country miles feet district
GORZ, with GUADISCA, is one of the crown-lands of the Austrian monarchy, between 45° 36' 3" and 46° 27" N. lat., and bounded N. by Carinthia, E. by Carniola, Istria, and the Triestine territory, S. by the Triestine territory and the Adriatic, and W. by Italy. On all sides, except towards the south-west where it unites with the Friulian lowland, it is surrounded by mountains, and four-sixths at least of its area of 1140 square miles is occupied by mountains and hills. From the ridge of the Julian Alps, which rise in an almost unbroken line to a height of 6000 or 7000 feet, the country descends in successive terraces towards the sea, and may roughly be divided into the upper highlands, the lower highlands, the hilly district, and the lowlands. The highest summit is the Terglou, 9370 feet., in the north-west. Geologically the country is a great limestone district, comprising limestone of many different formations, Rhaetian, Jurassic, Neocomian, and Nummulitic ; and the strata have evidently undergone a series of powerful disturbances. The hydrography is sufficiently peculiar, a considerable proportion of the circulation of the waters taking place by underground channels. The limits of the country coincide in the main with that of the basin of the Isonzo, which rises in the extreme north at a height of 2650 feet, and pursues a strange zigzag course for a distance of 78 miles before it reaches the Adriatic. At Gorz the Isonzo is still 138 feet above the sea, and it is navigable only in its lowest section, where it takes the name of the Sdobba. Its tributaries, of which the most important are the Idria, the Torre, and the Wippach, are little more than mountain streams. Of special interest not only in itself but for the frequent allusions to it in classical literature is the Timavus or Timavo. In ancient times it appears, according to the well-known description of Virgil (Xn., i. 244) to have rushed from the mountain by nine separate mouths and with much noise and commotion, but at present it usually issues from only three mouths and flows quiet and still. It is strange enough, however, to see the river coming out full formed from the rock, and capable at its very source of bearing vessels on its bosom. According to a probable hypothesis it is a continuation of the river Reka which is lost in a cleft of the rock in the south-east of the country near S. Canziano. The coast-line of Gijrz and Gradisea, though extending for 25 miles, presents no harbour of much importance. It is fringed by alluvial deposits and lagoons which are for the most part of very modern formation; for as late as the 4th or 5th centuries Aquileia was a great seaport-. The harbour of Grado is the only one accessible to the larger kind of coasting craft. A large part of the country formerly covered with forest has been recklessly cleared, but the Taruova plateau is still a fine wooded district with an area of about 35 or 40 square miles. The red beech is the predominant and in some parts almost the exclusive tree, but it is being displaced by the fir and the pine. A number of pits in the plateau are full of ice all the year round, and yield about 16,000 cwts. annually for the consumption of the neighbouring countries. More than a fifth of the area of the country is pasture-land, and less than a twenty-fourth is under the plough.
The vine is largely cultivated, being not only planted in regular vineyards but introduced in long lines through the ordinary fields and carried up the hills in terraces locally called ronchi. Wheat, maize, buck-wheat, and potatoes are the usual crops. Silk growing is largely carried on, especially in the lowlands, and furnishes the material for the most extensive industry of the country. There are about 2000 workers in silk, and the produce is worth upwards of £200,000, while the cotton manufacture, which is next in importance, employs about 1000, and produces £100,000. Leather, linen, paper, and soap are manufactured on a smaller scale. The trade of the country is of very little importance. Gorz and Gradisca, according to the constitution of 1861, have a diet consisting of six representatives of the landed proprietors, seven representatives of the towns and industrial interests, and eight representatives of the rural communes. The elector for the landed interest must pay 100 florins (about £1.0) of land-tax in the Italian circle, and 50 florins (about £5) in the Slovenian circle. Two representatives are sent to the imperial council. The political administration is in the hands of the lieutenant of the coast-lands, which include not only Gorz and Gradisca but also Trieste and Istria, Roman Catholicism is the exclusive religion, the only Protestant community being in the town of Gorz, and the Jews numbering only some 400. Ethnographically the population must contain much more various elements, but in 1857, out of a total of 196,276 inhabitants, 130,748 were registered as Slovenians, 47,8.41 as Friulians, 15,134 as Italians, and only 2150 as Germans.
Gorz first appears distinctly in history about the close of the 10th century, as part of a district bestowed by the emperor Otto III. on John, patriarch of Aquileia. In the 11th century it became the seat of the Eppenstein family, who frequently bore the title of counts of Gorizia ; and in the beginning of the 12th century the countship passed from them to the Lurngan family which continued to exist till the year 1500, and acquired possessions in Tyrol, Carinthia, Friuli, and Styria. In the course of the 13th and 14th centuries the counts often appear as protectors (Sehirmvogt or Admeatu.$) of the church of Aquileia and as captains-general of Friulia. When the Venetians took possession of Frinlia they gave Count Henry the title of hereditary marshal as a compensation for his loss of office. The right of coining was exercised by the counts from the 13th century. On the death of Count Leonhard (12th April 1500) the fief reverted to the house of Hapsburg.