County of Gorizia

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Coat of arms of the duchy of Gorizia Gradisca
Hugo Gerard Ströhl , 1890
The county of Gorizia (blue) at the end of the 18th century

The Grafschaft Görz , from 1365 Fürstete Grafschaft Görz , expanded to become the Fürstete Grafschaft Görz and Gradisca in 1747 , was a territory in the southeastern Alpine region that was created in the Middle Ages . In 1500 the area fell to the Habsburgs , was a crown land of the Habsburg monarchy until 1918 and belonged to the Austrian coastal region . It is named after the cities of Gorizia (Gorizia) and Gradisca (Gradisca d'Isonzo) , which have belonged to Italy since 1918 .


middle Ages

The county of Gorizia emerged as the rule of the Meinhardins from the beginning of the 12th century. The ancestry of Count Palatine Engelbert I, documented since 1107, and his brother Meinhard I of Görz, from approx. 1142 Count of Görz, has not been clarified in detail. For more information, see Engelbert I. von Görz . The close connection to the Patriarchate of Aquileia was decisive for the rise of the family, which had enabled the Görzern to acquire large fiefs in Friuli and Istria , including the ancestral seat Gorizia.

In 1271 the brothers Meinhard II of Tyrol and Gorizia (IV) and Albert I of Gorizia shared the possessions of the House of Gorizia. Meinhard reserved the relatively closed county of Tyrol , which his father Meinhard I of Tyrol and Gorizia (III.) 1253 from Count Albert III. inherited from Tyrol, while Albert received the ancestral castle with the inner (i.e. actual) county of Gorizia, the possessions in Istria, Friuli and Carinthia and the Pustertal . The lineages of the sex descended from the brothers subsequently went their separate ways. In addition to Tyrol, the older line also ruled Carinthia from 1286 to 1335. After the male Tyrolean line died out, Margarete von Tirol handed over their possessions in 1363 to the heir Rudolf IV of the House of Habsburg .

The actual county of Gorizia was owned by the younger line and comprised areas from Innichen and Lienz in the north to almost the Adriatic coast in the south.

Gorizia and the castle of the Counts of Gorizia

The power base of the Counts of Gorizia was greatly reduced in the 14th century by the division of power. In 1303 Albert I († Sept. 1304) - he had received the rule of Meichau (Slovene Mehovo) and the associated Weißkrain with Tschernembl and Möttling from King Rudolf I in 1277 for his services in the fight against King Ottokar II - for his Sons Heinrich and Albert before a division of territory, which was realized in 1307: Albert II († 1327) got the possessions in Pustertal and Carinthia, Heinrich III. all Görzischen areas south of the Dolomites and Karawanken. After the death of Heinrich III. In 1323, who was an ally of Duke Frederick the Fair in the fight against Ludwig IV of Bavaria and who had even captured Treviso and Padua , there were four different Görzische counties from Pustertal to Istria. Because of the threat to the inner county of Gorizia from Venice , the counts moved their residence to Schloss Bruck near Lienz, the center of the former county of Gorizia, which remained their main residence and rulership until the end.

Meinhard VII achieved recognition as imperial prince by Emperor Charles IV in 1365 ; hence the name “ ducal county ” comes from . His brother Albert III. had taken over the county Mitterburg ( Pisino ) in Istria and the property in the Windischen Mark and Möttling by division in 1342 , bequeathed its areas to the Habsburgs in 1364 and died in 1374.

Henry VI. († 1454) united the remainder of the family's property in 1430 and concluded an inheritance contract with the Counts of Cilli (expired in 1456) in 1437 , which should replace an older inheritance contract with the Habsburgs from 1394. In the dispute over the inheritance of the Counts of Cilli, the Gorizia were defeated by Emperor Friedrich III. In the Peace of Pusarnitz in 1460 they also had to cede many properties on the northern edge of their county. They only regained Lienz in an uprising in 1462.

Habsburg rule 1500–1918

Leonhard , the last Count of Gorizia, tried his life in vain to win back the lost property in Carinthia through various alliances. But in 1500 he concluded a new inheritance contract with the Habsburgs and died shortly afterwards. In accordance with the contract, all of his possessions fell to Maximilian I. Although he united the areas around Lienz, the front county , with Tyrol , Gorizia remained as a state with its own parliament. In the period around 1500 Gorizia was administered by the imperial administrator (captain) Virgil von Graben . It was included in the inner Austrian group of countries. Politically , the Görz estates were mostly oriented towards Styria , the largest province in Inner Austria. However, the spread of the Reformation in the 16th century played a much smaller role in Gorizia. With the Habsburg division of land in 1564, Gorizia came under the rule of Charles of Inner Austria.

Görzer Kreis and Triester Kreis at the end of the 18th century

In 1717 the prince county of Gradisca fell by inheritance to Habsburg; the Eggenberger were extinct, for the 1647 by Emperor Ferdinand III. Gradisca had split off from the inner Gorizia and ruled. The two countries were combined to form the Counties of Gorizia and Gradisca .

The county of Gorizia and Gradisca was an important outpost against the Republic of Venice and the economic hinterland of the city of Trieste . From 1809 to 1815 the area belonged to the Illyrian Provinces of France , then to the Austrian Kingdom of Illyria until 1849 , when it was united with Trieste and Istria to form the new Crown Land Coastal (Litorale) .

With the imperial constitution of 1861, the three constituent parts of the coastal country acquired their status as independent crown lands with a state parliament, regional committee and governor appointed by the emperor, but the joint kk coastal governor in Trieste and the common gazette for the Austro-Irish coastal country remained until 1918 receive; The regulations contained therein were not valid for all three crown lands, with the exception of state regulations from Vienna, which the governor only had to publish.

Administrative division of the Prince Counties of Gorizia and Gradisca (1868–1918)


Judicial districts:

The crown land of Gorizia and Gradisca comprised 2918 km² and about 240,000 inhabitants in 1900. Thus it was one of the smallest crown lands of Cisleithania ; only Vorarlberg and Trieste had a smaller area and fewer inhabitants. In the first years of the 20th century, the Kronland benefited from a large imperial and royal railway investment program: As part of the New Alpine Railways , the Wocheiner Bahn was built from the northernmost Savetal to Gorizia, with the Karawankenbahn and Tauernbahn a new direct connection to Salzburg and the southern German area.

During the First World War , after Italy entered the war in 1915, on the side of the opponents of Austria-Hungary, the Italian army tried to penetrate the Danube Monarchy in twelve Isonzo battles until 1917 in the crown land area. The attacks were always repulsed by the Austro-Hungarian army , but the city of Gorizia was temporarily occupied by Italy. The crown land was taken tremendously in these huge battles. (A large, fortress-like ossuary, the Ossario di Oslávia , was later built on the outskirts of Gorizia for Italian soldiers .)

After the armistice of November 3, 1918, the crown land was occupied by Italy and came under international law to the Kingdom of Italy with the Peace Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919 . After the Second World War, in 1945 almost the entire hinterland, but not Gradisca and most of the city of Gorizia, fell to Yugoslavia and is now part of Slovenia .


Population groups according to Austro-Hungarian censuses:

1880 1890 1900 1910
Slovenes 129,857 (61.52%) 135,020 (61.29%) 140,582 (60.36%) 154,564 (59.28%)
Italian 73,425 (34.78%) 76,514 (34.73%) 81,136 (34.84%) 90,119 (34.57%)
German 2,659 (1.26%) 2,195 (0.99%) 3,498 (1.50%) 4,486 (1.72%)
total 211.084 220.308 232,897 260.721

The population was predominantly Catholic. In the 1900 census, the composition was as follows:
Roman Catholic: 232,139 (99.67%)
Protestant: 354 (0.16%)
Orthodox: 59 (0.03%)
Israelite: 295 (0.13%)

coat of arms

Split , slanted at the front, a golden crowned lion at the top in blue, slanted five times at the bottom with silver and red for Gorizia, at the back a silver anchor cross divided by gold over blue for Gradisca. A prince's hat on the shield .

Individual evidence

  1. Land ordinance and Landtag election ordinance, Appendix II i to the Imperial Constitution 1861, RGBl. No. 20/1861 (= p. 69, supplement: p. 198)
  2. Example: a Görzer state law in No. 25/1904 (= p. 91)


  • Christina Antenhofer: Letters between South and North. The marriage and marriage of Paula de Gonzaga and Leonhard von Görz in the mirror of princely communication (= Schlern-Schriften 336), Wagner University Press , Innsbruck 2007, ISBN 978-3-7030-0433-9
  • Wilhelm Baum: The Counts of Görz in the European politics of the Middle Ages , Klagenfurt 2000, ISBN 3-902005-04-1
  • Ernst Klebel : The Counts of Gorizia as sovereigns in Upper Carinthia . In: Carinthia I, 125 (1935), 59-82 u. 218-246
  • Christiane Thomas: Fight for the Weidenburg. Habsburg, Cilli and Gorizia, 1440–1445 . In: Mitt. Des Österr. Staatsarchiv 24 (1972), 1-86
  • Hermann Wiesflecker : The political development of the county of Gorizia and its inheritance to the House of Austria . In: Communications from the Institute for Austrian Historical Research 56 (1954)
  • M. Wutte: The acquisition of the Gorizia possessions by the House of Habsburg . In: Mitteilungen des Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 38 (1920), 282–311
  • Marko Simić: In the footsteps of the Isonzo front , Mohorjeva Hermagoras, Klagenfurt-Laibach-Wien 2004, ISBN 3-85013-884-4
  • Peter Štih: Studies on the history of the Counts of Görz , R. Oldenbourg Verlag Vienna Munich 1996, ISBN 3-7029-0405-0 Oldenbourg Vienna, ISBN 3-486-64834-9 Oldenbourg Munich

Web links

Commons : Grafschaft Görz  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files