The construction of the road from Kranjska Gora across the pass of Vršič (1,611 m) to Trenta was begun at the beginning of May 1915, when it was already clear that Italy was going to declare war on Austria-Hungary. 12,000 Russian POWs captured on the Eastern Front, were transported to the site in order to build the road, which required superhuman efforts. They were lodged in simple cabins, they were ill-fed and poorly clad, and many of them died of efforts and diseases. The road served to supply the Austro-Hungarian troops on the Isonzo Front and to transport the wounded from the front. It could already be used for transport at the end of 1915. Because snow was very abundant in March 1916, a major avalanche triggered from the slopes of Mt. Mojstrovka and engulfed several hundreds of builders. In memory of their suffering and of numerous dead fellows, the Russian POWs built a wooden chapel. This little Orthodox church is now restored and known as the Russian Chapel. Next to it stands a tomb topped with a pyramid which bears an inscription in Russian, reading “To the Sons of Russia”.
Access by car is possible both from Trenta Valley and from Kranjska Gora. To access Vršič mountain pass on foot follow the Walk of Peace and Alpe Adria Trail signposts.