Storia

The existence of Gemona del Friuli was mentioned by Paolo Diacono in his “History of the Lombards“, who reports than in 611 it was considered an unassailable castle.

Since prehistoric times, Gemona was one of the most important mandatory points of passage of the road from the Adriatic goes to the north-eastern Alpine passes. The plain where now have grown largely urban settlements was once dominated by the Tagliamento river swamps and the safest and obligatory path was what provided a passage for the actual historic center and then continue to the Alto Friuli. The first Celtic settlements can be cataloged around 500 BC in the current village that today is known as Godo. It is there that is still present Silans fountain (Silans in Latin means precisely spring) that proves even more that even in Roman times the Via Julia Augusta crossed these lands, thesis supported also by the numerous archaeological finds that have been unearthed in that area.

In the second half of the XII century it was a free municipality, with its own statutes, while in the XIII and XIV centuries was an important center of trade under the Patriarchate of Aquileia. With the Institute of Niederlech (“discharge”), it was indeed imposed to the merchants transit warehousing as well as pay a duty and to spend the night in town. The prosperity it also made a center of primary relevance, enriched by churches and noble residences, with a castle protected by city walls.

After a decrease of the traffics as a result of the conquest by the Republic of Venice in 1420, the town had a long period of decline, until the recovery in the second half of the XX century.

The town of Gemona was renamed to Gemona del Friuli in 1935.

In 1976 it was devastated by the earthquake of May 6th (almost 4,000 deaths) and 15th September, that caused the collapse of part of the cathedral, point of reference for the whole city, and the castle, currently under reconstruction. Several crashes were favored by old age of the buildings, which had been spared from the devastation of World Wars. After the earthquake, it was totally rebuilt with seismic criteria becoming the symbol of Friulian nature, tenacious and hard-working.

It is the most important municipality of an area that is known as “Gemonese”, at the foot of the Julian Alps, including the municipalities of Artegna, Bordano, Buja, Montenars, Osoppo, Trasaghis and Venzone.

The municipality includes different geographically areas: from the villages of the plain of Campo Lessi, Taboga and Campagnola, to the more hilly Ospedaletto and Stalis, before reaching a large area of the Julian Alps. In this area in fact the land becomes mountainous and the climate typical of mountain regions. Within the City flows the river Vegliato that crossed the base of the mountain Cjampon, reaches the plain area of the town before being channeled first into an artificial river bed and later becoming the so-called “Roggia dei Molini” from bearing their name also some areas like “Borgo Molino“.  

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