TRENT, AUSTRIA (Lat. Tridentum; Ital. Trenlo; Ger. Trient), the capital of the south or Italian-speaking portion of the Austrian province of Tirol, It stands on the left bank of the Adige where this river is joined by the Fersina, and is a station on the Brenner railway, 35 m. S. of Botzen and 565 m. N. of Verona. It has a very picturesque appearance, especially when approached from the north, with its embattled walls and towers filling the whole breadth of the valley. A conspicuous feature in the view is the isolated rocky citadel of Doss Trento (the Roman Verruca), that rises on the right bank of the Adige to a height of 308 ft. above the city and is now very strongly fortified, as are various other positions near Trent giving access to Trent from the east (Val Sugana) or the west (valley of the Sarca). With its numerous palaces, substantial houses, broad streets, and spacious squares, Trent presents the aspect of a thoroughly Italian city, and its inhabitants (24,868 in 1900, including a garrison of over 2000 men) speak Italian only it is the centre of the region called Italia Irredenta by fervent Italian patriots. The Duomo or cathedral church (dedicated to San Vigilio, the first bishop) was built in four instalments between the nth and 1sth centuries, and was restored in 1882-1889. More interesting historically is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, built in 1514-1539, and the scene of the sessions of the famous Ecumenical Council (as to which, see below) which lasted, with several breaks, from 1545 to 1563; near it, in the open, a column was erected in 1845, on the occasion of the three hundredth anniversary of the opening of the Council. To the east of the city rises the Castello del Buon Consiglio, for centuries the residence of the prince-bishops, but now used as barracks. There is a huge town hall, which also houses the museum and the very extensive town library. Trent lives rather on its historical souvenirs than on its industries, which are not very extensive, viticulture, silk-spinning and the preparation of salami (a strongly spiced kind of Italian sausage) being the chief. Ecclesiastically Trent is a suffragan see of the archbishopric of Salzburg. Opposite the railway station a statue of Dante was erected in 1896, for he is believed to have visited this region about 1304.
Trent was originally the capital of the Tridentini, and is mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary as a station on the great road from Verona to Veldidena (Innsbruck) over the Brenner. It was later ruled by the Ostrogoths (sth century) and the Lombards (6th century) after the conquest of whom by the Franks (774) Trent became part of the kingdom of Italy. But hi 1027 the emperor Conrad II. bestowed all temporal rights in the region on the bishop (the see dates from the 4th century) and transferred it to Germany, an event which fixed all its later history. The Venetian attacks were finally repulsed in 1487, and the bishop retained his temporal powers till 1803 when they passed to Austria, to which (save 1805-1814, when first the Bavarians and then Napoleon held the region) they have ever since belonged, the Trentino being annexed formally to Tirol in 1814. (W. A. B. C.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)