Istria as described in Historic Encyclopedias



Brockhaus 1809-1811, Pierer 1857-1865, Meyer 1902-1909





Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Istrien
Istria, also called Histreich, an Ausrian peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, located between Carniola, Friuli and Croatia, of a dry stony soil and warm climate. The main export articles of the inhabitants, the number of which is estimated at 100,000, but who do not have the best reputation, are wine, timber, oil, tobacco, salt and fish. At Rovigno (Trevigno) the famous muscadet wine is only pressed by feet, not by a mechanical press. The amphitheatre of Pola (now a city of no importance, with 900 inhabitants and with treets overgrown by grass, and a port devoid of ships) in Antiquiy was very famous and could hold 18,000 spectators. In Antiquity Istria used to belong to Illyria, but Augustus and Tiberius attached it to Italy. Venice which gradually became more powerful at the beginning of the 15th century made itself master of the entire region, and later ceded a small part of it to Austria, which recently in the Treaty of Campo Formio, together with other Venetian possessions, was given all of Istria which was placed under the government of Triest. In he Treaty of Pressburg the Austrian Emperor ceded all formerly Venetian possesions, thus also Istria.
source in German, posted by Zeno


Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Istrien (1)
Istria, Austrian crownland, which had the title of Margraviate and, as the Istrian Circle, formed part of the Kingdom of Illyria and since 1850 forms the district of Mitterburg (Pisino) of the Austrian Littoral. 89.79 square miles, borders on Croatia, Carniola, district Gorizia, the area of Trieste and the Adriatic Sea, of which it forms the easern shore, the Gulf of Quarnero and in he northwest the Gulf of Trieste. The land is mountainous, as the Karst coming from Gorizia stretches into Istria, as do branches of the Julian Alps; the highest peaks are Monte Maggiore of 4410 feet, Monte Sissol, Monte Golly. The rivers Arsa and Quieto are only coastal rivers, but navigable; of the lakes are to be mentioned the Foiba, Cepich, Gearo; the climate overall is mild, in the summer very hot, while in the winter dry coldness is frequent. The coasts are exposed to destructive storms. The soil mostly contains chalk and is stony, lacks water and is dry. Products : grain, maize, wine (the best in the vicinity of Capo d'Istria and Muggia), olive oil, figs, citrus fruits, nuts, fruit, sugar- and watermelons, a lot of timber, some of which well-suited for shipbuilding, iron, marble, vitriol, alum, quartz, salt, stones for construction. Of livestock especially sheep are bred. Shipbuilding, navigation, fishery are conducted; namely on the coast are many roadsteds where there is a lot of traffic. The main ports are Capo d'Istria, Pirano, Quieto, Rovigno. Population 223,000, in the countryside Illyrian-speaking Slavs, in the cities Italians, mostly Catholics. Istria is divided in 16 subdistricts and only partially belongs to the German Federation; also the Brionic Islands on the west coast and he Islands of Quarnero in the southeast are belonging to Istria. The stadholder for Gorizia, Trieste and Istria resides in Trieste.
History. In Antiquity, Isria was part of Illyria. It was conquered by the Romans in 177 B.C. and annexd to Italy by Augustus. In the 6th century it was conquered by the Goths, and later it was taken from them by the Byzantine Emperors. In 789 it was conquered by Pippin, son of Charlemagne. In the mid of the 10th century it was split from Friuli as a separate Margraviate, and Henry I. Duke of Carinthia was given Istria by Emperor Otto II. Since, often Carinthian princes often were Margraves of Istria, for instance Henry II., then his son-in-law Engelbert von Ortenburg, Count of Lavant, in 1128 his brother Engelbert II., who in 1130 connected Istria with Carinthia in dynastic union, in 1138 his son Engelbert III., in 1173 Berthold Count of Andechs, a relative of the Carinthian house; he also was Duke of Dalmatia. In 1188 he was fllowed by his son Berthold II., in 1204 by his 4th son Henry, who was deprived of the Margraviate by Emperor Philipp, because Henry had held to Anti-Emperor Otto. Because Henry participated in the assassination of Philipp, he had to flee, and in 1208 Otto granted Istria to Duke Ludwig of Bavaria, who ceded it to Patriarch Welcher of Aquileja. Later the County of Mitterburg came to the Counts of Gorizia, together with the Barony of Castua it formed Austrian Istria. (But also the Litoral with the capital Trieste was regarded part of Austrian Istria). Venetian Istria contained Montefalcone, Grado, Capo d'Istria, Pola, Fianona and other cities. In 1797 all of Istria came to Italy in the Treaty of Pressburg [!], where the Department of Istria was formed (52 square miles, 82,300 inhabitants), capital Capo d'Istria from the former and a few other elements. In 1813 Austria retook both parts, and in 1815 they were reunited with the Austrian Empire.

source in German, posted by Zeno


Meyers Grosses Conversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, Article : Istrien
Istria, Margraviate, forms a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, which stretches in southerly direction and ends in a tip. In the north Istria borders on the territory of Trieste, on Gorizia and Carniola, in the east on Fiume and Croatia and Quarnero Bay, in the south and west on the Adriatic Sea and in the northwest on the Gulf of Trieste. Including the Islands of Quarnero (Veglia, Cherso, Lussin) Istria has an area of 4956 square km (90 square miles) with a population (1900) of 345,050. Together wih the County of Gorizia and Gradisca and the territory of Triste it forms the Austrian Littoral. The coat of arms is a golden goat with read arms in a blue field. The territorial colours are yellow, red and blue.
In the 3rd century B.C., when the advance of the Romans resulted in the first references on Istria having been made, was inhabited by Thracian and Celtic pirates, the combination of whom was referred to as the "Istrians", further the Celtic Japydes, and on the islands the Liburnians. The latter became Roman alliesafter the Illyrian War 229 B.C.; Istria proper was conquered 177 B.C., Japydia 129 B.C. and Liburnia 50 B.C. In the civil wars between Caesar and Pompey and in the followinmg wars up to the Battle of Actium, Istria played an important role. Then followed a period of grandiose development which lasted several centuries, in which especially the cities Pola and Scardona became prosperous and magnificent. After the fall of the West Roman Empire Istria belonged to Odoacer's Kingdom (476-489), then to the Ostrogothic Kingdom, since 539 for 200 years to the Byzantine Empire. During this period numerous incursions of Slavs and Avars happened, which caused the decline of the peninsula. From 752 to 773 Istria belonged to the Lombards, after brief Byzantine rule since 789 Frankish. In 952 Otto I. granted Istria to Bavaria, in 976 Otto II. granted it to Carinthia, later it was a fief of the Eppensteiners, then of the Sponheimers, since 1173 of the Barons of Andechs-Meran. At first enemies of Venice, since 1149 Pola and the other cities were vassalls of Venice, but hat way could develop their trade connections. In 1209 Istria fell to the Patriarchat of Aquileja; only the March of Istria fell to the Counts of Gorizia. A conflict arose between the patriarch and the Istrian cities, and the latter in part leant on Venice, Pola being the last one to do so in 1331. In mplementation of a treaty of inheritance, the County of Istria in 1374 fell to the House of Habsburg, who often pawned or rented out the territory. Later the County Mitterburg and the Barony of astua belonged to Austrian Istria, and also the territory of Trieste was included in it. Venetian Istria included Montefalcone, Grado, Capo d'Istria, Pola, Fianona and other cities, all in all the larger part of the peninsula. Following the Treaty of Campo Formio (1797) Austria occupied the Venetian part of the country, to which also other Venetian possessions were added. In the Treaty of Pressburg Austria had to cede Istria to Napoleon, who added it to the Kingdom of Italy. In 1808 Napoleon elevated Marshall Bessieres to Duke of Istria. Following the war of 1809, Napoleon combined Istria with Trieste and Gorizia to form the Intendenza s'Istria, one of the seven Illyrian Provinces of the French Empire. In 1813 Austria reconquered both territories, since 1815 Istria again forms a part of the Austrian monarchy, where, especially in recent times, Croats and Italians are engaged in a feud with each other.
See : "Istrien. Historisch-geographische und statistische Darstellung der Istrischen Halbinsel" Trieste 1863, Amati and Luciani, L'Istria sotto l'aspetto fisico, etnografico, amministrativo, storico e biografico, Milan 1867, Benussi, Manuale di geografia dell'Istria, Trieste 1877, Istrien. Ein Wegweiser längs der Küste, Trieste 1878, "Die Österreichische Monarchie in Wort und Bild" vol.10, Das Küstenland, Wien 1891, Franchetti, L'Istria, note storiche, Parenzo 1879, Combi, Istria. Studi storici e politici, Milan 1886, Benussi, L'Istria sino ad Augusto, Trieste 1883, and nel medio evo, Parenzo 1897.

source in German, posted by Zeno






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First posted on April 14th 2009

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