Seppenhofer Carlo (1854 - 1908)

22/01/2020

On October 6, 1854 Carlo Seppenhofer was born in our city, one of the many patriots of Gorizia destined to support the Italian spirit of Gorizia, not so much through striking actions as through writings and a daily life commitment. Perhaps precisely because of their high number, and the demanding but not always showy task they performed so that the sense of spiritual belonging to Italy, outside whose borders they were, was not forgotten or neglected, men like Seppenhofer are often little remembered, confused in the generic qualification of "Gorizia's irredentists", when not even deliberately ignored for their nationalism. But we must not forget the times in which these men lived, the epoch of heated opposing nationalisms that was the nineteenth century, the danger that they perceived as real and concrete that their part would be unjustly penalized, the time and commitment that they gave unreservedly to their city. If they were many, it does not make it less right to remember them. An episode that made people talk a lot about the young Seppenhofer himself. He was twenty-three years old when on the night between 1st and 2nd June 1878, together with Giorgio Bombig and Adolfo Venuti, he hoisted a tricolour flag on the highest of the three crosses of Calvary, to celebrate in this way also in Gorizia the feast of the Statute that took place in the Kingdom of Italy. The flag was removed at dawn by the authorities, but the citizens were informed by the newspapers (immediately seized) and by the word of mouth that has always been a means of spreading the news subject to censorship. However, the names of the three patriots were not discovered. In his spare time - he was chief accountant of the Venuti company - Carlo Seppenhofer devoted himself in various ways to his city. He participated in the social and cultural life of the city, as a member of various cultural and patriotic associations, such as the Società Pro Patria and the Società Familiare di Musica e Drammatica, and also held prestigious positions in some of them: he was vice-president of the Società di Ginnastica and president of the Lega Nazionale. An exponent of the Gorizia liberal party, he took part in the administration of the city as town councillor. A scholar and author of numerous essays, several of which, of historical character, consisted in the edition of documents and writings of past centuries, Carlo Seppenhofer always kept the Italian national conscience alive in his writings. He did the same as librarian of the Biblioteca Civica, the Italian library, when in 1900 he was assigned that position, which he held until his death on January 28, 1908. The speleological club Seppenhofer is named after him, thus recalling another of his activities: that of alpinist (founder of the Gorizia section of the Giulie Alpine Society), nature lover and author of hiking reports that also included cave explorations and descriptions of karst phenomena.