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Gradisca d'Isonzo

Gradisca d'Isonzo is a town and comune of the Province of Gorizia in Friuli-Venezia GiuliaGeographyThe municipality is located in north-eastern Italy on the right bank of the Isonzo River, about 12km southwest of Gorizia. It received town privileges on 14 July 1936. As of 2011, the population of Gradisca is about 6,580.The town is an important centre of the Friulian culture in the Julian Venetia region.HistoryThe town's name is a Slavic toponym: in archaic Slovene, gradišče (cf. gord) was a term indicating a fortified site or a ruin and is a widespread toponym in the Slovene Lands. The strategic important area on the Isonzo River was probably already settled in Roman times and under the Lombard kingdom, later exposed to the attacks by Hungarian forces on Northern Italy.The rural settlement of Gradisca is mentioned for the first time in 1176, when it had a mixed population of Slavic and Latin origin. It then belonged to the estate of Farra, held by the Patriarchs of Aquileia. From 1420 onwards their lands were gradually conquered by the Republic of Venice, annexed and incorporated into the Venetian Domini di Terraferma in 1473. The Venetians fortified Gradisca as a bastion against Ottoman raids, then part of a massive defence line along the Isonzo River relying on plans designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
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