Fortification Predel

Hiking Biking Families Researchers Groups
Easy | 30 min.

The remains of the fort under the mountain pass and border crossing at Predel/Predil date back to the second half of the 19th century. Austrians started to build a wooden fort on stone foundations already in 1808. Due to a harsh winter the works were stopped which turned out to be an enormous disadvantage when the French Army started to advance through the Soča Valley and Val Canale/Kanalska dolina/Kanaltal in May 1809. The fort in Malborghetto/Naborjet/Malborgeth was unsuccessfully defended by Captain Friedrich Hensel, and Fort Predel by Captain Johann Hermann von Hermannsdorf. In Travisio/Trbiž/Tarvis stood small redoubts with defensive trenches. While defending Tarvisio, the Austrians received news that The French Army had conquered Vienna, so all the units were sent there. The French-Italian Army commanded by the General Beauharnais advanced thorugh Val Canale while the French General Seras and his troops advanced through the Soča Valley (Cividale del Friuli/Čedad–Kobarid–Bovec–Predel/Predil). Even though during the siege of Fort Predel, Malborghetto was already defeated and a section of the French Army was sent to help Seras advance from Tarvisio towards Predel, the defenders of Fort Predel did not want to surrender. They knew that they were preventing the opposite side from joining forces in Tarvisio. In the end the French Army succeeded in burning down the wooden fort. The soldiers who were defending the fort started to fight back and most of them lost their lives. The only ones to survive were those who were buried under the corpses of their fellow fighters and pretended to be dead. During the next night the survivors escaped over the hills towards Austria.
In 1848 the Austrians started to build a new fort, which was one of the forts in the system of six Carinthian Forts (Kärntner Festungen). The fort was composed of two parts: the upper (Kreuzblockhaus) and lower (Wachgebäude). In 1850 a monument of a dying lion lying on branches and sticks dedicated to Johann Hermann von Hermannsdorf and his co-fighters was placed by the main road. In 1916 Austrians built a tomb under the road for the soldiers that gave their lives here in 1809. It is not clear what happened to the French soldiers. There are different testimonies on this. Some say that their bones were buried in the supporting wall during the road works, others that they were taken somewhere in the direction of the Mangart stream. Due to rising tensions with Italy the fort was fully armed and occupied from 1866 on. From 1880 until the end of World War I it served as a military warehouse (Depot Oberbreth/Depot Predil). In 1882 Fort Kluže was built. The warehouse on Predel was not part of the Bovec blockade system (Sperre Flitsch) but part of the blockade at Lago del Predil/Rabeljsko jezero/Raibler See Lake. During World War I Fort Predel was not only a warehouse but also housed workers and served as a pigeon post station.

Boštjan Burger 360° Surround Photography

Photos: Schirra/Giraldi, PromoTurismoFVG


Guided Tour Programme:

Unveiling the Bovec Gate

Access and useful info


Road Bovec–Log pod Mangartom–Predel/Predil Pass–Cave del Predil/Rabelj/Raibl


TIC Bovec
Trg golobarskih žrtev 47
SI–5230 Bovec
+386 5 3029 647

Center za obiskovalce Pot miru, Kobarid
(The Walk of Peace Visitor Centre, Kobarid)
Gregorčičeva ulica 8
SI–5222 Kobarid
+386 5 389 0167, +386 31 586 296,

Hiking Biking Families Researchers Groups
Easy | 30 min.


30 min.

GPS coordinates

46.42093, 13.58777


1,145 m

Best time of year

During winter time please check the terrain conditions before your hike!


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