Risto Skuljevic

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Risto Skuljevic
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BornTrieste, Habsburg Empire
22 September 1843
Died9 January 1909
Trieste, Austria-Hungary
  • Shipowner
  • Philanthropist

Risto Škuljević also known in Trieste as Cristoforo Scuglievich (Serbian Cyrillic: Ристо Шкуљевић; Trieste, Habsburg Empire, 22 September 1843 - Trieste, Austria-Hungary, 9 January 1909) was a Serbian ship owner and philanthropist. Risto Škuljević is considered one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Saint Spyridon Church, Trieste municipalities, of which he was the president with the longest term. At the time there were many Serbian navigators, shipowners and merchants who contributed to the development of Austrian institutions in Trieste from as early as "the first half of the 17th century."[1][2]


The Škuljević family arrived in Trieste from Mostar. Three of the most important representatives of this family were brothers Jefimija and Jovan, and Jovan's son Risto.

The gifts of the brothers Jefimija and Jovan to the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Spyridon in Trieste include icons, crucifixes, ornaments in silver. Jovan's son Risto is recorded in history as the largest donor of the new temple, for whose interior decoration for life donated about 100,000 Crown (currency). The gift of the church are four bronze candlesticks from 1899, large a silver cross from 1881 and a pedestal from 1902. They are also his gift to the community and four small, precious candlesticks in silver, made in Milan in 1890. His uncle Jefimije, fifty years earlier, in the church donated a precious silver payment for the icon of Christ the King, made in Moscow in 1850.


Risto Škuljević was born in Trieste on 22 September 1843 to father Jova and mother Veneranda Škuljević (née Vuković, born in Zadar 1822 and passed away in Trieste in 1890). After graduating from the Faculty of Economics in Switzerland, Risto Škuljević entered his father's company and actively contributed in increasing its share capital considerably. He was elected five times as the president of the Serbian community in Trieste. When he died, in January 1900, he left more than half of its total assets to the Trieste Serbian community.[3]The amount intended for the community was 1,623,000 Crown (currency).

However, most of the property was real estate, too bequeathed to the Serbian community. Among them was the Palace[4]located in the Square of Venice No. 1, built according to the project of Domenico Cortia in 1832 and reconstructed in 1863, according to a design by architect Giuseppe Baldini. It was bought by Risto Škuljević In 1876 for 127,000 Florin. This building still bears its name today "Škuljević Palace". The first seat of the Consulate was in that building during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia|Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes until 1941, and in the biennium 1922-1923.

Yugoslav Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić served as vice-consul in Trieste. The Serb community remained in another smaller building at Kadorna Street no. 13, built in elegant neoclassical style in 1825, designed by Domenico Cortia.

A bust of his father Jovo is located at the entrance to the atrium of Trieste orphanage, as a sign of eternal gratitude and remembrance.

Risto Škuljević donated an orphanage, for the soul of his parents the day after his father's death, 13 February 1881. Again in memory of the parents, Risto donated the church with four silver-plated, beautifully decorated candlesticks and with four magnificent candelabras in the neo-Gothic style, composed into the famous Venetian workshop "Michieli".

The Serbian Orthodox Church[5]owes to Risto Škuljević the church bell in the northwestern part of the church of St. Simeon from 1900, as well as for the Saint Spyridon Church, Trieste altar in silver with a painting Leonardo's "Last Supper", from 1902, also made in workshop "Mikjeli". So much was the love and devotion of Risto Škuljević towards the Serbian community and its magnificent Trieste community church that, at the end of the 19th century, in his capacity as president of the community, suggested that he personally buy the Kurtović-Opuhić palace on Canal Grande (Trieste) and to demolish it, in order to expand the view of the square and donate light the main facade of the church.

The great hall of Trieste still bears the name of "Risto Škuljević"[6]church house within the temple of St. Spyrodion.


  1. https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/MuzikoloskiZbornik/article/view/5228
  2. https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/ieim/article/viewFile/24823/20617
  3. https://www.google.ca/books/edition/Bogoslovski_glasnik/LloxAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%D0%A0%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE+%D0%A8%D0%BA%D1%83%D1%99%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%9B&pg=PA147&printsec=frontcover
  4. "Величанствене српске палате у Трсту".
  5. name="auto">Cite web|url=http://www.spc.rs/sr/bozhitsh_u_bechu_trstu%7Ctitle=Божић у Бечу и Трсту | Српскa Православнa Црквa [Званични сајт]|website=www.spc.rs
  6. name="auto"

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