Solkan has a history more than a thousand years long. It is first mentioned in written sources together with Gorica in the year 1001. The settlement grew next to the beautiful river Isonzo, in the safe embrace of Sabotin and Holy Mountain. In the past centuries Solkan was a pilgrimage centre and a station for horsemen. It became more important in the 18th century, with the building of mills and saws along the Isonzo. They are still visible today near the old dam. Solkan was famous for its cabinetmakers, called tišlarji, whose products also won on European fairs. More info here.
Soča river rises in the heart of Julian Alps and holds, due to her natural beauty and historical significance, a special place in the hearts of the people of the coast.
Before Solkan, the wild mountain beauty is today damed due to the hydroelectric power station, where an artificial lake is formed. The lake is a god place to fish. Under the dam it is wild again and suitable for kayak.
The poet Simon Gregorčič dedicated one of his most beautiful poems to the river. More info here.
If you walk along the pathway from the tavern to Solkan, you will be surprised just around the corner by the view on the bridge of Solkan, stretching over the river Isonzo. 220 meters long giant represents the peak of bridge engineering knowledge of the early 20th century. It also boasts of the largest stone arc in the world!
It is one of the 65 bridges on the railroad of Bohinj, which connected the port of Trieste and Vienna. The fatal clashes of the First World War did not spare the bridge, but it was later restored to its original shape. More info here.
According to the legend, when the Slavs arrived, they named the hill Samotin. The 609 meters high hill rises steeply above the Soča river. The river separates it from the other hills of Trnovska planota, hence the name. A pilgrim church stood on Sabotin until 18th century and there was a mass there every Sunday. It was later replaced by a church on Skalnica (Sveta gora).
During World War I, the Soča front passed the steeps of Sabotin. Even today, numerous caverns and remains of trenches stand as a reminder of one of the bloodiest military conflicts on Slovenian soil. It is possible to walk through the caverns, the safest way being with the guide. If you choose to venture alone, do not forget the lamp! More info here.
Peace park on mt. Sabotin
The borderline between Slovenia and Italy is drawn across Sabotin, which became a symbol of nation unification in 21st century with the Peace Park. At the same time, it is supposed to present a rich natural heritage to the visitors. Both mediterranean and alpine vegetation grow here, making Sabotin one of Slovenia’s most heterogeneous places as far as vegetation is concerned.
You can also climb the hill on a bike, as there are two marked path of different difficulty levels. Eager mountaineers can get to the top from no less than six directions. Gradually, you will become aware of its history and flora and fauna. More info here.
Military burial ground is just one of the numerous silent witnesses of the cruel World War I, scattered all over the Soča valley. It is the final resting place for soldiers of mostly Hungarian nationality. More info here.
Sveta Gora or Skalnica
Legend has it that herdswoman Urška Ferligoj from Grgar saw the Virgin Mary when grazing sheep on Skalnica. The Virgin Mary ordered a house to be built there for her. The church on Skalnica was replaced with a three-nave building five years later. During the consecration the patriarch of Aquileia donated the famous painting of the Virgin with the child, a work of painter Palma senior of Venice. The painting is in the main altar to this day.
The front of Isonzo proved fatal also for the church on the Holy Mountain, turning it into wreckage soon after the beginning of the battle.
In the year 1928 the pilgrim church of the Assumption of the Virgin was restored and consecrated again. Today the pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary of the Holy Mountain is the most well-known pilgrimage path in the western Slovenia. More info here.
Region of Gorizia
Tavern Žogica is a juncture of the paths from across the northern coastal region and of course a great starting point for trips:
To the valley of Isonzo and further on to Trenta all the way to the source of Isonzo (the emerald way), across the new bridge and via the “path of Sabotin” to Goriška Brda, a land of excellent wine and fruits, along the well-known wine road of Vipava to the valley of Vipava, and to Kras, land of the north wind, red wine and smoked ham, inviting over centuries with its natural and cultural beauty (a part of the path of the wind).
Solkan borders on Italy, actually on Gorizia, the oldest settlement in the region, and a seat of nobility of Gorizia. A well-preserved castle surrounded with a medieval settlement reigns over the city.