breve storia del monfalconese

dal neolitico all’attuale vocazione industriale


Nowadays the area of Monfalcone is known for its industries, but it has a very different aspect from that of the beginning of the last century and conserves some of the most evocative historical evidence not only of Monfalcone and the province of Gorizia, but the entire region Friuli Venezia Giulia.
We can trace the first historical evidences in Monfalcone area back to the Stone Age. During this period, four buildings named ‘castellieri’, were built on the highest hills of the city. After Stone Age, the first village rose up in the current area of Panzano. A few years after the foundation of Aquileia, we have evidences of the conquest of the territory named Lacus Timavi by consul Gnaeus Manlius Vulso in 178 BC. Several battles against Histri led to a permanent settlement of this area, and villas were built along the coastline. Monfalcone became, beacuse of its strategical position, a rich colony, governed by its laws and obtained Roman citizenship. During 1st century BC it became a Roman municipality and monitored Gemina Roman Road, which took to Trieste. During the fall of the Roman Empire, this area near its borders was threatened and damaged by barbarian invasions. Among these we have to remember that ones by the Visigoths in 401, whose king Alaric defeated a Roman army by the Timavo River, by the Huns with their ruler Attila in 452 and by the Ostrogoths led by Theoderic which in 489 defeated Odoacer by the Isonzo River. There is a legend which says that Theoderic built or restored the Monfalcone Stronghold in order to protect the territory. After the invasions Monfalcone was strongly damaged and lose its importance. It became a small and poor cetre of farmers and fishermen. In 967, thanks to ‘Diploma Ottonianum’ by Emperor Otto I, Monfalcone was under the power of The Patriarchs of Aquileia. Meanwhile the village, which will become Monfalcone, took shape. The first documentary evidence of Monfalcone dates back to 1260 and alludes to ‘Montis Falconis’, from which the city’s name comes. After a period of peace, in 1379, city walls were reinforced because of Belforte. This was a little artificial island with a fortified tower built by Venetians in 1264, by the sources of Timavo River. On 14th July 1420, after a three-day battle, Monfalcone capitulated to Venetian Doge Tommaso Mocenigo.


City walls were reinforced in 1461 and it turned out to be useful when Turkic peoples invaded Istria and soon arrived near Trieste in 1471. On 21 September, Turkic people arrived to Monfalcone, it is said that they were between 8000 and 20000 people. Another ferocious assault by Turkic was in 1477, when courageous people of Monfalcone led by Podestà Barbarigo succesfully defended the city.During 1508 the war between Venice and Emperor Maximilian I involved Monfalcone. The bonds between Monfalcone and the Most Serene Republic were wery strong, but after terrible assaults, in 1514 the city was overwhelmed by the Austrians.  After a period of alternation of Venetian and Austrian supremacy, after the decline of Venice, in 1797, the city passed under the dominion of the Austrians.Austrians supported industrial activities in Monfalcone and, at the beginning of 1900, shipbuilding development begun. Cosulich brothers founded Trieste boatyard in 1908.Monfalcone, because of its position nearby the front was heavily involved in World War I. A lot of places near Monfalcone became famous during the War: Monte Sei Busi, Monte Ermada, Quota 85 renamed Quota ‘Toti’, Quota 87 and Quota 121. At the end of World War I, Monfalcone old city centre was almost reduced to ruins.After Word War I, together with rebuilding, shipbuilding particularly developed. On 5th January 1921 Monfalcone was officially annexed to Kingdom of Italy.During World War II, from 1940 to 1945, Monfalcone endured seven terrible aerial bombings. After War, the city was awarded Silver Medal of Military Valor because of heroic spirit of its inhabitants.After Word War II there was a lot of uncertainty about the Italian or Yugoslavian supremacy in the area. On 2nd August 1947 Gorizia and Monfalcone passed permanently under Italian control.Because of its passage to the Province of Gorizia, Monfalcone enjoyed an economic and productivity boost. It followed its inclination to shipbuilding , and developed Fincantieri boatyard. Now it is a worldwide leader in cruise ship building area.


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