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Archdiocese of Udine

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The city of Udine, the capital of a province and archdiocese in Friuli, northern Italy, is situated in a region mainly agricultural. its cathedral, built in 1236 by the Patriarch Bertoldo, was altered several times, most recently, in 1706, through the munificence of the Manin family, whose tombs adorn the choir. It contains paintings by Pordenone, Tiepolo (chapel of the Blessed Sacrament), Matteo da Verona, etc.; statutes by Torretto (St. Bertrand), Linardi (Pius IX), Minisini (Archbishop Bricato). In the baptistery is a font by Giovanni da Zuglio (1480) and paintings by Tiepolo. The oldest church at Udine is that of S. Maria di Castello, transformed in the sixteenth century. S. Antonio Abbate contains the tombs of the patriarchs Francesco and Ermolao Barbaro; SS. Filippo e Giacomo, statutes by Contieri; S. Peitro Martire and the Zitelle e S. Chiara contain noteworthy pictures; the Madonna delle Grazie preserves a much venerated Byzantine Madonna and is rich in sculpture and paintings. Among the profane edifices, the Castelo, which acquired its present form in 1517, was the residence of the patriarchs of Aquileia, then of the Venetian governor, and is now a barrack; it contains a great parliament chamber painted by Amalteo, Tiepolo, and others. The city hall (1457), the work of Nicolo Lionello, in a sober and graceful Gothic style, is rich in paintings by the most celebrated Venetian masters, as is also the archiepiscopal palace, built by the Patriarch Francesco Barbaro, especially remarkable for the salon of Giovanni da Udine. The city hospital was built in 1782 by Archbishop Gradenigo. Many of the private residences also are rich in works of art.

Where the city of Udine now stands there existed, in the Roman period, a fortified camp, probably for the defence of the Via Julia Agusta leading from Aguileia to the Carnic Alps. Narses also made use of this fort after the Gothic War. No mention, however, is found of Utinum until 983, when Otho II granted its stronghold to Radoalso, Patriarch of Aquileia, Prince of Friuli and Istria. A centre of population went on forming here from that time, and successive patriarchs provided it with water-supply and other institutions. The population was notably increased by the arrival of Tuscan exiles in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In the thirteenth century the patriarch was represented by a gastaldo, while twelve nobles and twelve commons represented the people in the government. The privileges of the citizens were augmented by the Patriarchs Ramondo della Torre (1291) and Bertrando di Saint Genais (1340) on account of the loyalty displayed by the Udinese in the wars against the Visconti of Milan and against the small feudatories. As early as the thirteenth century Udine was the ordinary residence of the patriarchs, and in 1348, when Aquileia was destroyed by an earthquake, the see was definitively transferred to Udine. In 1381 the city opposed Cardinal Philip of Alencon, who had been given the See of Aquileia in commendam; they wished to have an effective prince and patriarch, and the consequent war ended only with the cardinal's renunciation (1387). There was also a popular rising against Giovanni, Margrave of Moravia, who wished to revise the Constitution. In 1420 Udine, after a long siege, surrendered to the Venetians, and thenceforward it belonged to the republic, being the capital of Friuli. However, it retained in substance its ancient form of government. Udine was the birthplace of the military leaders Savorgnano and Colloredo and the painters Giovanni da Udine, Pellegrino da S. Daniele, Giovanni di Martino, and Odorico Politi.

In 1752 the Patriarchate of Aquileia was suppressed, and the two Archbishoprics of Udina and Gorizia were formed, the former embracing that part of the patriarchate which was subject to the Republic of Venice. The first archbishop was Daniele Dolfin (1752-62), who retained the title of patriarch. In 1818 Udine became a bishopric, subject to the metropolitan See of Venice; Pius IX, however, in 1846, re-established the Archbishopric of Udine, though without suffragans. The archdiocese contains 201 parishes, with 438,000 souls; 703 priests, 3 houses of male and 6 of female religious; 2 educational establishments for boys, and 6 for girls.


CAPPELLETTI, Le chiese d'Italia, VIII; CICONI, Udine e sua provincia (Udine, 1862).

About this page

APA citation. Benigni, U. (1912). Archdiocese of Udine. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Benigni, Umberto. "Archdiocese of Udine." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Udine.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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