The Lighthouse of Trieste, also referred to as the Lighthouse of the Victory, is located in Trieste the easternmost city on the Italian coast and close to the Istrian border (Jugoslavia).
The Lighthouse of the Victory is an impressive work by the famous architect Arduino Berlam (1880-1946) and of the sculptor Giovanni Mayer (1863-1943) and has two important functions. Besides being an aid to navigation for Trieste Bay, it is also a commemorative monument dedicated to soldiers who died during the Great War (WWI). The inscription at the base of the tower reads, "shine and remind of the fallen on sea MCMXV - MCMXVIII."
The idea of the monument lighthouse first came into being in 1918. The mount of Gretta was chosen since it provided a very good position at 60 meters above sea level and it had a solid foundation in the round earthwork of the former Austrian Fort Kressich which was built between 1854 and 1857. The lighthouse has a large base and externally is covered by blocks of stone from Carso and Istria. Above the column is a "capital" that supports the "crows nest." As defined with a clear reference to a ship's mast in which is inserted the bronze and crystal cage of the lantern covered by a copper dome decorated with a scale-like motif. The top of the dome is surmounted by the statue of the Victory made of embossed copper and weighing about 7 hundred kilos, sculpted by Giovanni Mayer. The ornamental part is completed by a powerful sculpture of a seaman which was carried out with 100 tons of stones from Orsera.
Under the statue is affixed the anchor of the torpedo boat Audace (the first Italian ship that entered the Port of Trieste on November 3, 1918). The anchor was donated by Admiral Thaon di Revel along with two projectiles of the Viribus Unitis which are placed on both sides of the lighthouse entry.
The lantern which stands at about 130 meters above sea level with 1,250,000 candle power has a visibility of 35 miles. The lighthouse began operation in 1923 and ended on May 24, 1927 with the inauguration of King Vittorio Emanuele III. In May of 1986, the lighthouse was reopened as an active aid to navigation.
This story appeared in the
February 1998 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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