The Gradnik Trail, which found its place within the Brda municipality project Walking Trails on a Cherry Blossom, leads its visitor among the vineyards and into the heart of village Medana. The poet's verses, which invite you towards an invisible ladder, accomopany you on the trail. The ladder, however, leads you to the poet's brithplace, where you can take a rest while looking at the poet's legacy and reading his poetry. The natural history part of the trail offers the visitor some knowledge about Brda's typical trees. The vantage point is a special experience as it offers a marvellous view over 24 belfries which adorn Brda's and faraway hills. On this trail, we can experience Brda's people attitude towards nature and soil. Eventually, Walkers who set out on the Gradnik Trailwant to strengthen their body and soul in the great outdoors.
Time required: 1 hour Path length: 3 miles Description and path marking: Starting point: Alojz Gradnik monument in the castle in Dobrovo The poet Alojz Gradnik took a unique path in Slovenian poetry and gave it a district mark. In a series of collections the poet reveals his love for the native Brda region, while in his love poems he experiences love as an all-destructive feeling, which is dark and leads to death, and ponders on the meaning of human life that means nothing but giving oneself up to the others.
First stop: MULBERRY TREE/ MORUS SP. L In the Brda region, the mulberry tree was grown for sericulture. The tree tolerates drought and cold wee. Today mulberry is found in the Brda region only as a decorative tree which privdes excellent shade in the summer.
Second stop: VINE / VITIS VINIFERA L. In Europe, the vine has been present since the Mesozoic. During the Roman Empire, the vine expanded from the nearby towns of Aquileia and Cividale to the Brda region. The most common wine grape varieties in the Brda region are rebula (Slovenian Robola grape), pinot gris and pinot blanc, merlot and others.
Third stop: OLIVE TREE/ OLEA SATIVA L. In the Brda region, the olive tree was a local plant growing in sunny locations between the vines and on the slopes. During the harsh winter of 1929, all the olive trees froze. Only a few qears ago they started planting them again. The region is the nothernmost location where the olive tree can still grow, therefore the olive oil is of an excellent quality. In the Brda region, the Palm Sunday IS celebrated with olive branches.
Fourth stop: FIG TREE / FICUS CARICA L. Figs are Mediterranean plants that also grow in the Brda region and beside olive trees give a Mediterranean character to the Brda region. They are interessting mainly because they bear fruit twic a year. The following varieties thrive in the Brda region: white an black madoni, belice, kamberji, bonke,... Vendima figs, which thrived druting grape harvesting - vendima, were smoked, dried on the sun and stored in crates, covered and sold around Christmas time as very good dry fruit.
Fifth stop: PLUM TREE / PRUNUS DOMESTICA L. In the Brda region the plums were peeled, sulphurised and then dried. Two dried plums were pressed toghether. Very tasty prunele or pnčane češpe were made. These were put into crates for transport and sale.
Sixth stop: CHERRY TREE / PRUNUS AVIUM L. In the Brda region we can also find old varieties: čufrce, pontevke, trcinke, prvačnce... Cherries are still a sought market good as they are the first spring fruit which brings money into the house after a long winter During the time of Austria-Hungary the Brda cherries were well appreciated fruit in Vienna. Seventh stop: CYPRESS / CUPRESSUS SP L. At the birth of a child, rich people planted a cypress near their home. More than a centruy old cypresses and the largest ones in Slovenia grow in the village of Vipolže, in the old castle's park.
Eighth stop: BIOGRAFY The poet was born in 1882 in Medana. His father Jožef and mother Lucija Godeasa had 10 children. The Gradnik family first lived in the old Medana school and than moved several times around the village. Despite poverty, Gradnik's father listened to the vicar's advice and enrolled young Alojz in school in Gorica (Gorizia). There he attended a German general secondary school and graduated with honours. Later on he read law in Vienna, where he graduated in 1907. He worked in legal services and as a judge in Gorica (Gorizia), Cerkno and Pula. After the First World War he worked with the Foreign ministry in Beograd (Belgrade) and was a member of higher courts. After the Second World War he retired and lived in Ljubljana, where he died in 1967. He is buried in native Medana.