Gorizia Castle, locally known as Castello di Gorizia, lies in the bordertown of the same name in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy.
The village of Gorizia was first mentioned in a document dated 28 April 1001, by which Emperor Otto III granted half of Gorizia Castle and estate of Salcano with the village of Gorizia to Patriarch Johannes II and the other half to Count Verihen di Friuli. In 1117 the fief became the property of Marquardo di Eppenstein, governor of the Church of Aquileia, and the first of the mighty Counts of Gorizia.
During the reign of the Counts of Gorizia the castle was the seat of the county and gradually enlarged and strengthened as their power grew. At their peak the counts ruled large parts of north eastern Italy and parts of present Austria and Slovenia.
Wars, marriages and alliances eventually brought Gorizia into the sphere of influence of the Habsburg Empire, so when Leonardo, last Count of Gorizia, died in 1500 the fief was taken over by the Habsburg Emperor; Maximilian I. The Habsburgs reinforced the castle's defenses but were not able to fend off the Venetian army. The Venetians, under the command of Bartolomeo d'Alviano, occupied the castle in 1508 and held it for a brief period in which they modernized the castle to the new methods of warfare. The Venetian coat of arms can still be seen above the main entrance gate.
In 1509 Gorizia Castle returned to the Habsburg Empire. During the 17th century the castle was used as a prison and barracks and almost totally lost its medieval appearance. In 1813 the castle passed to the French but was returned to Austria a year later.
In the course of World War I Gorizia Castle suffered its first major damages in over nine centuries when it was bombed. At the end of this war the castle was nothing more than a ruin. It was rebuilt in 1934-37 after its own 16th century design. In 1943 the castle was occupied by German troops and its north east garden was used for executions.
So, although this is a rebuilt castle it still has a very medieval feel to it. The museum inside is also worth your visit.