Maniago was mentioned for the first time in an official document dated 12th January 981 AD: it was a diploma signed by Emperor Otto II, which confirmed the possession of the court of Maniago to the Patriarchate of Aquileia. Maniago is famous all over the world for its production of knives and of all kinds of cutting tools: the beginning of the history of the blacksmiths from Maniago can be dated back to 1453, when Nicolò from Maniago obtained permission from Venice Water Authority to canalize into an irrigation ditch the water of the Còlvera stream. Along the same irrigation ditch, in correspondence of suitable drops in height, various ironworks were established, where, besides farming tools, people also started to produce swords and spears for the Republic of Venice. Since then Maniago has given birth to hundreds of blacksmiths and knife makers and today is the seat of the District of Cutlery Works, made up of nine municipalities of the area, which employs about a thousand workers in the production cycle of cutting tools only and is the second industrial centre in the province of Pordenone.
Today the building that since 1907 housed the first large cutlery works in Maniago houses the Museum of blacksmith art and of cutlery works, which reconstructs the workplaces and displays the main past and present productions of the town’s industry.
Maniago, with about 12,000 inhabitants, stands out for its large Piazza Italia, the beating heart of the community, overlooked by the main historic buildings: from the fifteenth-century Cathedral in late Friulian Gothic style dedicated to St. Mauro the Martyr to Palazzo D’Attimis Maniago, the walls of which feature the fresco of St. Mark’s lion, attributed to Pomponio Amalteo and evidence of the long Venetian rule.
On a hill at the back of the Palazzo you will see the ruins of the ancient castle, probably built in the 11th century and definitively abandoned during the 17th century.
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