The College of Hereditary Nobility of Hungary

Istria | Fiume


Carolingian March

Carolingian Istria was incorporated into the Carolingian Duchy of Friuli in eastern Italy, de facto a march with a merely titular ducal dignity. The Istrian margravate itself was first created following the death of Duke Eric of Friuli in the 799 Siege of Trsat. He was the margrave who had thitherto guarded the Pannonian plain which led into Italy and the heart of the Empire.

The march was enfeoffed to the Frankish count Hunfrid, who also bore the title of a dux Foroiulanus. The original Carolingian march covered the Julian Alps and the Kras Plateau down to the Gulf of Kvarner. It was one of three marches, along with Friuli and Carantania, guarding eastern Lombardy from the Avars, Slavs, and Magyars successively.

In the first decade of the ninth century, Istria was ruled by one Duke John, nominally according to its ancient Byzantine customs, but in fact as Frankish duchy. The region then had nine cities, Trieste foremost among them. Under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 812, by which the Byzantine Empire recognised the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, Istria, at least its western coast, along with Venice and the Dalmatian coast was returned to Byzantine control. After this, it falls into obscurity, but perhaps the Byzantines never succeeded in re-establishing their government in the returned territories, if they were actually handed over. Istria was probably eventually just re-integrated into the Duchy of Friuli.

After the deposition of Duke Baldric, Emperor Louis the Pious at the 829 Reichstag in Worms finally divided the vast duchy into four counties, with Istria and Friuli ruled from Aquileia by Margrave Eberhard and his Unruoching descendants. It became part of Middle Francia after the 843 Treaty of Verdun, and was allotted to Emperor Louis II's Italian Kingdom in 855.

Imperial March

After the German king Otto I had campaigned for northern Italy under King Berengar II, he in 952 granted the March of Verona and Istria to his brother Duke Henry I of Bavaria, who already controlled the adjacent March of Carinthia. After the deposition of Henry's son and successor Duke Henry the Wrangler, in 976, Emperor Otto II separated Carinthia from the Bavarian stem duchyg4105 as a duchy in its own right, ruled by Duke Henry the Younger, who was given suzerainty over the southeastern Bavarian marches, including Istria.

There appear counts of Istria late in the tenth century, but Istria together with the March of Carniola was separated from the Carinthian duchy in 1040, when both were bestowed on the Thuringian Count Poppo of Weimar, heir by marriage to the last-known Friulian margrave Weriand. The Carniolan margraves gradually acquired the eastern territories, while the western and southern coast was gradually occupied by the Republic of Venice. The German King Henry IV nominally assigned the remaining march to the Patriarchate of Aquileia, the margravial title and the Istrian territories were however retained by Carniola. In 1173, the Hohenstaufen Emperor enfeoffed the Bavarian noble House of Andechs, who attached Istria to their Duchy of Merania. Aquileia regained Istria in 1209, when the Andechs margraves were banned due to alleged entanglement in the assassination of the German king, Frederick Barbarossa's son Philip of Swabia.
By mid-century most of the Istrian coast had been conquered by Venice. The patriarchs had ceased appointing margraves and had given the remaining interior of the peninsula into the direct control of their Vogt officials, the Counts of Gorz. The Gorz territories were finally acquired by the Habsburg archdukes of Austria in 1374, who since 1335 had held the Carniolan march. In 1382, they also gained control over the City of Trieste.

After the secular territory of the Patriarchs of Aquileia had been completed conquered by Venice in 1420, most of Istria belonged to La Serenissima. The Austrian House of Habsburg only held a small territory in the interior of the peninsula around Pazin (Mitterburg), which it administered from its Carniolan duchy. The Habsburg rulers, nevertheless, added the title of a "Margrave of Istria" to their other titles, persisting until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918.

Venetian Istria fell to the Habsburg Monarchy according to the 1797 Treaty of Campo Formio, was seized by Napoleon in the 1805 Peace of Pressburg as part of the Kingdom of Italy and the Illyrian Provinces and with the Kingdom of Illyria all of Istria was finally allotted to the Austrian Empire by the 1815 Congress of Vienna.

After the partition of the Illyrian Kingdom in 1849, the Margravate of Istria became a subdivision of the Austrian Littoral crown land. It received considerable autonomy with the establishment of the Diet of Istria at Porec by the 1861 February Patent.

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