Count Leonardo (1445-1500)


Born in 1444, third son of Henry IV and Catherine of Jara, Leonardo, the last count of Gorizia, became count in 1462, at the death of his brother Giovanni (the second brother, Ludovico, had died in 1456). The young count had to face a not easy situation because of the territorial disputes in which the county of Gorizia had been involved. He managed to regain possession of the territory of Lienz, including the castle of Bruck, where he settled, economically more developed than the territory of Gorizia and more sheltered from the danger of the Turks, whose raids constituted a very serious threat to the most southern areas of the county. Married in first marriage to the daughter of the Slavonian bane Nicola, remained a widower without children, Leonardo married the young Paola Gonzaga in second marriage. Leonardo died on April 12, 1500, in Bruck Castle in Lienz, his residence. He was without heirs, since he had only had a little girl from Paola who had died at an early age. With him the line of the Counts of Gorizia became extinct, and thanks to a pact of mutual succession between the two families the county became part of the possessions of the Hapsburgs, passing under the direct dominion of Maximilian I.

In the photos: above, a wooden statue representing Leonardo (Museum of Innsbruck); the cenotaph kept in the Cathedral of Lienz; the cenotaph of the Cathedral of Gorizia, of which a faithful copy is in the Castle of Gorizia.