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definition - Kingdom_of_Illyria

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Kingdom of Illyria

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Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Illyria (1816-1849)
Kingdom of Illyria within Austrian Empire (1822-1849)
map of the enlarged Kingdom of Illyria

The Kingdom of Illyria was an administrative unit of the Austrian Empire from 1816 to 1849. Its administrative centre was Laibach (present-day Ljubljana) and it included the western and central part of present-day Slovenia, the present Austrian state of Carinthia, as well as some territories in north-western Croatia and north-eastern Italy (namely the Provinces of Trieste and Gorizia).


The Kingdom of Illyria was formed after the end of the Napoleonic wars, when the territory of the former Illyrian Provinces which had belonged to the First French Empire between 1809 and 1813, were again incorporated in the Austrian Empire. The legal and administrative reforms made by the French authorities deeply transformed the administrative structures of these territories, so the Austrian Imperial authorities thought it better to group most of them as a separate administrative entity, enabling a slow incorporation into the Austrian legal, judicial and administrative system.

The Kingdom of Illyria was officially established in 1816. In the first years, it comprised territory both in the Slovene Lands and of the Kingdom of Croatia. Already in the early 1820s, however, the pre-Napoleonic Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia was again established, in which also the territories forming part of the Kingdom of Illyria were included. Thus from the 1820s on, the Kingdom of Illyria only included the following traditional provinces: the Duchy of Carinthia, the Duchy of Carniola, and the Austrian Littoral.

In the Spring of Nations in 1848, Slovenes advanced a proposal to include Lower Styria in the Kingdom of Illyria, so most of the Slovene Lands would be united in a single administrative entity and the idea of an United Slovenia would thus be achieved. Peter Kozler designed a map of such an enlarged Kingdom of Illyria, which would later become an important national symbol in the Slovenian national awakening. The proposal was however rejected. In 1849 the Kingdom of Illyria ceased to exist as a separate administrative entity and the old crown territories of Carinthia, Carniola and the Austrian Littoral were again re-established. This division lasted until 1918.

See also

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History of Slovenia

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Slavic settlement of the Eastern Alps
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