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Area:
  • 40,85 sq. km
Altitude:
  • 84 m a.s.l.
Population:
  • 35,401
Town Hall:
  • Piazza Municipio, 1
  • 34170 - Gorizia (GO)
Neighbourhoods:
  • Gradischiutta, Lucinico, Piuma, S. Mauro, Piedimonte, Sant'Andrea
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The historical centre of the city is Piazza della Vittoria (formerly Piazza Grande), triangular in shape, with the impressive hill of the Castle in the background on the eastern side. The western side of the square is dominated by the spectacular tall front of the Church of S. Ignazio built according to the project by Christoph Tausch (1673-1731), flanked by two bell towers with onionshaped spires, typical of Northern tastes, and the façade marked by columns and pilasters. The statues in the niches are precious as well. The church, the greatest in the city, was built between 1654 and 1747 at the behest of the Jesuits who had settled in Gorizia a few decades earlier. Its solemn interior, with a single nave and six side chapels, houses magnificent 18th- and 19thcentury fittings. Among the numerous art works in the church, the majestic high altar must be mentioned, with its beautiful marble statues by Venetian sculptor P. Lazzarini (1716), and the delightful presbytery fresco (The Glory of S. Ignazio), a masterpiece of baroque perspective illusionism by the same architect and artist from Tirol Christoph Tausch (1721). The influence of his master Andrea Pozzo is much felt both in the fresco and in the whole façade plan. Along the southern side of the Piazza is Palazzo della Torre, the seat of the Prefecture), with its noble 16thcentury architecture which, unfortunately, has been completely restructured. Further embellishment to the Piazza is given by Neptune’s Fountain (1756), maybe the best known work by Nicolò Picassi, a native to the city; the fountain, as several other works by the same artist, has required restoration works owing to the poor quality of the materials used. Southwards from Piazza Vittoria the picturesque Via Rastello, the old mercantile porticoed street whose 18th- and 19th-century buildings have remained almost untouched, leads to the Duomo dedicated to Patron Saints Ilario and Taziano, which has been the city cathedral since 1752. Separated from the tall Bell Tower, situated at the back, in spite of its simple hut-shaped structure, with a rather anonymous façade remade in 1924, the cathedral is the result of a complex architectural process taking place between the 16th and 18th centuries when two preexisting medieval buildings were made into one.   The existence of an early church of S. Ilario is mentioned in a patriarchal document dated 1342, whereas a small church dedicated to S. Acazio (of which only a late Gothic structure remains at the end of the right-hand aisle, painted in the geometric texture of the vault) was built south of the former building. The threenave interior, whose aisles are very low due to the unusual presence of women’s galleries, is mainly decorated with late- Baroque stuccoes and was severely damaged during the war (a large fresco, dated 1702, by G. Quaglio decorating the ceiling was completely destroyed). The high altar, containing several sculptures, was the work of the Pacassis’ workshop (ca. 1705). In the lefthand aisle the cenotaph of Leonardo, Count of Gorizia, in his noble military clothes, can be seen, an impressive work of early 16th century German art. The Duomo also houses the Treasure, including remarkable medieval and later jewellery belonging to the dispersed properties of the Aquileia Patriarchate.

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