Volčji grad (Komen, Karst)
Tourist Information Center
Društvo debela Griža Volčji Grad
Volčji Grad 30, 6223 Komen
00386 (0)31 338 251
Štanjel 1a, 6222 Štanjel
++386 5 769 00 56
Height above sea level
in the countryside
Volčji Grad is a small village on the southern slope of the Komen Karst, and it is 1.5 kilometres away from Komen.
Life in the village dates back to prehistoric times, when the original settlers lived in one of the biggest prehistoric hill forts in the area, Debela Griža. The Roman road ran through this region. The first mention of Volcigrat dates back to the year 1257, whereas in the Code of the Trieste Cathedral Archive from the year 1337 it is found under the name Volcigrad. According to a local legend, the aristocratic daughter, Marija Volcija was given medical treatment in the village and finally returned to good health. When she died, she was supposedly buried next to the village church. It is said that the settlement was named after her. In the past, four quarries were in operation. The first people to start this activity were the Štolfa family, who moved from Komen in the middle of the 19th century. They are descendants of the Astolfi family from Ivanji Grad. It is possible that strong quarrying activity was present in Volčji Grad as early as the 18th century. The work of the Volčji Grad stonecutters is reflected in numerous beautifully engraved stone gateways, support consoles, shrines, staircases and other stone features.
Points of distinction
The Succursal Church of St. John the Baptist, which is situated in a separate hamlet called “Brith”. In this place, a small Gothic church once stood. There is a plaque dedicated to its builder, the Trieste architect Johannes de Pari from 1429. The present church was built in Baroque style either in the 16th or 17th centuries. The western wall contains a built-in tombstone from the 2nd century A.D. erected by a mother and father for their daughter, who died on the 4th month in the year 15 according to the Roman calendar. The church interior is decorated with Baroque features from the 18th century. The main altar contains a painting of St. John in front of Mary and Jesus and was painted by F. Pavone. The altar on the right contains a painting by the Bishop J. Leonardis. The independent belltower by the church has an unusual Baroque spire.
The home of the famous Slovene essayist Marjan Rožanc (1930-1990) is next to the church. He spent the last years of his life writing in this house. There is a commemorative plaque mounted on the house, and the Rožanc Awards were created in his honour.
The biggest prehistoric hill fort of the municipality, Debela Griža, is situated in the west part of the village past house number 6 and the unsurfaced road past house number 55. Originally, the fortified settlement contained at least 13,000 tons of stone and was the centre for all the neighbouring hill forts. The stones were arranged into a single wall and in three places into a double defence wall with an external circumference of 850 metres and an internal one of 680 metres. The present-day ruins of the defence wall are 8 to 15 metres wide and 2 to 4 metres high.
A series of roadside shrines at the beginning of the village (coming from the direction of Komen), were built in 1833 by Anton and Andrej Jurca in honour of the Mother of God. There is another one next to the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, made by F. Metlikovec in 1885 and one on the side road next to the church dedicated to Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
The Stone Trail – a signposted educational trail through the village where you can learn something about the cultural and natural attractions of Volčji Grad, among others: chapels, kilns for slaking lime, the Debela Griža hill fort, the remains of a quarry, a shepherd’s cottage, dry stone walls with entrances to pieces of ground called vrzele, Karst precipices, dolinas, caverns, ponds and a walled sinkhole. The path is 4 kilometres long.
: SREČKO COLJA (Volčji Grad 1909 - 2003 Sistiana/Sesljan) political worker, imprisoned during the Second Process of Trieste and councellor in the Municipality of Aurisina/Nabrežina-Duino/Devin
MARJAN ROŽANC (Slape 1930 – 1990 Ljubljana) writer, essayist, playwright and screenwriter. His best known work is the autobiographical novel Love (Ljubezen, 1979) for which he won the Prešeren Fund Award in 1980. In 1991 he won the Prešeren Award for Life Achievement. In 1979 he bought a house in Volčji Grad, where he spent the majority of the following years. In the Srečko Kosovel Library in Komen it is possible to visit the Rožanc library.
ŠTOLFA – a number of skilled stonecutters are known under this name who worked in Volčji Grad in the 19th century and thus the village represented a strong stonecutting centre in the area. The most important of them was FRANČIŠEK ŠTOLFA, who carved not only simple objects but also church accessories (for Batuje Church, for example).
: Coming from Komen, the village is accessible by the local road. The road branches off from the lower part of Komen (next to the building where the seat of the parish is). The road goes through the village and continues to Kregolišče and Škofi, where it joins the Gorjansko-Brje pri Komnu-Veliki Dol road. Unsurfaced roads lead to Nadrožica, Gorjansko and to Veliki Dol, Pliskovica and Gabrovica.
GPS Northing (N) : 45,8005
GPS Easting (E) : 13,7506