Commandery of Trieste 

            By 177 BC, Trieste  was under the rule of the Roman Republic. Trieste was granted the status of colony under Julius Caesar, who recorded its name as Tergeste in his Commentarii de bello Gallico (51 BC). After the end of the Western Roman Empire  (in 476), Trieste remained a Byzantine military centre. In 788 it became part of the Frankish Kingdom. From 1081 the city came loosely under the Patriarchate of Aquileia, developing into a free commune by the end of the 12th century.
After two centuries of war against the nearby major power, the Republic of Venice (which occupied it briefly from 1369 to 1372), the burghers of Trieste petitioned Leopold III of Habsburg, Duke of Austria to become part of his domains. (The agreement of cessation was signed in October 1382, in St. Bartholomew's church in the village of Siska (apud Sisciam), today one of the city quarters of Ljubljana). The citizens, however, maintained a certain degree of autonomy up until the 17th century.

Trieste became an important port and trade hub. It was made a free port within the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Charles VI and remained a free port from 1719 until July 1, 1891. The reign of his successor, Maria Theresa of Austria,  marked the beginning of a flourishing era for the city.

Trieste was occupied by French troops three times during the Napoleonic Wars, in 1797, 1805 and 1809. In the latter it was annexed to the Illyrian Province by Napoleon, during which period Trieste lost its autonomy (even when it was returned to the Austrian Empire in 1813), and the status of free port was interrupted.



Following the Napoleonic Wars, Trieste continued to prosper as the Imperial Free City of Trieste  and it became capital of the Austrian Littoral region, the so-called Küstenland.

 Castle Miramare
The city's role as main Austrian trading port and shipbuilding centre was later emphasized with the foundation of the merchant shipping line Austrian Lloyd in 1836, whose headquarters stood at the corner of the Piazza Grande and Sanità. By 1913 Austrian Lloyd had a fleet of 62 ships comprising a total of 236,000 tons. 

The modern Austro-Hungarian Navy also used Trieste's shipbuilding facilities and as a base. The construction of the first major trunk railway in the Empire, the Vienna-Trieste Austrian Southern Railway, was completed in 1857, a valuable asset for trade and the supply of coal.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Trieste was a buzzing cosmopolitan city frequented by artists. The particular Friulian dialect, called Tergestino, spoken until the beginning of the 19th century, was gradually overcome by the Triestine (i.e., a Venetian dialect) and other languages, including Italian, Slovene, and German. While Triestine was spoken by the biggest part of the population, German was the language of the Austrian bureaucracy and Slovene was used in the surrounding villages. Viennese architecture and coffeehouses still dominate the streets of Trieste to this day.

Administration of the Commandery of Trieste 
   Under the supervision of the Grand Council 
  of the Grand Priory of Carpathia 
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