Some General Info
Gorizia is a pretty city in the region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia in northeastern Italy. The city is located at the junction of the Isonzo and Vipava Valleys. Unlike the neighbouring city of Trieste, Gorizia is sheltered from the north wind of cold Bora by a mountain ridge. That is why the city has a mild Mediterranean climate throughout the year.
Gorizia was part of the Austro Hungarian Empire till the First World War, when it was taken by Italy. From 1943-1945 it was administered by the Germans. After the Second World War the town of Gorizia was divided between Italy and Slovenia. In 1948, Tito ordered the construction of Nova Goricia (New Gorizia) on the Slovenian side. With the division of the town, families too were divided.
In 2004, when Slovenia entered the EU, the border between the two countries was abolished and the town was reunited. Today the people of Gorizia and Nova Gorizia are now striving to establish a common identity, this time under EU banner.
That big white building on the picture is an ossuary, a monument of first world war. Inside the ossuary bones of 100.000 fallen soldiers are placed.
This monument is just north of Gorizia, some 5 km by road.
Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio
The chiesa di Sant'Ignazio is one of the most relevant baroque monuments in the area. Works for its construction started in 1654 and lasted one century.
The façade is impressing: in the middle appears the statue of Saint Ignatius of Loyola with his schield and the monogramme IHS. The interior is as amazing. You should visit it at any cost! Meanwhile have a look at my Travelogue.
It's a pity that a parking area lies in front of this marvellous church.
This tip deals with the most touching moments of my visit to Gorizia, because "I am Europa" and the Piazza Transalpina ("Transalpine square") has become the symbol of the European reunification started on 1st May 2004, when eight Central and Eastern European countries, including Slovenija, joined the European Union.
The square lies where the Iron Curtain had been erected, splitting the town of Gorizia in two sides (afterwards the Yougoslavian government built Nova Gorica, "New Gorizia") and dividing many families. The works to demolish the curtain started in 2003 and ended up on 30th April 2004, when the new square was revealed to the public during a ceremony for Slovenija's joining the EU, when fireworks and the Hymn to Joy were played. I wanted to go there, but I didn't because I wouldn't have had any train to go back to Trieste. So, I stayed at home in Rovigo and watched the show "Welcome in Europe" from Berlin and Warszawa, with artists and politicians from the ten new EU-members.
So, back to the square... The building you see is the former Stazione Transalpina ("Transalpine railway station"), now the Nova Gorica railway station. The mosaic was designed by Franco Vecchiet. The plate in the middle of it replaces the boundary stone.
If much refers to a future of peace for the two peoples, four big panels reminded you that you were standing at the State border between the two countries that was forbidden to cross. You were allowed to move freely only in the square.
However, this last border between the two "sisters" definitely fell on 21st December 2007, when Slovenija joined the Schengen area granting free movement to European citizens all over the EU.
I will put the photos of the Slovenian side of the square in my Nova Gorica page and, maybe, all the pics of the Piazza Transalpina in my Europe page.
If you go to Gorizia, you really must go to the Piazza Transalpina, otherwise your journey will not be complete.
Parco della Rimembranza
Parco della Rimembranza ("Park of Remembering") is the worth seeing place I mostly enjoyed in Gorizia after the Piazza Transalpina, although neither is a church or a museum.
I liked this park for being right in the centre of the town, close to the beautiful Corso Italia, and for the statues and inscriptions to remember the local soldiers who died in the two world wars. Some of them conveyed me the same feeling of hope for a better future as the mosaic and plates of the Piazza Transalpina.
The photos in this tip shows the natural aspect of the park. To see the monuments, visit my travelogue.