Monument to Russian POWs at Na vodicah

Hiking Researchers Groups
20 min.

The military cemetery of Russian prisoners of war at the southern edge of the grassy depression, surrounded by the old Kalce–Col road on the west and north sides, is marked by a monument erected in their memory. More than 20,000 Russian POWs built a rail line in the area to supply the Isonzo Front during World War I. They were housed in a labour camp in this valley at Kalce near Logatec (Vodice). Many of them also died here due to several reasons. In addition to this camp, they were also housed at Hotedršica, Godovič, Črni Vrh and Zadlog.
In 1916 and 1917, the networks of temporary narrow-gauge railways between Logatec and Idrija and towards Črni Vrh were built and expanded, and also the road across Hrušica was strengthened. First, the 80 kilometres long narrow-gauge horse-drawn railway Logatec–Godovič–Zadlog (Črni Vrh)–Lokve (Poncala) was built, and afterwards, a new, 12 kilometres long and extremely demanding branch towards Idrija was built on the narrow-gauge railway Logatec–Črni Vrh. When in the last third of 1916, the narrow-gauge horse-drawn railway no longer met the needs of the supply of the Isonzo Front, the construction of a 28 kilometres long standard-track line between Logatec and Črni Vrh was started.
In 1982, the local community paid tribute to Russian POWs by erecting a monument, designed by Jože Koščak in the form of a four-sided pyramid. It is masoned of rubble on a paved platform and bears a bronze plaque with the raised inscription meaning “To the Russian Prisoners of War; 1914–18”.
In 2014, the then cultural attaché of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Slovenia and director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Ljubljana, Rifat Pateev, had an Orthodox cross erected near the monument in memory of Russian compatriots who died in the Logatec municipality. The cross, its orientation, the inscriptions and the wood of which it is made are of profound importance to the Russian nation. The cross is made of Ukrainian oak. It is located at the beginning of the valley, to the left of the path leading to the monument, with the front side facing the monument and concurrently the west.
Cut in the front side of the cross is a relief of Crucified Christ flanked by waist-lengths figures representing Mary and St. John the Evangelist. The top of the cross has the inscription INCI (INRI), engraved on the arms are Adam’s skull and the inscription: IC XC NIKA (Jesus Christ the Conqueror). The inscription on the crosspiece reads: ОНИ YЖE HE BO3BPATЯTCЯ И НЕ УВИДЯТ РОДНOЙ СТРАНЫ СВОЙ! (They will never return to see their Homeland again!).

Text/Photos: Renata Gutnik

Access and useful info

Access

The monument stands on the southern edge of a grassy depression, surrounded by the old Kalce–Col road on the west and north sides. The path to the monument is on the left in the Kalce–Col direction, 1,440 metres from the crossroads at Kalce. A safer place to park is a macadam resting area, about 210 metres ahead of the path leading to the monument, and one parking lot is also available in the wood on the right side of the road. Due to the speed of road traffic we advise you caution when stopping and parking.

Information

Občina Logatec
(Municipality of Logatec)
Tržaška cesta 50a
SI–1370 Logatec
+386 1 7590 600
obcina.logatec@logatec.si
logatec.si

Hiking Researchers Groups
20 min.

Duration

20 min.

GPS coordinates

45.893727, 14.173071

Best time of year

January‒December

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