At Kostanjevica, a hill overlooking Nova Gorica, Count Matthias Thurn had a small monastery built at the side of the existing chapel, and bestowed both to Carmelite monks in 1649. The Carmelites made extensive additions to the monastery in later years. In 1811, Kostanjevica was put into the care of Franciscan monks who have held on to it to this day. The church and monastery were severely damaged in World War I, and much of the valuable art collection was lost. Only a few precious paintings were saved and they embellish today’s monastery.
The cultural and historical significance of Kostanjevica is further underscored by the crypt of the Bourbon dynasty, holding the remains of the last descendants of this French royal family.
The Škrabec Library, named after father Stanislav Škrabec, is one of the greatest treasures of the monastery. Today, the library has circa 10,000 books and even 30 incunabula of which the oldest dates from 1476.
Since 2004, the former garden of the monastery features another highlight: Bourbon rose collection. It is one of the most comprehensive and largest Bourbon rose collections in the world.