Austrian Littoral

Austrian Littoral

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Austrian Littoral

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The Austrian Littoral (, , , , ) was established as a crown land (Kronland) of the Austrian Empire in 1849. In 1861 it was divided into the three crown lands of the Imperial Free City of Trieste and its suburbs, the Margraviate of Istria, and the Princely County of Gorizia and Gradisca, which each had separate administrations and Landtag assemblies, but were all subject to a k.k. statholder at Trieste.

Trieste had strategic importance as Austria-Hungary's primary sea port and the coast of the Littoral was a resort destination, the Austrian Riviera. The region was a multi-national one with Italians, Slovenes, Croats, Germans, Friulians, and Istriots being the main ethnic groups. In 1910, it had an area of and a population of 894,287.


The territory of the medieval Patriarchate of Aquileia had gradually been conquered by the Republic of Venice (Domini di Terraferma) until the early 15th century. In the east, the Habsburg archdukes of Austria, based on the March of Carniola they held from 1335, had gained suzerainty over Istrian Pazin in 1374 and the port of Trieste in 1382. They also purchased Duino and Rijeka (Fiume) on the northern Adriatic coast in 1474, and inherited the Friulian lands of the extinct Counts of Görz in 1500. In 1511 Emperor Maximilian I annexed the city of Gradisca from Venice.The Habsburgs however did little initially to consolidate or develop their holdings in the Littoral. The supremacy of La Serenissima in the Adriatic and the attention to...
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