Gorizia Celebrities

Gorizia boasts a conspicuous cultural heritage: infact besides taking part in many important historical events, it was home of various known personalities; the most famous are Carlo Michelstaedter, Nicolò Pacassi, Max Fabiani, Graziadio Isaia Ascoli and Italico Brass.
These personalities had a considerable role in the growth of the cultural prestige, not only of Gorizia, but also of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Carlo Michelstaedter

Carlo Michelstaedter was born in 1887 in Gorizia, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian County of Gorizia and Gradisca, as the youngest of four children in a well-to-do Italian-speaking Jewish family.
He was a scrappy and introverted boy, but by the end of high school (which he attended in Gorizia), he developed into a brilliant, athletic, intelligent youth. He enrolled in the department of mathematics in Vienna, but soon moved to Florence, a city he savored for its arts and language. There he made friends with other students, and in the end enrolled in the department of letters of the local Istituto di Studi Superiori (1905). He majored in Greek and Latin, and selected for his graduation thesis a philosophical study of
persuasion and rhetoric in ancient philosophy. In 1909 he returned to Gorizia and set himself to work on the thesis.
By about the fall of 1910, he completed his work, finishing the appendices by 17 October. He was surely very tired, and that day he had a fight with his mother, who complained he hadn't wished her a happy birthday. Left alone, Carlo took a loaded pistol he had in the house and killed himself. One of his friends from Florence, a Russian woman, had also committed suicide, and probably also a brother who lived in America. Friends and relatives published his works and collected his writings, now in the Bibliote
ca Civica in Gorizia.


Tracing the development of Michelstaedter's ideas is difficult: his philosophical vision seems to have formed suddenly, and his brief life didn't allow him to explore other directions. For him common life is an absence of life, narrow and deluded as it is by the god of pleasure, which deceives man, promising pleasures and results that are not real, although he thinks they are. Only by living in the present as if every moment were the last can man free himself from the fear of death, and thus achieve Persuasion; that is, self-possession. Resignation and adapting onself to the world, for Michelstaedter, is the true death.

(As from Wikipedia)

Nicolò Pacassi


(1716, Wiener Neustadt - 1790, Vienna) was an Austrian architect of Italian (Gorizian) descent. He was born in Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria in a family of merchants from Gorizia. In 1753 he was appointed court architect to Maria Theresa of Austria. He was commissioned many works throughout the Austrian Empire, mainly in Vienna, Prague and Buda.
Maria Theresa of Austria ordered her architect-of-the-court to reshape the palace and garden of
Schönbrunn in a way of the style of the Rococo era. The palace was a present from her father and she decided to make it the imperial summer residence, after she was crowned.
When Empress Maria Theresa decided to start the renovation of the desolate complex of Prague Castle, which had been damaged by the Prussian bombardment, she entrusted the task to Nicolo Pacassi. His design aimed at linking up the individual buildings in the southern part of the Castle complex with a single monumental façade, and to create a new entrance space from the west.
Nicolo Pacassi also modified the plans of the splendid, U-shaped Baroque
Buda Castle which had been drawn by Jean Nicolas Jadot, chief architect of the Viennese court. The foundation stone of the palace was laid on 13 May 1749. In 1769 the palace was finished.
In 1791 the palace became the residence of the Habsburg Palatines of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The most important works of Nicolo Pacassi are:
- 1743 extension of Schloss Hetzendorf; Schloss_Schoenbrunn.jpg
- 1743-49 extension of Schönbrunn Palace (in the picture);
- 1749-58 Buda Castle;
- 1753-54 extension of Spanish hall of Prague Castle;
- 1753-75 Royal Palace of Prague Castle;
- 1761-63 Rebuilt the Theater am Kärntnertor, Vienna;
- 1770 Reconstruction of Prague's Cathedral St Vitus' Tower;
- 1766 Extension of Ballhausplatz;
- Palazzo Attems Petzenstein, Gorizia;
- Barock façade of Castello De Bosizio, Vorghesca

(As from Wikipedia)

Max Fabiani220px-Max_Fabiani.jpg

Max Fabiani was born in 1865 in Austria-Hungary.
He came from a gentry family, which could afford to provide a good education for the children.
After attending elementary school in San Daniele del Carso, now in Slovenia, he decided to continue his scientific studies at the Realschule of Ljubljana.
He continued his studies at the polytechnic Technische Hochschule in Vienna, and after graduating, he obtained a scholarship that gave him the chance to visit Asia Minor, and almost all of Europe.

When he returned to Vienna, he joined Otto Wagner's studio after Wagner himself urged him to do so and stayed there until the end of the century.
He designed several important works in Vienna, Trieste and Ljubljana: after the earthquake of 1895 he designed a number of works in the reconstruction of the city.
After the First World War he moved to Gorizia, where he worked and rebuilt the town which had been severely damaged by war.
In the 30s and 40s he moved to the home village of San Daniele del Carso where he became a bailiff and worked for the restructuring of the fortifications of the village. He continud his work as an architect and designed monumental works under fascism.
He died in Gorizia in 1962 at the age of 97.


Commercial Industrial Bank Gorizia, Italy 1903DD2490_gorizia_duomo_di_gorizia.jpg
Restoration of the Cathedral of Gorizia, Italy 1919
Villa Bigot Gorizia, Italy 1921
House Pellegrini Gorizia, Italy 1922
House Felberbaum, Gorizia, Italy 1925

Metropolitan Church of the Sacred Heart, Gorizia, Italy, 1934
Loggia tower in memory of the victims of the War 1915-1918, Gorizia, Italy 1937

(As from Wikipedia)

Graziadio Isaia Ascoli


He was an Italian linguist.
Ascoli was born in an Italian-speaking Jewish family from Gorizia, which was then part of the Austrian Empire. As a boy, he learned some of the other languages traditionally spoken in the town, German, Friulan and Venetian
Ascoli considered himself above all a Friulan of Jewish religion, but was also an Italian patriot. Among other things, he coined the term Venezia-Giulia as an alternative name for his native region. After World War I, Ascoli's newly invented name became the official denomination for the region previously known as the Austrian Litoral. He also coined the name Venezia Tridentina (which doesn't exist any longer) for the territory of today's region of Trentino Alto Adige.
In 1860 he was appointed professor of linguistics at the Accademia scientifico-letteraria in Milan and introduced the study of comparative philology, Romance studies, and Sanskrit.
He made an important contribution to the study of the relationship between Indo.European and Semitic languages and was a pioneer in the fields of Latin l and Celtic languages.
In Italy, he is above all known for his studies of Italian dialects, which he was the first to classify systematically.
He died in Milan at the age of 78.

(As from Wikipedia)

Italico Brass external image Castello_Udine--200x150.jpg

Very famous irredentist painter, Italico Brass was born on 14th Dicember 1870 in Gorizia. His father wanted him to become a wine trader but he had to surrender when he realized how talented his son was! So Italico Brass had the chance to study in Munich, with Karl Raupp. He kept on studying Art in Paris and through Riccardo Brass's ( Italico's brother ) economic assistance he could successfully end his studies . During that time he met his wife, Lina Rebecca, whom he married in 1895. Some time later he started working in Venice and created one of the most important collections of pictures made by Tintoretto, Tiziano and Veronese ( now kept in Abbazia della Misericordia). He died in Venice in 1943. He's known for his paintings of Venice. His art is at the same time brightly impressionist in colours (indeed he is comparable with Monet and the paintings he made before 1908; after this date Monet's art is quite different and Brass isn't comparable with him anymore ) and reminds of Canaletto and Guardi. Always very far from the major artistic European trends, his art is rather personal. Infact his paintigs of Venice bring him to catch the private aspect of the city, which not many artists before him could catch as well without falling in pitiable paintings. His best paintings are those of the period between 1904 and 1925.
Italico Brass is known in Gorizia cause through his paintings he documented the events of “First World War”. He didn’t anyway paint like Otto Dix, George Gross or Albin Egger- Lienz (who used to condemn the death, the tragedies on the battlefield and the uselessness of war). First World War was observed by the artist in the quietest parts of Carso and probably he testified of the conquest of Gorizia during August 1916.

Anyway he was in charge of drawing quick sketches to document the story of the War. His work was collected and published under the name “ Sulle orme di San Marco” ( on St. Mark's tracks ).
Here are some of the paintings by Italico Brass.

external image d5175634l.jpgexternal image italico-brass.jpg

(As from Wikipedia)