GORIZIA
German: Görz

The County of Gorizia (German: Grafschaft Görz; Italian: Contea di Gorizia; Slovenian: Goriška grofija; Friulian: Contee di Gurize) was a county based around the town of Gorizia in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, current north-eastern Italy.

The first count of Gorizia, Meinhard I, is mentioned as early as 1127. The borders of the county changed frequently in the following four centuries, due to frequent wars with the nearby Patriarchate of Aquileia and other counties, but also to the subdivision of the territory in two main nuclei: one around the upper Drava, near Lienz, the other centered on Gorizia itself. Count Meinhard III campaigned the Duchy of Carinthia but was defeated by Duke Bernhard von Spanheim in 1252. Nevertheless the county reached the apex of its power, when Meinhard III inherited the County of Tyrol from his father-in-law Albert III one year later.

When his sons Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol and Albert I divided the county in 1271, Albert retained the hereditary lands around Gorizia. The Counts also controlled the March of Treviso (Marca Trevigiana), though for a short while. After the death of Albert's son Henry III, assassinated in 1323, the county suffered a steep decline under the power of their powerful neighbours, the Republic of Venice and the Austrian Empire.

In 1500 the last count of Gorizia, Leonhard, died and according to a contract of inheritance the county fell to Maximilian I of Habsburg. Until 1747 Gorizia formed a County of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the Inner Austrian Archdukes as part of the Austrian Circle. It was governed by a capitano. Its territory included the upper valley of Isonzo River to Aquileia, the area of Cormons and Duino, and the former Venetian fortress of Gradisca. It was occupied by the Venetians from 1508 until 1509, and in 1511 the County of Gradisca was separated from it by the Habsburgs. In 1747, it ceased to be a separate county and was merged with nearby Gradisca to form the Princely County of Gorizia and Gradisca

During the Napoleonic Wars, Gorizia and Gradisca fell under French rule. In 1805, all of its territories on the right bank of the Isonzo river (including the town of Gradisca d'Isonzo and the westernmost suburbs of Gorizia) were assigned to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. The majority of its territory remained part of the Austrian Empire until 1809, when it was incorporated into the Illyrian Provinces under direct domination of the French Empire. In 1813, Austrian rule was restored. The county was established again in its former borders, including the areas of Monfalcone and Grado, which had previously been an enclave of the Republic of Venice. In 1816, however, the county was included in a wider administrative unit, called Kingdom of Illyria, with the capital in Ljubljana. It remained part of it until its dissolution in 1849; the Austrian Littoral was then formed, comprising the County of Gorizia and Gradisca, Trieste and Istria. In 1861, the territory of the County gained autonomy as the Princely County of Gorizia and Gradisca (Gefürstete Grafschaft Görz und Gradisca/Principesca Contea di Gorizia e Gradisca/Poknežena grofija Goriška in Gradišcanska/Contee principescje di Gurize e Gardiscje), a crown land within Austria-Hungary. The County had its own provincial parliament and enjoyed a large degree of self-government, although it was formally subjected to an Imperial Governor (Landeshauptmann), who carried out the government supervision for the whole territory of the Austrian Littoral.

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