Since the beginning of the modern era, the political and social situation on the Istrian peninsula has undergone several changes. In 1797, and as part of the Habsburg empire, the region, which at times had been under Venetian influence, became a political entity for the first time. Its border location, between Trieste and Rijeka in the northern Adriatic Sea, is at the heart of Istria’s multicultural history. It is a place where Slavic, Germanic and Romanic languages intersect. The numerous migrations to and from the peninsula have left behind a distinctive pattern of Mediterranean and continental cultures. However, the governmental modernisation from the mid-19th century onwards, and the nationalism typical of the time, contributed to the gradual segregation of this multicultural life. Istrian populations since then have had to negotiate ethnic affiliations and national interests.