Vittoria Light (Italian: Faro
della Vittoria) also known as the Victory Lighthouse, is an active lighthouse
in Trieste, Italy, serving the Gulf of Trieste. It is located on the hill of
Gretta (Poggio di Gretta), off the Strada del Friuli. At a height of 223 feet
(68 m) it is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world.
Position: N 45°40’32“ / E 13°45’25“
The idea to raise a monument in the vicinity arose during World War I,
following capture of Kobarid in the Battles of the Isonzo and following the
Battle of the Piave River. Originally the lighthouse was to rise on the coast
of Istria, near Pula. However, the location eventually chosen was the hill of
Gretta, due to ideal height (60m above sea-level) and the solid foundations
of the former Austrian fort Kressich, built between 1854 and 1857. The
lighthouse plans took shape following the end of the war, in December 1918.
It was designed by triestine architect Arduino Berlam. One of the reasons for
building such a high monument was the desire to build a victory monument
higher than the Berlin Victory Column, which was 62.3 metres (204 ft) high at
the time (it was raised in 1939).
Work started only in 1923 and ended on May 24, 1927 with the inauguration in
the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III.
The structure celebrates the Italian victory and commemorates the fallen of
the first world war, as testified by the inscription "SPLENDI E RICORDA
I CADUTI SUL MARE MCMXV-MCMXVIII" (shine and remind of the fallen on sea
In 1979 the lighthouse was closed for restoration for seven years, and was
reopened to the public May 18, 1986.
The large base of the lighthouse includes the earthwork of the Austrian fort.
The bottom of structure is covered by stone from Carso (specifically from
Gabrie) and the top is covered by stone from Istria (specifically from
Vrsar). It weighs about 8,000 tonnes (7,900 long tons; 8,800 short tons) and
construction involved the use of 1,500 cubic metres (53,000 cu ft) of stone
(or 1,300 cubic metres (46,000 cu ft)), 2,000 cubic metres (71,000 cu ft) of
concrete and 100 tonnes (98 long tons; 110 short tons) of iron.
Above the column is a capital and a crow's nest, in which the bronze crystal
cage of the lantern is inserted. The cage is topped by a copper fome with a
scale-like motif, on top of which is the 7.2 metres (24 ft) statue of winged
victory by sculptor Giovanni Mayer, made of embossed copper and weighing
about 7 tonnes (6.9 long tons; 7.7 short tons).
A 8.6 metres (28 ft) statue of a seaman, also by sculptor Giovanni Mayer,
adorns the front of the lighthouse, made from 100 tonnes (98 long tons; 110
short tons) of stone from Vrsar, under which is the anchor of the Audace (D
551), the first Italian ship to enter the port of Trieste on November 3,
1918, is attached. Two projectiles of the Austrian battleship SMS Viribus
Unitis are placed on both sides of the lighthouse entry.
The light itself is an electrical light since its first lighting. The current
light is a 1000 watt halogen bulb.
Characteristic: 2 white flashes every 10 seconds
The site of the lighthouse is open to the public. The lighthouse itself is
open daily except Wednesdays from April 1 through September 30 and on Sundays
and major feast days during the rest of the year. Reaching the top requires
climbing 285 steps.