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(trēĕ`stā), Serbo-Croatian Trst, city (1991 pop. 231,100), capital of Friuli–Venezia GiuliaFriuli–Venezia Giulia
, region (1991 pop. 1,197,666), 3,031 sq mi (7,850 sq km), NE Italy, bordering on Austria in the north and on Slovenia in the east. Trieste is the capital of the region, which is divided into Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste, and Udine provs.
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 and of Trieste prov., extreme NE Italy, on the Gulf of Trieste (at the head of the Adriatic Sea). A major seaport with several shipyards, it is also a commercial and industrial center. Manufactures include machinery, metals, and processed food. Trieste is also the terminus of pipelines from Eastern Europe.

An ancient settlement, it was made a Roman colony (2d cent. B.C.), called Tergeste. It prospered under the Romans, was later held by the Lombards, and was taken by Charlemagne in the late 8th cent. In the 12th cent. it became a free commune. After two centuries of struggle with its rival Venice, Trieste placed itself (1382) under the control of the duke of Austria, although it retained administrative autonomy until the 18th cent. In 1719 it was made a free port. As the sole Austrian port and as a natural outlet for central Europe, Trieste flourished, and in 1867 the crown land of Trieste was made the capital of Küstenland prov.

Despite its Austrian status, Trieste preserved linguistic and cultural ties with Italy. It was a center of irredentismirredentism
, originally, the Italian nationalist movement for the annexation to Italy of territories—Italia irredenta [unredeemed Italy]—inhabited by an Italian majority but retained by Austria after 1866.
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, and after World War I Trieste and its province were annexed (1919) by Italy. However, its prosperity declined under Italian rule. After World War II the area was claimed by Yugoslavia, mainly because the population outside the city of Trieste is predominantly Slovenian. The Western powers opposed Yugoslavia's claim. As a compromise, a new state, the Free Territory of Trieste, was created (1947) under the protection of the UN Security Council. The Free Territory included the city of Trieste and a coastal zone of IstriaIstria
, Croatian Istra, mountainous peninsula c.1,500 sq mi (3,900 sq km), in Slovenia and Croatia, projecting into the N Adriatic between the gulfs of Trieste and Fiume. A section of the northwestern portion, including the city of Trieste, belongs to Italy.
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, running from Duino along the Gulf of Trieste to Cittanova.

When the Security Council was unable to agree on a governor for the territory, Anglo-American forces occupied Zone A, consisting of Italian-speaking Trieste and its environs, while the Yugoslavs occupied Zone B, the remainder of the Free Territory. Tension between Italy and Yugoslavia continued until 1954, when, in a compromise agreement reached under Western auspices, Zone A was placed under Italian administration and Zone B under Yugoslav civil administration (divided between the republics of Slovenia and Croatia). The solution amounted to a partition of the Free Territory, which then ceased to exist; this arrangement was finalized by the Treaty Of Osimo (1975).

Trieste has some Roman ruins, including those of an amphitheater. On a hill commanding a fine view are the Romanesque Cathedral of San Giusto (part of which dates from the 5th cent.) and an imposing castle (14th–17th cent.). On a small promontory northwest of the city is Miramar castle (1854–56), built for Archduke MaximilianMaximilian,
1832–67, emperor of Mexico (1864–67). As the Austrian archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, he was denied a share in the imperial government by his reactionary brother, Emperor Francis Joseph.
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 of Austria, who sailed from there on his ill-fated Mexican adventure. Trieste has a university, founded in 1924.


See J. Morris, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (2001).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and major port in northern Italy, on the Gulf of Trieste of the Adriatic Sea. Capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region and Trieste Province. Population, 272,400 (1973).

Trieste’s industries include shipbuilding and ship repair, the manufacture of marine engines (at the Grandi Motori plant), and other branches of the machine-building industry; ferrous metallurgy; petroleum refining; the manufacture of chemical products, including synthetic fibers; cement, glass, and paper making; jute processing; and food processing. In 1973, 37.5 million tons of freight, primarily petroleum and petroleum products, were handled at the port. A petroleum pipeline runs between Trieste and Ingolstadt in the Federal Republic of Germany. The city has a maritime museum and a museum of natural history. The International Center for Theoretical Physics is in Trieste.

In ancient times Trieste was the Roman colony of Tergeste. Between the fifth and ninth centuries the city was conquered by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Lombards, and the Franks. Beginning in the mid-tenth century, bishops of the Catholic Church were the seigniors of Trieste. A commune was established in the 11th century; after a tenacious struggle with the bishops, it won the right of self-government in the 13th century. Because of its advantageous location at the crossroads of trade routes, medieval Trieste was an important commercial center. It was captured by Venice at the beginning of the 13th century and by the Hapsburgs of Austria in 1382. Trieste had the status of a free port from 1719 to 1891. It was occupied by French troops in 1797 and 1805. Annexed by France in 1809, the city was a part of the Illyrian Provinces until 1813. After World War I, Trieste was awarded to Italy. During World War II it was occupied by fascist Germany in 1943 and liberated by the Yugoslav National Liberation Army on May 1 and 2, 1945. British and American troops entered the city on June 9,1945, and remained until 1954.

For a long time the fate of Trieste was the subject of a diplomatic dispute. According to the peace treaty with Italy concluded on Feb. 10,1947, Trieste and a small surrounding area were constituted as the Free Territory of Trieste, and the city received the status of a free port. The conditions specified by the peace treaty for the existence of the free territory—such as demilitarization, the withdrawal of foreign troops, and democratization—were, however, not observed. In 1954, after negotiations in which Great Britain and the USA took part, Italy and Yugoslavia concluded an agreement that abolished the Free Territory of Trieste. Trieste and the adjacent territory to the west (223 sq km) went to Italy, and the territory to the east of Trieste (about 520 sq km) was given to Yugoslavia. In 1975, Yugoslavia and Italy signed a treaty recognizing the international boundary in the Trieste area.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a port in NE Italy, capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, on the Gulf of Trieste at the head of the Adriatic Sea: under Austrian rule (1382--1918); capital of the Free Territory of Trieste (1947--54); important transit port for central Europe. Pop.: 211 184 (2001)
2. Free Territory of. a former territory on the N Adriatic: established by the UN in 1947; most of the N part passed to Italy and the remainder to Yugoslavia in 1954
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Forty years ago, the reviewer was studying in England and invited to visit a friend who lived in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, part of the "Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." He took a train that crossed Italy and came to the border city of Trieste. He knew about the famous Yugoslav leader, Marshall Josip Broz Tito, and his "independent" brand of communism, and expected that the border would not be a challenging one, unlike crossing to West Berlin, which always featured harassment from the East German Volkspolizei.
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They refused to reveal what those projects are and how much of that money will go to Macedonia, saying they need to be promoted first at the summit in Trieste. They also said they expected the prime ministers and some ministers of all six Balkan countries to attend the summit.