Cities of Art: Gorizia

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Gorizia Panorama at sunset – Photo © T137

Originally a watchtower or a prehistoric castle, Gorizia soon became a little village near the fords of the river Isonzo not far from one of the most important ways that during the Roman period linked Aquileia to Emona (Lubiana). The name of Gorizia was for the first time recorded in a document dated April 28th 1001 “quae sclavonica lingua vocatur Goritia” stating the donation of the Castle and the village of Gorizia made by Imperator Ottone III to Patriarch Giovanni II and to Count Verihen.

Since the 11th century the town had two different development plans: the castellan hamlet or superior land and the village or inferior land. The first played a political-administrative role and the second a rural-commercial role. In the 16th century the county passed into Austria and the city spread out at the foot of the castle becoming, in the middle of the 18th century, an archiepiscopal see with jurisdiction over the diocesis of Trieste, Trento, Como and Pedena.

Around the baroque cathedral where many treasures of the Basilica of Aquileia had been transferred, a new quarter developed; it had a typically 18th century appearance and inside there was also a synagogue, one of the many examples of the town’s multi-ethnic nature. Gorizia was seriously damaged by both World Wars but after the second it suffered for the reduction of its territory and for the division of the city by the Italo – Slovenian border.

Set in a green area at the foot of the Julian Prealps and the Carso, for its particular geographical position, Gorizia has always been culturally influenced by Latin, Slav, Germanic civilization.

At the end of the Second World War, as a consequence of the disastrous conflict, the town suffered the dismemberment of the ancient provincial tissue and it was compulsory divided by a national border.

Darwin Study – Photo ©


This medieval building of the 13th century underwent many changes through the centuries.

Palazzo Attems Petzenstein
The building of the first half of the 18th century, designed by the local arch. Nicolo Pacassi, has a baroque and rococo style and houses important exhibitions.

A proof of the historical presence of the Jewish community of Gorizia; it dates back to the 1756 and it has been lately restored.

Palazzo Coronini-Cronberg
Viale XX Settembre, 14; tel. 0481 533485
(1597) A 16th century Villa surrounded by a wide, lovely garden. It is rich of original furnishings and it has an impressive book and archive heritage.

Sacrario militare di Oslavia
Loc. Oslavia; tel. 0481 531788
The remains of 57,200 soldiers of the Great War are buried there.

Gorizia – Piazza Vittoria – Photo © Wolfgang Sauber


With a nave and two aisles in Baroque style; it preserves the gravestone of Leonardo, the last Earl of Gorizia.
Parco di Piuma Isonzo
It offers the possibility to have a pleasant walk along the Isonzo river, which has a striking emerald colour.

For information:

Centro di Informazione e Accoglienza Turistica
Corso Italia 9
34170 Gorizia
Tel: 0481 535764
Fax: 0481 535764

Where to stay in Gorizia

There are high quality hotels, apartments, agriturismi (farm stays) and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.