Castello San Giusto

 

Castello San Giusto

May 12th

San Giusto is the patron saint of Trieste. The cathedral dedicated to him along with the Castello San Giusto sit on a hilltop with a 360 degree view of the city, the Gulf of Trieste and the surrounding hills.

The city of Trieste had its origins on this hill.  This is a spot where you can see and feel the long and diverse history of the city. From the Roman city of Tergeste you see the columns and what remains of the Baslica Forense.   A church has existed on the site of the present cathedral since the 5th century. The area includes a park and a monument to the fallen of World War I.

The building of the castello was started by the Venetians in 1368. In 1382 the town came under the control of the Austrian Empire. The Hapsburg Emporor Frederick III ordered the building of a fortress to protect the town and provide accommodation for its military Captain and so the construction of the Castello of San Giusto began in 1468 and went on until 1636.

Three things about the castello stand out for me. One is that you actually enter up a drawbridge with two huge wooden doors –like in the fairy tales.    The second is that you can readily see, because there are little sign posts, that each bastion has a different design depending on  the defensive techniques at the time of construction.  They all have different shapes, round and quadrangular so the Castello has a different shape depending on which bastion you are looking at .  Thirdly, there is a very contemporary bar on the  second level parapet with a stupendous view of the city and easily blending history with Triestine life today

The castle also houses two museums (which I do intend to visit) and the original bronze statues of Michez and Jachez. Copies of the two are on top of the City Hall in Piazza Unita and strike the time every fifteen minutes.

 

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