Trieste National Hall
The Trieste National Hall (Slovene: Narodni dom) or Balkan Hotel (Hotel Balkan) in Trieste, Italy, was a multimodal building that hosted the centre of the Slovene minority in the city, which included the Slovene theatre in Trieste, and a hotel. It is notable for having been burnt in 1920 by Italian Fascists, which made it a symbol of the Italian repression of Slovene minority in Italy. The building was restored from 1988 until 1990.
Such national halls were typical of the Slovene Lands at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries. It was built by the plans of the Triestine architect Max Fabiani from 1902 as a Mediterranean palace from massive brick and completed in 1904. It had a monumental façade and was very modernly equipped with an electric generator and central heating.
The Fascist attack
On 13 July 1920, as reaction to the July 11 Split incident the building was burnt by the Fascist Blackshirts, led by Francesco Giunta. The act was praised by Benito Mussolini, who was at the time yet to become a duce, as a "masterpiece of the Triestine fascism" (Italian: capolavoro del fascismo triestino...). It was part of a wider pogrom against the Slovenes and other Slavs in the very centre of Trieste and the harbinger of the ensuing violence against the Slovenes and Croats in the Julian March.
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