Gorizia's Middle Ages, to discover

21/03/2020

The Middle Ages in the far North-East of Italy - or the Austrian South-West - have been ignored or underestimated especially after the rise of the nationalisms of the last century. In particular that of the region now called Friuli Venezia Giulia and the neighbouring territories, so rich in events that were sometimes extraordinary but also witnesses of an unsurpassed harmony and coexistence between different peoples and cultures: and perhaps this is the reason for the oblivion to which this period was condemned, between the end of the 19th and 20th centuries, when nationalisms triumphed. The Middle Ages of our region and the neighbouring ones are characterized by two main entities: the County of Gorizia and the Patriarchate of Aquileia.

The County of Gorizia, co-star of the Friulian Middle Ages for five centuries of history, lasted until 1918 as a legacy of the Habsburgs. It is no coincidence that it is still known and studied much more in Austria than in Italy. Between the two entities, the Patriarchate of Aquileia - organized, among other things, into a state entity with its own Parliament - has certainly left more relevant traces, above all because of its absolute relevance within Christianity, a-national par excellence. Yet both the County and the Patriarchate, almost always in conflict with each other, have provided the primordial humus of what will be called Mitteleurope, that is, of that very high culture which developed between the 19th and 20th centuries and which was based above all on the fruitful interaction of the three main European civilizations, the Latin, the Slavic and the Germanic. The Weltanschauung mitteleurope, which also means a happy synthesis between different peoples, has sprouted between Istria and Tyrol, between Budapest and Venice, in the territories of today's Friuli Venezia Giulia.