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Gradisca d'Isonzo (Friulian: Gardiscja or Gardiscje, , ) is a town and comune of 6,600 inhabitants in the province of Goriziamarker, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, north-eastern Italymarker. It is located on the Isonzomarker River.

The town is an important cultural center for the Friulian people in the Venezia Giulia region.


The town's name is a Slavic toponym: in archaic Slovene, Gradišče was a term indicating a fortified site or a ruin and is a widespread toponym in Slovene ethnic territory. Gradisca is mentioned for the first time in 1176, when it had a mixed population of Slavic and Latin origin under the Patriarchate of Aquileia. In 1473 it was annexed by the Republic of Venicemarker, which fortified it as a bastion against the Ottomans In 1511 it captured by Maximilian I, and thenceforth it was a possession of the House of Habsburg. In 1615, an attempts of the Venetians to reconquer it initiated the War of Gradisca. The town was however kept the Imperials, and was made capital of the County of Gradisca; later emperor Ferdinand III sold the territory to John Anthony of Eggenberg, whose family held Gradisca until 1717, enlarging and enriching it constantly.

With the disappearance of the Eggenberg, the county returned to the Habsburg, being united with the County of Gorizia in 1754. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, the population of Gradisca fought under Austria-Hungary against the Italians. In 1921 the town became part of Italy.

Main sights

  • Castle, built by the Venetians in the late 15th century. It was enlarged under the Austrian domination (16th-17th centuries), later being turned into a jail. Among the people imprisoned here was Federico Confalonieri.

  • Cathedral
  • Church of Santo Spirito, with an altarpiece by Pompeo Randi.

See also

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