There is a multitude of natural karst caves in the area of the Kras. During the time of the Isonzo Front (1915–1917), several of them were arranged by the Austro-Hungarian Army to serve military purposes. The names of these caves continue to explain their purpose of that time even today.
One of them was called the Russian Cave. It was initially used for ammunition storage. Later on, the Russian POWs were lodged in it whose duty was to repair the damage done to the road Kostanjevica–Lokvica. The Russian POWs were captured on the Eastern Front and brought to the immediate rear of the Isonzo Front, where they had to carry out hard physical work (construction of roads, tracks, railways, waterworks, magazines, etc.). According to the estimation of historians, about 15.000–20.000 Russian POWs were present at the time on the broader area of the Kras. In the extremely difficult conditions (poor clothing, undernourishment, exhaustion from hard work and torture) numerous of them died there.
In the Tenth Isonzo Battle the area was conquered by the Italian Army and the cave was rearranged for their special purposes. The occupation did not last long, because after only a few months the Italian Army had to withdraw in the Twelfth Isonzo Battle.
Access from Kostanjevica na Krasu:
In the upper part of the village (behind the Church of St. Martin) turn off the road, onto a nice dirt road. Continue in a northerly direction for Mt. Veliki Vrh. The path is marked with Walk of Peace direction signs. You drive past a farm and an abandoned military centre, always on the main dirt road. The road slightly rises for quite some time and then descends. When you reach the crossroad continue straight on (do not turn right). After about 100 metres you will see a nice dirt road on the right that brings you a karst dolina, where the parking area and the entry to the cave is located.
Center za obiskovalce Pot miru, Kobarid
(The Walk of Peace Visitor Centre, Kobarid)
Gregorčičeva ulica 8
+386 5 389 0167, +386 31 586 296