Short description
Count Wenzel Vetter von Lilienberg, since September 1831 Dalmatian governor, followed an example of his great royal role-model, Emperor Francis I, when he, starting from 1832 onwards, for more than two years, went on a journey to be thoroughly acquainted with the characteristics and conditions of the province entrusted to him. Lilienberg wanted to create an image of it by himself, but not on the basis of data from the bare writings and relying on insufficient literature on Dalmatia. While the monarchs method of travel at the top of the Empire was already publicly well-known for almost three decades, Lilienbergs official travel, was at least, with regard to its breadth, for Dalmatia truly pioneering venture. It is not even certain that the these and similar travels of governors of other countries of the Monarchy, were the part of a standard practice. In any case, in Dalmatia Lilienberg was the first and probably the only provincial governor who so intensively approached to this method. Before Lilienberg, officials on their travels did not have reason, and certainly were not able to officially visit all the places that Lilienberg from 1832 to 1834 visited and described. A long report on the undertaken travel is in every aspect very unique. In Depiction of the province of Dalmatia on the basis of an official travel in the years 1832, 1833 and 1834 (in German: Darstellung der Provinz Dalmatien nach der ämtlichen Bereisung in den Jahren 1832, 1833 und 1834) Lilienberg for Emperor explored the province and its administration, and very thoroughly, especially from the aspect that always emerges in the report, and that is the insufficient interest of Viennas central institutions for the province and its interests. In particular, thanks to the polite criticism of administrative and political policies of the central authorities, Lilienberg descriptions are of great value, and not only for observing the local Dalmatian circumstances. They in fact represent an important source of analysis of the pre-March system of governance across the Habsburg Cisleithania - it means Austrian part of the monarchy, controlled directly from Vienna - as a whole. This applies all the more, because to this system it is generally devoted little research and this book is a kind of contribution to their enrichment and boost to their continuation and expansion.

back top