Thursday, September 11, 2008

Views Around Žaga - Kobarid & surroundings

Tucked away in Slovenia's northwest corner is one of the country's most interesting areas. As you head upstream along the turquoise Soča River the scenery becomes ever more grandiose. When you tire of admiring the works of nature you can reflect on the works of man by seeking out reminders of the battles that took place here during World War One. The two main settlements in the upper valley are Kobarid and Bovec.


The town of Kobarid is just a few kilometres from the Italian border, at the point where the Soča emerges from the narrow confines of its upper course and begins to meander through a broader valley. It's a small cluster of flower-bedecked white houses clustered around the elegant belfry of the Church of the Assumption.

If, like me, all your mental images of the First World War involve plains and poppy fields, the Kobarid Museum is an essential stop. For two and a half years the Italian and Austrian/German armies faced each other in the mountains around Kobarid (Caporetto). In addition to the normal hazards of war, they had to deal with the bitterly cold mountain weather and the logistic difficulties of maintaining positions on the crests of mountain ranges. When you see how inaccessible the valley is today, it's hard to grasp the sheer scale of the Soča (Isonzo) front - there were almost a million casualties here. The museum brings the story to life with photographs, charts, and relief displays.

There are a number of marked walking and cycling trains around the town. The 5km Kobarid Historical Trail links some of the main historical and natural sights. It starts at the Italian Ossuary, which is topped by a 17th-century church that was moved here in 1935. A detour from the main trail, signposted to Veliki Rob, takes you to a viewing platform where you can look almost directly down on Kobarid's main square. The main trail leads north past the remains of trenches and observations posts and the ancient archaeological site of Tonočov Grad. After crossing the river via a high footbridge you reach the Kozjak Waterfall. The path returns to Kobarid crossing the arched Napoleon Bridge.

...around Kobarid

...lotts of choices:)

Napoleon`s bridge



world war one reminder -kostnica Kobarid

...go to Bovec

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