Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Soška fronta

The Isonzo Front - The Walk of Peace

The Walk of Peace interwines the heritage of the Isonzo Front with the natural wonders of the Upper Soča Region. It is also dedicated to the memory of numerous casualties of the First World War.

Javorca; trdnjava Kluže; kostnica Kobarid;

"During the First World War several fronts were opened between the belligerent countries in Europe. After the Italian attack on Austro-Hungary the south-west front was opened, part of which was also the Isonzo Front. The name itself indicates that it ran along the river of Isonzo (Italian name for the Soča), with the greatest part on the present territory of Slovenia. Built along the entire frontline were numerous fortifications, trenches, caves, paths and mule tracks (mulatiere), churches and chapels, field hospitals, telphers, cemeteries and many other constructions. Their remains form an important part of cultural and historical heritage today. In order to preserve this heritage as well as possible, the Slovenian Government adopted a ten-year programme in 2000, named The Soča Region – The Walks of Peace, as a national and international project. The objective of the project is to preserve, restore and present the historical and cultural heritage of the First World War in the area of the Isonzo Front for the study, tourist and educational purposes. The Ustanova »Fundacija Poti miru v Posočju« (»Walks of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation«) was founded to implement the programme. Its activity is directed towards the establishment of a Study Center of the First World War with a history library and documentation center. The two primary objectives are: to gather all the information on the Isonzo Front in one place and to preserve and restore, if necessary, the remains and more important memorials in some sections of the frontline in the Soča region.

Similar projects on the restoration of the frontline are in preparation also on the Italian and Austrian sides and, finally, all the planned projects would be joined on the European level. Thus the whole of the southwest frontline would become a European Park of Memory."

The Isonzo Front

View from the positions on Mt. Čelo over the Bovec basin. The same view today

"When Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914, the First World War began and Europe became an enormous battlefield. It was divided into several fronts, because the two opposing blocks both entered the war. The Central Powers, i.e. Germany, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey on one side, and the Allies, France, Great Britain and Russia on the other. In spite of the tripartite alliance with Austro-Hungary and Germany, Italy remained neutral in the first year of the war. After the London Pact between Italy and the Allies was signed, Italy resigned from the tripartite alliance and declared war on Austro-Hungary on 23 May 1915. On this, the south-west front was opened, six-hundred-kilometers long; it ran from the pass of Stelvio at the contact point of Swiss, Italian and Austrian borders, across Tyrol, the Carnian Alps, and the Soča/Isonzo region to the Adriatic Sea. The ninety-kilometer section of the front running along the Soča from Mt. Rombon to the Adriatic was called the Isonzo Front. The warfare lasted for twenty-nine months in this area and twelve offensives took place during this time. Eleven of them were launched by the Italians, and the twelfth by the joined Austro-Hungarian and German armies.

The First Isonzo battle (23 June - 7 July 1915)
The Second Isonzo battle (18 July - 3 August 1915)
The Third Isonzo battle (18 October - 4 November 1915)
The Fourth Isonzo battle (10 November - 2 December 1915)
The Fifth Isonzo battle (11-16 March 1916)
The Sixth Isonzo battle (4-16 August 1916)
The Seventh Isonzo battle (13-17 September 1916)
The Eighth Isonzo battle (9-12 October 1916)
The Ninth Isonzo battle (31 October - 4 November 1916)
The Tenth Isonzo battle (12 May - 5 June 1917)
The Eleventh Isonzo battle (17 August - 12 September 1917)
The Twelfth Isonzo battle (24-28 October / 9 November 1917)

mt. Ravelnik then and today

The warfare along the Soča ended with the 12th Isonzo battle, which began on 24 October 1917, and resulted in the Austro-Hungarian-German advance towards the Italian inland where the front was stabilized on the Piave river on 9 November 1917. After a year of battles with the Italian army on that front, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy collapsed. The First World War ended with the German surrender on 11 November 1918."

Out door Memorials

"Even before the formation of the Ustanova »Fundacija Poti miru v Posočju« (»Walks of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation«), individual history and tourist societies in the Soča region began to restore and arrange individual sections of the frontline. The Foundation joined the initiatives of these societies and began to arrange six outdoor museums. They are situated at those parts of the frontline where the density of remains is greater and the access is relatively easy.

Čelo hill - Austro-Hungarian gun positions

In order to bring these societies, activities, related to the preservation, restoration and presentation of remains, as close as possible to the requirements of expert services, the Foundation established connections with the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and various experts in the field of preservation of cultural heritage.

mt. Ravelnik - Austro-Hungarian first line of defence in the Bovec area

The outdoor museums have not been completely arranged yet. Most of them lie in the mountains, which means that everybody walks in these areas at their own responsibility. Mountaineering clothing and footwear are recommended, and also a hand lamp, because there are caves in all these areas.

Zaprikraj - The first Italian line of defence

Visitors are requested to be respectful to natural and cultural heritage and not to take any remains of the First World War away. Only thus other visitors can also see them. Outdoor museums can also be visited with a guide.

Kolovrat - The third Italian line of defence (“linea d'armata”)

Declared as historical areas by the decree on supplements to the decree on declaring cultural and historical monuments and natural monuments in the area of Tolmin municipality, no. 617-1/90 of 18 May, 1993 (Off. gaz. of Ajdovšèina, Nova Gorica and Tolmin municipalities, no. 6/93) were the areas of Mt.Rombon, the Krn mountains and Mt. Mengore, where strict protection regime is in force. Article 10a of this decree bans investigation, search, damaging or taking away of any material remains of the First World War in all these areas without the prior knowledge and permission of the expert organization or the administrative body of the Republic of Slovenia, responsible for culture."


Kobariški muzej (The Kobarid Museum)
Gregorčičeva 10, SI-5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
Phone: 00386 (0)5 389 00 00; www.kobariski-muzej.si

Tolminski muzej (The Tolmin Museum)
Mestni trg 4, SI-5220 Tolmin, Slovenia
Phone: 00386 (0)5 381 13 60; www.tol-muzej.si

Mali muzej soške fronte Bovec ,
Miloš Domevšček, Brdo 53, SI-5230 Bovec,
phone: 00386 (0)41 507 445

Muzejska zbirka Iva Ivančiča ,
Ivan Ivančič , Trg Golobarskih žrtev 56, SI-5230 Bovec,
phone: 00386 (0)5 388 62 49

Vojaška zbirka ‘Zbogom orožje' 1915-1917 ,
Sašo Prochazka, Klanc 1, SI-5230 Bovec,
phone: 00386 (0)41 563 453

Muzejska zbirka Stol 1915–1917 ,
Zdravko Marcola, Breginj 5, SI-5223 Breginj,
phone: 00386 (0)5 384 97 87

Etno-vojna zbirka ,
Valentin Mazora, Breginj 81, SI-5223 Breginj,
phone: 00386 (0)5 384 98 06

Zbirka ‘ Boto gnice' ,
Mirko Kurinčič, Drežnica 22a, SI-5222 Kobarid,
phone: 00386 (0)5 384 86 01

Muzejska zbirka Posočje 1915–1917 ,
Ivan Šavli , Idrsko 29, SI-5222 Kobarid,
phone: 00386 (0)5 388 59 53

Muzejska zbirka ‘Poti umika pri Kobaridu 1917' ,
Ivo Krajnik, Stresova ulica 2, SI-5222 Kobarid,
phone: 00386 (0)5 388 53 14

Zbirka 1. svetovne vojne – Alberto Picco ,
Bojan Rustja , Sergeja Mašera 2, SI-5222 Kobarid,
phone: 00386 (0)41 693 049

Muzejska zbirka ‘Kolovrat 1917' ,
Peter Hrast , Livek 5, SI-5222 Kobarid,
phone: 00386 (0)41 289 182

Mali muzej soške fronte Tolminsko mostišče ,
Peter Kogoj, Most na Soči 53, SI-5216 Most na Soči,
phone: 00386 (0)5 388 70 45

Muzejska zbirka na Ligu ,
Jožko Gabrijelčič, Lig 20, SI-5213 Kanal,
phone: 00386 (0)31 586 853

Museo stroico-militare delle “Alpi Giulie” ,
Piazza della Chiesa, I-33012 Cave del Predil (Rabelj), Tarvisio (UD), Italy, phone: 0039 (0)428 648912

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