Mt. Sveta Gora

Hiking Biking Families Researchers Groups
1–2 hrs

After Italy had declared war on Austria-Hungary, the popular pilgrimage basilica on Mt. Sveta Gora was in the direct vicinity of the front line that ran across the neighbouring Mt. Sabotin. During the fights on the Isonzo Front the basilica was completely destroyed. Already on 25 May 1915, the Franciscan friars moved away from Sveta Gora, taking with them the miraculous image of the Mother of God, called the Queen of Sveta Gora. They brought it to safety via Grgar and Most na Soči to Ljubljana. Only father Frančišek Ambrož (Francis Ambrose) persevered for some time but then he, too, had to withdraw to Gorizia/Gorica from where he would regularly visit Sveta Gora and Grgar. On 13 April 1916 he died in Gorizia of a deadly wound, and in accordance with his wishes he was buried on Mt. Sveta Gora.
In the period 1915–1917, the Austro-Hungarian Army drilled numerous caves into the ridge of Mt. Sveta Gora; they provided shelters to infantry squads and also a safe place for some artillery batteries. On the northern slope they built cabin settlements in the rear and made numerous minor caves where various commands were placed as well as medical stations. In the spring of 1917, a cargo ropeway also reached this place which made the supply to the battlefield easier. To that end they drilled a longer tunnel through the mountain ridge to connect the trenches of the first front line with the rear.
When the Italian troops conquered Mt. Zagora and the ridge of Mt. Kuk in the first days of the Tenth Isonzo Battle, the combats moved to the section Vodice–Sveta Gora, which by then had represented the Austro-Hungarian reserve line. After the initial success, the Italian troops were stopped there; nevertheless, in May 1917 they managed to conquer the summit of Mt. Vodice and drive the Austro-Hungarian soldiers off to the gently sloping eastern slope. Fierce combats followed which only ended in August, in the Eleventh Isonzo Battle. Under the ever stronger pressure from the Italian Army, the Austro-Hungarian soldiers moved from Sveta Gora too in the night of 23/24 August and occupied new positions on the Banjška planota plateau.

Photos: (1, 2) Matevž Lenarčič, Fundacija Poti miru; (3) Simon Kovačič; Fundacija Poti miru (4) Fundacija Poti miru


Guided Tour Programme:

The Mysteries of Mt. Sveta Gora


Access and useful info


TIC Nova Gorica
Kidričeva ulica 11
+386 5 330 46 00, +386 41 460 217

Hiking Biking Families Researchers Groups
1–2 hrs


1–2 hrs

GPS coordinates

45.998826, 13.655298

Best time of year