings of the 6th century; the tower incorporates portions of a Roman temple. The church of Santa Maria Maggiore, built in 1627-1682, is a characteristic specimen of Jesuit architecture; the church of Sant' Antonio Nuovo, built in 1827-1849, is in the Greek style, as also the Greek Orthodox church, built in 1782, which is one of the handsomest Byzantine structures in the whole of Austria. Among the most prominent secular buildings are:
are all worth mentioning. The Museo Lapidario contains a collection of Roman antiquities found in or near the town. It is an open-air museum, installed in a disused burial-ground, and is situated near the castle. The Arco di Riccardo, which derives its name from a popular delusion that it was connected with Richard Coeur-de-Lion, is believed by some to be a Roman triumphal arch, but is probably an arch of a Roman aqueduct.
At the head of the industrial establishments of Trieste stand the two ship-building yards of the Austrian Lloyd and of the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino, which are the largest of their kind in Austria. The Stabilimento Tecnico is also fitted up for the construction of war-ships. They are equipped with all the latest technical innovations, and employ over 5000 workmen. Petroleum refineries, iron-foundries, chemicals, soap-boiling, silk-spinning and the production of ships' fittings, as marine steam boilers, anchors, chains, cables, are the other principal branches of industry. Several marble quarries are worked in the neighbourhood, and there are some large cement factories. Good wine, fruit and olive oil are the most important natural products of the country round Trieste.
The great importance of Trieste lies in its trade. It is the first port of Austria, and the principal outlet for the over-sea trade of the monarchy. It may be said nearly to monopolize the trade of the Adriatic, and has long eclipsed its ancient rival Venice. It owes its development to its geographical situation in the north-east angle of the Adriatic Sea at the end of the deeply indented gulf, and to its harbour, which was more accessible to large vessels than that of Venice. Besides, it was declared a free imperial port in 1719, and was therefore released from the obstructions to trade contained in the hampering legislation of the period. It was deprived of this privilege in 1891, when only the harbour was declared a "porto franco", outside the customs limit.
But during the last thirty years of the 19th century the increase in its trade was the lowest in comparison with the increase in the other great European ports. This was due in the first place to the lack of adequate railway communication with the interior of Austria, to the loss of part of the Levant trade through the development of the Oriental railway system, to the diversion of traffic towards the Italian and German ports, and finally to the growing rivalry of the neighbouring port of Fiume, whose interests were vigorously promoted by the Hungarian government. But in the 19th century a more active policy was inaugurated. New and direct services were started to East Africa, Central America and Mexico; the service to India and the Far East, as well as that to the Mediterranean ports, was much improved; and lastly, Trieste was made the centre of the large emigration from Austria to America by the inauguration (June 1904) of a direct emigrant service to New York.
But the most important measure, designed to give a great impetus to the trade of Trieste, and to the over-sea trade of Austria generally, was the construction of the so-called second railway connexion with Trieste, begun in 1901. This measure provided for the construction of a railway over the Tauern Mountains between Schwarzach in Salzburg and Möllbrücken in Carinthia; and of a railway over the Karawanken between Trieste and Klagenfurt, with a branch to Villach. The total length of both lines is 100 m. The Karawanken railway, a direct connexion with Bohemia and the northern industrial provinces of Austria, is calculated to counteract the gravitation of traffic towards the German ports; while the Tauern railway constitutes the shortest route to the interior of Austria and to the south of Germany. By the new line the distance between Salzburg, for instance, and Trieste, is lessened by 160 m.
In order to accommodate the increase in traffic resulting from the above improvements, important works for the extension and development of the harbour were undertaken, and part of them were completed in 1910. The capacious harbour, consisting of two parts, the old and the new, is protected by extensive moles and breakwaters. The new harbour was constructed in 1867-1883, at a cost of £1,500,000. The new additions to the harbour, which are situated at the south end, were designed to give more than double the receiving capacity of the port, and were estimated to cost £3,625,000. The bulk of the over-sea trade of Trieste is done with the Levant, Egypt, India and the Far East, Italy, Great Britain and North and South America. Its most important trade by land, besides Austria, is done with Germany, Trieste being the entrepot for Germany's commerce with India and the Mediterranean countries. The principal articles imported are cotton and cotton goods, coffee, coal, cereals, hides, fruit and tobacco; the principal articles exported are wool and woollen goods,. sugar, paper, timber, machinery and various manufactured goods.
About 4 m. north-west of Trieste on the very edge of the sea is the famous castle of Miramar, built in1854-1856 in the Norman style, for the archduke Maximilian, the ill-fated emperor of Mexico. It belongs now to the emperor of Austria, and its. beautiful gardens are open to the public. About 4 m. northeast of Trieste is the village of Opcina, which possesses an obelisk 1146 ft. high, from which a beautiful view is obtained.
The town of Trieste, with its adjoining territory of a total area of 36 sq. m., forms a separate Austrian crown land. It had in 1900 a population of 178,672, of which 77% were Italians, 18% Slovenes and 5% Germans. The municipal council of Trieste constitutes at the same time the local Diet of the crown land, and is composed of S4 members. To the Reichsrat Trieste sends five deputies. Trieste is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop, and the seat of the administration for the Kiistenland or littoral, composed of the crown lands of Trieste, Görz and Gradisca, and Istria.
At the time of the foundation of Aquileia by the Romans, the district which now includes Trieste was occupied by Celtic and Illyrian tribes; and the Roman colony of Tergeste (q.v.) does not seem to have been established till the reign of Vespasian. After the break-up of the Roman dominion Trieste shared the general fortunes of Istria and passed through various hands. From the emperor Lothair it received an independent existence under its count-bishops, and it maintained this position down to its capture by Venice in 1203. For the next 180 years its history consists chiefly of a series of conflicts with this city, which were finally put an end to by Trieste placing itself in 1382 under the protection of Leopold III. of Austria. The overlordship thus established insensibly developed into actual possession; and except in the Napoleonic period (1797-1805 and 1809-1813) Trieste has since remained an integral part of the Austrian dominions. It was an imperial free port from 1719 until 1891. The harbour was blockaded by an Italian fleet from May until August 1848. During the Italian and Hungarian revolutions Trieste remained faithful to Austria, and received the title of Città Fedelissima. In 1867 Trieste and the adjoining territory was constituted into a separate crown land. In 1888 a monument was erected in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the connexion of the town with Austria.
March 26, 2009; Last
Thursday June 30, 2016