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Peninsula, extending into the northeastern Adriatic Sea. It has an area of 1,220 sq mi (3,160 sq km). Its northern portion is part of Slovenia, while the central and southern parts belong to Croatia. A tiny strip of coast in the northwest is the site of Trieste and belongs to Italy. Istria's ancient Illyrian inhabitants were overthrown by Romans in 177 BC, and Slavic peoples settled there from the 7th century AD. It passed through the hands of various Mediterranean powers until Austria gained control in 1797 and developed Trieste as a port. Istria was seized by Italy in 1919; Yugoslavia occupied most of the peninsula in 1947. Yugoslavian Istria became part of Croatia and Slovenia at those states' independence in 1991.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Istria, visit Britannica.com.