Trieste is a beautiful city and a seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies approximately 10–15 km (6.2–9.3 mi) south and east of the city. Croatia is some 30 km (19 mi) to the south. Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history, it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures. Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, belonging to it from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century, the monarchy was one of the Great Powers of Europe and Trieste was its most important seaport. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the fin de siècle period at the end of the 19th century, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. Trieste underwent an economic revival during the 1930s, and Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs after the Second World War.