Medieval itinerary

  1. San Giusto Cathedral
    Church of San Michele “al Carnale”
    Chapel/Baptistry of San Giovanni
  2. Caboro District
  3. San Giusto Castle
  4. Captain’s House
  5. Captain’s House Tower
  6. Wall with doorway
  7. 14th century wall
  8. “Cucherna” Tower
  9. Rena District
  10. “Donota” Gate-tower and Church of San Cristoforo
  11. “Riborgo” Gate-tower and the Chapel of San Giacomo and San Filippo
  12. Roman Theatre
  13. Riborgo District
  14. Portizza
  15. Habitation
  16. Via Malcanton
  17. Tower and public loggia
  18. Forum and Vicedomineria
  19. Town Hall

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  1. Church of San Pietro
  2. “Del Mandracchio” Gate-tower and “Fradella” Tower
  3. “Tiepolo” Tower
  4. Cavana District
  5. Church of San Sebastiano and San Rocco and androna dei Coppa
  6. Via dei Cavazzeni
  7. Via dei Capitelli
  8. “Cavana” Gate-Tower
  9. Santi Martiri District
    Church of Santa Mari del Mare
  10. “Rampana” Tower
  11. Crosada District
  12. Piazzetta Trauner
  13. Riccardo Arch
  14. Private habitations
  15. Montecchi House
  16. Basilic of S. Silvestro
  17. Bishopric And Churches of San Michele Arcangelo And San Martino
  18. San Cipriano Monastery
  19. Chapels of San Servolo and Sant’Elena
  20. Captain’s Garden

1. San Giusto Cathedral (11-14th century)

In the 5th century, a church with three Naves was erected utilising a pre-existing Sacred Roman edifice. In the middle of the 11th century, a Romanic basilica dedicated to the Virgin was built upon this structure. About the same time, the San Giusto votive Chapel (sacellum), a small basilica for the worship of sacred relics, was constructed to the right of it. Portions of the wall and two of the three apsides of the original structure still remain.  Although the three-lighted window on the right side of the cathedral and the tambour of the cupola date from the restoration of the 1920’s, they are based upon original elements. The slope-roofed facade of the cathedral, dominated by a large rosette, was built in the 14th century following the unification of the pre-existing structures in a building with five naves. The door-jambs of the main entrance come from a sepulchral monument of the 1st century AD, belonging to the Barbi family. Interior: frescoes,13-14th century; painted panels and sacred goldwork, 14th century; sarcophagi of the Triestine martyrs,11th century. Inside: frescoes, 13th century; sarcophagi of  Triestine martyrs,11th century.

Bell-tower (1337-1343)

It was built around a previous structure dating from the 13th century, which had been erected in turn upon column-supported structures from the mid-1st century AD. The bell-tower cell dates from 1556. Over the door, an inscription from 1337 records the name of Randolfo Baiardo, notary of Trieste and member of the Cathedral’s board of trustees. A statue of San Giusto, bearing the turreted model of Trieste, stands in a gothic niche. It dates from the first half of the 14th century

Church of San Michele al Carnale (14th century)

Situated south of the cathedral and documented from1338, it was then used as the chapel of the San Giusto catholic cemetery from the16th century until 1924. Through the three circular openings on the left side the bones taken from the burial ground were tossed into the crypt, which served as the common ossuary.

Chapel/Baptistry of San Giovanni (1380-1383)

Situated north of the cathedral, it preserves a baptismal font from the 9th century. The portico with lapidary is the result of 20th century restoration. Inside: frescoes and sculptures, 13th-14th centuries.

2. Caboro District

Situated atop San Giusto Hill, this area was the site of public and sacred structures of the Roman Tergeste, which were subsequently replaced by Christian edifices: the bishop’s residence (5th century), the Monastery of Santa Maria della Cella and the Church of San Sergio (13th century), all demolished in 1369 to make room for the construction of the Castle.

3. San Giusto Castle (1468-1636)

The fortress was built by Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg in 1468-1471 on the site of the previous Venetian castle, and expanded with the construction of ramparts until 1636. The so-called Melone of Trieste, a Roman acroterion which in 1343 had been affixed to the summit of the San Giusto bell-tower, is kept here.

4. Captain’s House (1468-1471)

It is the oldest structure in the Castle and was the residence of the Imperial Captains who represented the Austrian Emperor in Trieste. The residence has been repeatedly restored until the 20th century and today contains the San Giusto Armory Museum. Recent excavations in the courtyard have unearthed circular structures which possibly were part of earlier fortifications. Inside: a gothic chapel dedicated to San Giorgio, 1471.

5. Captain’s House Tower (1468-1471)

The only tower in the Castle was erected upon a pre-existing fortified structure. The entrance was through the acute arch on the ground floor; the walls open onto a small terrace resting on a sectioned truss, rectangular windows and loopholes.

6. Wall with doorway

A remnant of the fortifications predating the first castle of 1369. 14th century wall.

7. 14th century wall

Portion of the 14th century fortifications

8. Cucherna Tower (14th-15th century)

The polygonal tower, open on the inner face, formed part of the Castle’s eastern defences. Some sources indicate it with the name “Chiauchiara”. The crenellated upper portion of the tower is the result of 20th century restoration.

9. Rena District (14th century)

This quarter, which was first documented in 1326, was constructed around the RomanTheatre, which in the Middle Ages was incorrectly called “arena”. The urban layout is medieval, but the current appearance of the houses is the result of restoration during the 1980’s.

10. Donota Gate-tower and Church of San Cristoforo (14th century)

The square tower, open on the inner side, flanked the Donota gate, one of the main entries into the city. In the 14th century, a church dedicated to San Cristoforo was built nearby, thanks to a testamentary bequest by Omobono di Virgilio de Belli.

11. Riborgo Gate-tower and the Chapel of San Giacomo and San Filippo (14th century)

The Riborgo tower was located where a brick “skyscraper” stands today, and was demolished in the mid-19th century. Polygonal in form, it stood next to one of the main entrances to the city and looked out over the salt-works. The Chapel of San Giacomo and San Filippo was over the gate and was demolished in 1784.

12.Roman Theatre

A number of habitations were built on the ruins of the Roman Theatre beginning in the Middle Ages. They were arranged in a semi-circle, following the form of the cavea.
The excavation of the Theatre began in 1937, together with the demolition of the entire medieval quarter. From here, visitors can see the elegant medieval two-lighted windows of via Donota 18, which were discovered during restoration in the1980’s.

13. Riborgo District (14th century)

This quarter of the city still maintains the original medieval urban layout. It was built around the market of Piazza Vecchia, where once tower houses with covered roof-terraces existed. The Jewish Ghetto was located here since 1696.

14. Portizza

This passageway corresponds to a gate in the medieval walls, which were gradually replaced by the19th century buildings which today face onto Piazza della Borsa. The gate opened onto the “Small” or “Wine” Canal, which served the market in what is today Piazza Vecchia, located behind this area.

15. Habitation (14th-15th centuries)

Recent restoration uncovered the original sandstone walls of this edifice and a window, which were integrated into buildings of the 17th-19th centuries.

16.  Via Malcanton (15th century)

Already in the 13th century, many noble families had their residences in this street, while the placename dates from the mid-15th century. Giuliani House stands at n. 12. Its façade shows two coats of arms: the smaller one dates from the 14th century, while the larger one states that the house was built in 1459 by Bartolomeo Giuliani, merchant, public notary, vicedomino and also judge and city rector. It was restored in 1727, and a floor was added in 1830.

17. Tower and public loggia (13th-14th century)

In 1937, during the work to expand the Town Hall, a structure with loggia was discovered. Constructed of alternate rows of grey and white sandstone, its façade contained a Venetian-style two-lighted window. This building was probably the first meeting-place for the city council. The city walls formed an obtuse angle at this point, providing the base for the so-called “del Canton” Tower

18. Forum and Vicedomineria (13th-14th century)

In the 13th century, the Piazza was surrounded by buildings with porticoes that held the City’s public offices, the writing-tables of the clerks of court and shops. After the construction of the Town Hall on the seaward side, in the 14th century the Piazza was the site of the bread, fruit and flower market. The Vicedomineria, where all of the city’s official records were registered and stored since 1322, was located at what is today Piazza Unità 2.

19. Town Hall (Mid-13th-14th century)

The Town Hall was built during the mid-13th century, and was situated in the inner half of today’s Piazza Unità. In 1295, a tower with the town bell was built and at the beginning of the 14th century a second block was built to the right of it, with gothic two-lighted windows. It was demolished around1375-1377 in order to make room for a Venetian fortification known as the “ad marinam castle”, and was dismantled after Trieste’s submission to Austria (1382). A new structure was erected 1395-1398. It was adjacent to a tower, which was destroyed by fire in 1690, and had an arcade with shops which ran along thefront of it.

20. Church of San Pietro (14th century)

The small church dedicated to San Pietro was built in 1368 at the request of Pietro Onorati. Its façade was composed of horizontal bands dominated by a gothic rosette. It served as the private chapel for the podestà and Tribunal. After several restorations the Church of San Rocco was built alongside it in 1602; both were demolished 1822-1870.

Della Beccheria Tower (14th century)

The foundation of Palazzo Stratti contains portions of the so-called “della Beccheria” Tower, which formed part of the fortifications that protected Piazza Grande from the sea.

21. Mandracchio Gate-tower and Fradella Tower (14th century)

he gate-tower, which was situated in the inner half of today’s Piazza Unità and was demolished in the 19th century, gave access to the city’s medieval port, or “Mandracchio”. The boat basin was enclosed by a rectilinear pier, called “della Beccheria” and, to the south-west, by an elbow-shaped pier which originated at the “Fradella” Tower. From the “Fradella” tower, which formed part of the fortifications protecting Piazza Grande from the sea, originated the walls which encircled the “Cavana” district.

22. Tiepolo Tower (14th century)

The wall that once enclosed the Cavana District ran between via della Pescheria and via Diaz. The building at via della Pescheria 9, which juts outward from the two adjacent façades, can be possibly identified as the “Tiepolo” Tower, which was located in this section of the wall.

23. Cavana District (14th century)

The area surrounding Piazza Cavana was enclosed by a wall in the first half of the14th century. The layout of the buildings is medieval, and the Piazza itself was surrounded by salt warehouses, which was one of the city’s main commodities for trade.

24. Church of San Sebastiano and San Rocco and androna dei Coppa (15th-16th century)

The Church of San Sebastiano and San Rocco, which today appears in its restructured 18th century form, was built in 1543, probably upon a previous ecclesiastical structure dating from the14th-15th centuries. Behind the Church, in androna dei Coppa, the collapse of a building has revealed a structure with niches and chimneys, which was most probably a habitation and dates from the 16th century.

25. Via dei Cavazzeni (14th-15th century)

This narrow crooked street is an example of a medieval thoroughfare, with the buildings likewise preserving traces of 14th–15th century construction. Tradition has it that the houses of the Ranfi family were located in this area. The family was banished from Trieste in 1313, possible due to a failed attempt to seize control of the city. Their houses were demolished in the mid-14th century and a chapel was erected here. It was then rebuilt in 1447 and dedicated to San Sebastiano, following a request by Bishop Nicolò de Aldegardi.

26. Via dei Capitelli

The buildings along this street preserve portions of walls, doors and windows of previous 15th-16th century structures.

27. Cavana Gate-Tower (1321)

Recent excavations have exposed the foundations of this gate-tower, which was partly assimilated into adjacent structures and partly demolished in the mid-18th century. The gate was one of the main entries into the city and opened onto the suburban district of Santi Martiri.

28. Santi Martiri District (13th-14th century)

The area lying outside the Cavana Gate had been the ground where churches, convents and hospitals were established by various religious orders between the mid-13th and early 14th centuries. These structures included: the Church of Santi Martiri, founded in 1114 by the Benedictines of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, and flanked in the 13th century by their convent; the Church of San Francesco and the convent of the Frati minori, dating from the 13th century (the church was replaced by the current Church of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso, known as “Old Sant’ Antonio”); the Church of San Bernardino and hospital for men, and the Church of the Annunziata and hospital for women, known as “San Giusto”, both run by the Crociferi Fathers,who had been active in the city since the beginning of the 14th century.

Church of Santa Mari del Mare (13th-14th century)

At what is today via Madonna del Mare 11a new church was consecrated on the site of a paleochristian basilica (latter half of 5th century) in 1375. The church was divided into three naves and surrounded by a cemetery. Reconstructed in 1658, it was demolished in 1784.

29. Rampana Tower (14th century)

This square tower was uncovered within the building at what is today via delle Mura 5. It was part of the southern fortified perimeter which reached the Riccardo Arch from the Cavana gate-tower along this street. This is most probably the “Rampana” Tower.

30. Crosada District

The place-name recalls the important crossroads in this area of the city, where via di Crosada, which led from the city wall to Riborgo, intersected with via dei Capitelli that ascended San Giusto Hill. Nearby houses, including the residence of the Francol family in via di Crosada, date from the mid-15th century.

31. Piazzetta Trauner

The so-called piazzetta is an example of closed courtyard with a typical external stairway which leads to an upper storey. The two-lighted window recalls the original one which dated from the 14th century..

32. Riccardo Arch (Mid-1st century AD)

Because this Roman arch was integrated into the city’s fortifications, it maintained its function as one of the city gates all through the Middle Ages. The city walls turned inward at this point, before climbing uphill to the cathedral. The place-name “Barbacan” referred to a fortified structure outside of the walls.

33. Private habitations (14th century)

Recent excavations in the interred floor of this building have uncovered the foundations of residential structures dating from the late Middle Ages.

34. Montecchi House (14th-15th century)

The church is the result of an early 14th century restoration of a 13th century structure. It includes the transenna-windows from a previous religious edifice and features gothic elements such as the trefoil acutely-arched window next to the bell-tower. Inside: fragments of 14th century frescoes.

35. Basilic of San Silvestro (13th-14th century)

The church is the result of an early 14th century restoration of a 13th century structure. It includes the transenna-windows from a previous religious edifice and features gothic elements such as the trefoil acutely-arched window next to the bell-tower. Inside: fragments of 14th century frescoes.

36. Bishopric And Churches of San Michele Arcangelo And San Martino (14th century)

With the destruction of the original bishopric in Caboro, in 1369- 70, Bishop Canopeo established his residence in the vicinity of via del Castello (the oldest surviving architectural elements date from the 16th century). Canopeo also built two small churches on opposite sides of via delle Monache. The churches were consecrated in 1370 and 1374 and demolished in the 17th and 18th centuries.

37. San Cipriano Monastery (14th-15th century)

The original Church of San Cipriano was consecrated in 1302 and ceded to the Benedictine sisters of the Cell in 1458, who had transferred their monastery from Caboro to this area in 1426. The current appearance of the Church dates from the 18th century. Inside: painted panels, sacred sculptures and gold-work, 14th-15th century.  Along via delle Monache: Madonna and Child, stone bas relief, 14th-15th century.

38. Chapels of San Servolo and Sant’Elena (14th century)

In this area of via della Cattedrale, which ran along the city walls, near the San Servolo gate and nearly facing each other, were the 14th century Chapel of San Servolo, founded by the Confraternita dei Battuti (corresponding to today’s n 15) and the Chapel of Sant’ Elena (or della Croce). Both Chapels were demolished in the18th-19th centuries.

Captain’s Garden (14th-17th century)

The Garden is enclosed by walls, that include two polygonal and one square tower, and which were built upon much earlier walls, that include architectonic elements from Roman times. The walls were traditionally believed to date from a restoration of the late 14th century, but they were actually rebuilt following an earthquake in 1511, with additional restoration around 1640.  [more]

[A] Art and History Museum– Lapidary Garde

A The Medieval and Modern Lapidary preserves sculptured and inscribed architectonic elements (columns, capitals, windows, wellheads, lintels and inscribed tablets) originating from buildings in Cittavecchia demolished between the 19th century and the 1950’s. Near the entrance is a stone tablet which commemorates the rebuilding of the city walls by Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg in 1470.

[B] Sartorio Museum

TheTriptych of Santa Chiara, the most important medieval painting inTrieste, is kept here. The Venetian artwork dates from 1328-1330 and originally came from the Monastery of Santa Maria della Cella.