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In the west of Friuli, an area which has been inhabited since prehistoric times, traces of settlements of different ages have been found in several places: Paleolithic (Sequals, Piancavallo, Grotte di Pradis, etc.), Neolithic (the piledwelling Palu di Livenza), the Iron Age (San Vito, Montereale Valcellina, Palse, etc.). Important remains of the Roman period can be found in this area too, especially at Torre di Pordenone. The abbey at Sesto al Reghena dates from the 8th century, therefore the Lombard period. From 1077 to 1420 almost the whole area, as the rest of Friuli, remained temporarily under the domination of the patriarchs of Aquileia. The exception, together with some other small regions, was Pordenone, which belonged to the German landed gentry from the first half of the 13th century.
From 1278 it was under the rule of the Hapsburgs who granted their subjects a number of rights and privileges in order to gain favour with them. The first of these charters dates from 1291 and was enlarged upon in 1438. Pordenone was already inhabited before the 10th century, which is attested to by the necropolis that was recently brought to light under the Palazzo Ricchieri. In the 12th century the city started significant development of the commercial activities of the port on the river Noncello from which it gets its name (Portus Naonis) and from which, across the rivers Meduna and Livenza the Adriatic sea and Venice can be reached. In the same period the surrounding areas were also developed: Prata, Porcia, Spilimbergo, Maniago, Sacile, San Vito al Tagliamento, Polcenigo, Aviano, Valvasone. Hapsburg's Pordenone and Castelnovo were the only two cities not conquered by Venice in 1420.
The latter remained in possession of the count of Gorizia until they both came under the rule of Serenissima in 1508. The city of Noncello, on the other hand, was given to condottiere Bartolomeo d'Alviano, who became its feudal lord but with the passing of the last surviving member of his family, the city came under Venetian administration in 1539. In 1797, the right bank of Tagliamento, which was under the Napoleonic rule, and the rest of the territory, which was then the Republic of Venice, was ceded to the Austrians. It remained in their possession, except for the period 1806-1813 in which it was under Italic domination, until 1866 when it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
When the port trade stopped at the beginning of the 19th century, many industries started to flourish in Pordenone, making a marked impression on the development of the city. Among the most thriving was certainly the Galvani pottery, which finished trading under its prestigious trade name only a few years ago, and cotton mills, which employed several thousand workers. After World War II, when the textile industry went into recession, Pordenone became prosperous on account of domestic appliance industry, still one of the best in Europe. There are also small and medium-sized industries in the city's neighbouring areas among which the most important are the cutlery of Maniago and the furniture industry in Brugnera, Prata, and Pasiano. There are also a number of handicraft activities in all parts of the region.
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