The Austrian Littoral was established as a crown land (Kronland) of the Austrian Empire in 1849. It consisted of three regions: the Istria peninsula, Gorizia and Gradisca, and the city of Trieste. Throughout history, the region had been frequently contested, with parts of it controlled at various times by the Republic of Venice, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Yugoslavia among others.
The Kingdom of Italy annexed it after World War I according to the Treaty of London and later Treaty of Rapallo. After World War II, it was split between Italy (West), Slovenia (North), and Croatia (South).
Trieste had strategic importance as Austria-Hungary's primary seaport and the coast of the Littoral was a resort destination, the Austrian Riviera. The region was a multi-national one, with Italians, Slovenes, Croats, Germans and Friulians being the main ethnic groups. In 1910, it had an area of and a population of 894,287.