Located in the west of Slovenia, Kobarid is a town that has a lot to offer to tourists and those seeking culinary delights.
It was built where the Soča River (Isonzo) leaves the high Alps and the valley joins the lowland of Starijsko Podolje with the Nadiža River (Natisone) to the west. With such a strategic position Kobarid has had a very important role in transportation. It is connected with Čedad (Cividale del Friuli) and Videm (Udine) in the Friuli region in the west, across the Predel pass (Passo di Predil) in the north with Trbiž (Tarvisio), and with Nova Gorica in the south.
Kobarid is known for its turbulent past. The region of today’s Kobarid was settled already in the Hallstatt age and archaeologists uncovered remains dating back to the Roman times. In the 12th century it belonged to the Patriarchs of Aquileia and in the 15th century to the Counts of Gorizia. After the last count of Gorizia died the town passed under the Habsburg rule.
Tonovcov grad (Tonovec castle) is an archaeological site from the migration period (following the decline of the Roman Empire) and a place where the remains of early Christian churches were found.
But Kobarid is the most famous for the Isonzo Front and its last battle known as the Miracle of Kobarid. Many soldiers of different nationalities took part in this mountain battle between Italy and Austria-Hungary. In the 12th battle in October 1917 the Germans and the Austrians made advances at Bovec and Tolmin, pushing the Italians towards Kobarid and later deep into Italy, all the way to the Piave River.
To remember the war tragedy the Italians built a charnel house on Gradič hill around the already existing Church of St. Anthony and had the mortal remains of the Italian soldiers who had died in the First World War transferred there. Ernest Hemingway later documented the events of the Isonzo Front in his novel Farewell to Arms.
Today, Kobarid is known as a town offering a wide array of sports activities, from hiking, fishing (the Soča trout), hunting, parachuting, cycling, and adrenalin water sports.
Its natural attractions boast Kozjak Waterfalls, mountains Krn/Monte Nero, Matajur and Stol, and the pure waters of the Nadiža and ice-cold Soča rivers. A number of mountain and historic trails surround the town.
Other tourist attractions include:
- the world-famous Kobarid Museum with artefacts from World War I,
- Italian charnel house of St. Anthony,
- archaeological sites Tonovcov grad and Gradič,
- ethnological collection “Od planine do Planike” (From the Alp to Planika), dedicated to Alpine dairy farming and cheese making,
- Napoleon Bridge over the Soča River,
- Kozjak Waterfalls,
- the Church of St. Anthony of Padua on Gradič, which was consecrated in 1696,
- Parish Church of the Assumption of Mary built in the 17th century, rich in Baroque elements; the altar was built by P. Lazzarini in 1716.
Kobarid’s most distinctive and widely popular culinary staple are štruklji, filled dumplings that come in many forms, with every housewife marking them with her own signature. In olden days, štruklji were served as a nutritious snack during the summer mowing, but today they are the stars on dessert menus in restaurants in and around Kobarid.