AN ANCIEN BEAUTY
50 – 100 millions years ago
Immense motions of the earth bend and lift the sedimentary rocks formed by the seas that covered the area of today’s Balkans, giving life to the Dinaric Alps and the Karst Plateau, place where today marble is extracted.
During the last Stone age, marble began to be used in the Mediterranean. Although there is no definite evidence, it cannot be excluded that the Aurisina marble was used for Neolithic artistic productions and ornaments.
1st century BC
In 181 BC Roma founded Aquileia. Structures, statues, urns, monuments, and inscriptions are made with the marble of Aurisina, thanks to the recently opened roman quarry, first one of which we have information. Even in Tergeste (the today’s Trieste), one can see a massive use of karst marble.
In Ravenna the most important monument of the Ostrogothic culture in Italy is built with Aurisina marble: the Mausoleum of Theodoric, a building with an amazing architecture which today is part of the World Heritage Site UNESCO.
In the centuries immediately following the Roman empire, even the marble of Aurisina lives a dark period, but it remains one of the most used stones in the near Venice.
With the commercial development of Trieste, due to the proclamation of Free Port, the marble of Aurisina once again became the protagonist of new constructions in cities such as Palazzo Pitteri, the Stock Exchange building and other prestigious examples.
It is with the birth of the Austro-Hungarian empire that the marble of Aurisina has its golden age, finding wide use in Trieste and every part of the reign as for the Imperial Palace of Vienna, the Budapest Parliament and the Opera of Graz.
While Aurisina marble is used in all the most important cities of the reign (Linz, Innsbruck, Graz, Munich, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Prague, Rijeka…) the quarries and the laboratories of Karst count over 3000 workers.
After Trieste annexation to Italy, the marble of Aurisina is chosen for the Military Memorial of Redipuglia and the Central Station of Milan. For the first time, it arrives overseas countries and is used in Egypt and the USA.
In the second post-war period, the stone keeps finding luck in the foreign markets: subways of Atlanta (USA) and Frankfurt, Berlin airport, Business District of Paris.
Almost 100.000 square meters of karst stone are used to pave and decorate the line 3 of the Milan subway.
Aurisina marble continues to find widespread use around the world, as well by the starchitect such as Zaha Hadid, who uses it for the exterior flooring of its Citylife Shopping District of Milan, and by Cino Zucchi for the interior flooring of the Lavazza headquarters in Turin.