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The area around Polcenigo, particularly rich of springs and watercourses, has been inhabited since ancient times. People of the Neolithic built their palafittes and huts along the banks of river Livenza, in a territory called "Palù" where many lithic finds and several fragments of vase pottery were discovered. Afterwards other people like Celts, Gauls, Carnics and Venets settled near the river and the finding of many personal belongings such as copper articles, lances, earthenware, buckles and belts gives evidence to their presence in this area. In old times a votive chapel was built near the source of river Livenza, perhaps in memory of a divine apparition to a peasant. In 1542 the Greyfriars built a monastery which was subsequently abandoned. Nearby, the Church of the Chiesa della Santissima Trinità, stands beside a romantic wooden bridge, newly rebuilt, crossing the river. The church, built in the XVI century, contains works of great interest: a magnificent wooden haltar with a niche by Domenico da Tolmezzo, a valuable wooden choir and several frescoes.

The castle of Polcenigo stands at the top of a hill in a strategic position, commanding the view over the valley. At first it was a wooden fortress surrounded with a palisade and served merely as a military base.
Throughout the centuries, in accordance with the developing of the burgh, the former fortress was turned into a stony medieval castle and then into a Venetian villa.
Polcenigo - Castle

Polcenigo - Castello

Even today the streets of Polcenigo tell about the agelong events of this extraordinary burgh. The castle, destroyed by a fire, was rebuilt in the 18th century as a Palladian villa by the architect Matteo Lucchesi. Unfortunately, not much of the castle but the restored facade can be seen today:the adjoining medieval chapel of San Pietro collapsed, and so did roofs, columns, fireplaces and the sumptuous dance hall,while the picturesque double flight of 365 steps descending to the burgh was removed.
Nearby, the Franciscan Monastery of San Giacomo, one of the first convents in the diocese of Concordia and parish church at present, shows an interesting architecture and valuable religious furnishings and houses an organ by Giacinto Pescetti dating 1732, one of the last remaining still fully working and occasionally played in high level concerts of baroque and sacred music.

Polcenigo - Palazzo Fullini

Palazzo Fullini - Zaia
In the historical centre of Polcenigo, Palazzo Fullini Zaia, Palazzo Zaro and Palazzo Scolari-Salice are open books from the 16th century forward, to be admired in a limited and unique context.
Palazzo Scolari preserves a small porch dating back to the 14th century and Palazzo Fullini gave shelter to the Prince Eugene de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepson, the night before the battle of Camolli ( 16th April 1809 ), where the French were defeated by the Austrians. The palace has then been used as a hotel and up to a couple of years ago, before its closing for repairs, one could experience a romantic stay in the so called " Napoleon's Room ", kept as it originally was.

Another former Franciscan monastery devoted to the Holy Trinity stands near the sources of river Livenza on a ancient site of heathen rites, and is today a very frequented sanctuary as well as a striking setting for romantic weddings. The early cradle of Christianity in the area was the Pieve di San Floriano,a 10th century church lying at the top of a hill, where was kept a rarest stony christening font for the baptism by immersion, mentioned since 1184 and unfortunately gone lost.
Polcenigo shared the political destiny of Friuli Venezia Giulia, first in the Ecclesiastic Principality of Aquileia, from 1420 under the rule of Venice and from 1797 onwards under the French and the Austro - Hungarian Empire, before being joined to the Italian Kingdom (now Italian Republic) in 1866.

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