In 2014, the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and a year later, Slovenia will commemorate the centenary of the Isonzo Front, which is considered to have been one of the toughest battles fought in one of the most beautiful alpine valleys – the valley of the emerald green Soča River. On this important anniversary, Slovenia wishes to present this important historical heritage, and hopes that visitors will take the path of peace, from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic.
The area of the upper valley of the Soča River – considered one of the most beautiful and cleanest rivers in Europe with its emerald purity of colour – was part of the Isonzo Front during the First World War in Slovenia and is considered to have been one of the toughest battles of the First World War due to its mountainous terrain.
Numerous trenches, fortifications, caves, memorials and military cemeteries have survived from this period, with this important cultural and historical heritage represented by several museums, the great outdoors and exhibitions. Today, their stories, feelings and stories form the backbone of the Walk of Peace from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic, which is run by the Paths of Peace Foundation.
The trail is marked uniformly, and is suitable for hikers and cyclists alike. Major attractions can be accessed by car or bus. The Path of Peace is the perfect choice for those who want to actively spend their free time taking in the magnificent views and the beauties of nature, learning about history and culture, meeting the locals, experiencing life there nowadays and tasting the local delicacies - these are all experiences presented beautifully in the short promotional film, Path of Peace. Guided tours with local tour guides are recommended.
At the headquarters of the Foundation in Kobarid, a new interactive information centre has opened its doors. The centre serves as an excellent base for exploring the paths of peace; only a few metres away lies the recognized and garlanded Kobarid Museum, which offers visitors the most comprehensive account of the Isonzo Front, mountain warfare in the Julian Alps and the 12 Isonzo battles.
Did you know that the world-famous American writer, Ernest Hemingway, chose the Isonzo Front to be the scene of action for his historical novel "A Farewell to Arms"? Despite the fact that Hemingway probably did not fight on the Isonzo front, there is a possibility that he visited these places after the First World War had concluded. This is demonstrated by the photo of a young American soldier, which local residents claim is Hemingway himself. The novel contains many autobiographical elements. Which are true and which are not?