Castelmonte/Stara gora is held to be one of the most important shrines in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The first Christian shrine was supposedly erected on the top of the hill as early as the Roman period. The church has been renovated and rebuilt several times. It was affected by fires (15th century), looted by French soldiers (1797) and damaged by German shelling in World War II. To be safe from the Turkish inroads, the sanctuary and the monastery were walled in; the walls have been preserved.
The monastery belongs to the Franciscan Order. Castelmonte is a part of the group of three churches that pilgrims can visit on foot, by bike or by car. The other two pilgrimage churches are Sveta Gora above Nova Gorica and Marijino Celje at Lig. Castelmonte is the central pilgrimage site of Slavia Veneta.
The Natisone Valleys – The Rear of Friuli and the Front from the Isonzo to the Piave