Risiera di San Sabba

Trieste, Italy

Risiera di San Sabba is a five-storey brick-built compound located in Trieste, that functioned during World War II as a Nazi concentration camp for the detention and killing of political prisoners, and a transit camp for Jews, most of whom were then deported to Auschwitz. SS members Odilo Globocnik and Karl Frenzel, and Ivan Marchenko are all said to have participated in the killings at this camp. The cremation facilities, the only ones built inside a concentration camp in Italy, were installed by Erwin Lambert. Today, the former concentration camp operates as a civic museum.

The building was erected in 1913 and first used as a rice-husking facility (hence the name 'Risiera'). During World War II, German occupation forces in Trieste used the building to transport, detain and exterminate prisoners. Many occupants of Risiera di San Sabba were transported to the German Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Occupied Poland. Historians estimate that over 3,000 people were killed at the Risiera camp and thousands more imprisoned and transported elsewhere. The majority of prisoners came from Friuli, the Julian March and the Province of Ljubljana.

After the war, the camp served as a refugee center and transit point. In the 1950s, many people, especially ethnic Italians fleeing then communist Yugoslavia, passed through the camp, not to mention Croats and Russians, whose home was San Sabba, San Sabba Annex, Opicina, Gesuiti for more than three years before they were able to emigrate elsewhere.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1913
Category: Industrial sites in Italy

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Reynolds Velayo (2 years ago)
They preserved the history beautifully, regardless of the pain and agony that occurred here.
Zsolt Szegedi (2 years ago)
This is a less known, yet very important site to visit. A remarkable monument of an era that should not be forgotten. For 2 euros only you can buy an audio guide which I really recommend to do so, as otherwise you won't understand what to look at and you won't have all the background information. If you get there by car the most convenient is to park at the supermarket's parking lot nearby.
Phill Smissen (2 years ago)
Small outpost of Nazi/Fascist era... Viewable in about an hour...
David Borso (3 years ago)
Really nice museum! The entry to the museum is free and the audio guide costs only 2€. It shows the horrific things that were happening back then, I can't even imagine how it was in other bigger concentration camps.
Hansi Hinterseer (3 years ago)
The Risiera is a point of reference for anyone interested in how World War II affected the region. That said, politicians and the museum have not recognized the potential and offer a rather small exhibit that lacks proper context. One leaves feeling that Fascism and Nazism killed the political and racial victims - common Italians were not really involved in the entire process it seems!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.