Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca (Palace of the Austrian Lieutenancy) or Palazzo della Prefettura (Palace of the Prefecture) is one of the most important palaces in Trieste, located in Piazza Unità d’Italia. Dating back to the Habsburg rule in Trieste, the palace was the seat of the Austrian Lieutenancy, and today houses the Prefecture of Trieste.
The Palace of the Austrian Lieutenancy replaced an old Governmental Palace, built in 1764 by the order of Maria Theresa of Austria, according to the design of the architect Giovanni Fusconi, where the offices of the Imperial Arsenal were located.
Demolished in 1899, the old building gave way to the new construction, the last of the monumental buildings in the square, built between 1901 and 1905, after a design by the architect Emil Artmann.
After being the residence of the last three Austrian lieutenants, in 1918 the palace became the seat of the military governor of Venezia Giulia, Carlo Petitti di Roreto, and after the establishment of the province of Trieste in 1922, the seat of the prefecture.
The sumptuous facade of the palace has a double loggia located in the center, which functioned as a stage for the governor when he spoke to the crowd.
Particular is the mosaic on the facade, with coats of arms of the House of Savoy, made after the First World War, replacing the original mosaics designed by Giuseppe Straka of Vienna, with elements of Austrian origin.
On the main floor of the palace, there were the reception rooms, including the large ballroom, the apartments of the Austrian lieutenant and the rooms for the imperial family. The offices were located on the ground floor, on the mezzanine and on the second floor. Above the modern flat roof, there was a roof garden available to the lieutenant.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca is located in Piazza Unità d’Italia, about 1 kilometer from the Trieste Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is Riva Caduti per l’Italianita di Trieste, near the palace, on the bus Lines 08, 09, 10, 11, 24 and 30.
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