Monday, December 1, 2008

Theme day: Circles/Spheres

"Wheel of the Thirteen Families"

In Trieste, as in other cities during the course of the 13th century, different brotherhoods were set up; some were strictly devotional while others were for the social and organizational needs of various crafts.
Among these there is still the memory of that of the thirteen noble families from Trieste, who claimed they were descended from local Roman aristocrats.
According to the tradition they got together on 2nd February 1246 to form the Brotherhood of St. Francis, later called the Thirteen Families, at the church of St. Francis of the Friars Minor, where today there is the church of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso (S.Antonio Vecchio) in Piazza Hortis.
The thirteen families were Argento, Baseggio, Belli, Bonomo, Burlo, Cigotti, Giuliani, Leo, Padovino, Pellegrini, Petazzi, Stella and Toffani.
They were all merchant families and earned their living from salt works, farming, vineyards and the ownership of land and property.


The brotherhood had a closed number of 40 members and no member from another aristocratic family was accepted.
It was suppressed, with other brotherhoods, in 1773 on the orders of Emperor Joseph II. They were always involved in civic institutions and some members distinguished themselves outside Trieste too.

The first family to die out was the Toffani family at the end of the 16th century and the last one was the Burlo family in 1918.

The so called "Wheel of the Thirteen Families", made in stone, comes from a monument which was built by the sculptor Ivan Rendic to commemorate the fifth centenary of the Dedication of Trieste to Austria (1882), inaugurated on 25th March 1889 in the square in front of the station (which is now Piazza della Libertà) and demolished in 1919.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

10 comments:

Blognote said...

A beautiful sculpture and thanks for sharing this very interesting part of Trieste's history! Ciao

USelaine said...

Their coats-of-arms look a bit like so many violins in a circle. Wonderful to hear the history; thanks!

Jim said...

Neat looking sculpture, and the history behind it as well.

Saretta said...

Excellent choice for circle day and fascinating history...thanks!

Bolina Stretta said...

Incredibile.
Ho vissuto a Trieste per 22 anni, e non ho mai ne sentito questa storia affscinante ne' mai visto la Ruota delle Tredici Famiglie. Ho sentito di "vecchie e nobili famiglie triestin" ma mai in questo contesto.

Grazie per l' angolo "storico" di questo grigio Lunedi texano...

babooshka said...

The narrative explanation accompany the unusual circle perfectly.

Kuanyin Moi said...

Fascinating information as well as a stunning photo for the theme!

Hilda said...

I love historical, informative posts like this! They're so interesting! Thank you.

I'm a little late, but happy theme day!

Tash said...

Beautiful and so very interesting. I really enjoy these type of relief sculptures and will look up more on Ivan Rendic.

Keropok Man said...

I think the 13 designs looks interesting. I just wondered if I should have one for my family. :-p


Happy Belated Theme Day!