March 30, 2018
This week’s image comes from Danilo Mlakar, and shows the settlement of Kobarid in the Slovenian Littoral, set in the highly picturesque Soča Valley and dominated by the Julian Alps.
Known as Karfreit in German and Caporetto in Italian, in relatively modern times the area was ruled by Austria until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, at which point it was occupied by Italian forces. Its inhabitants then suffered under Mussolini’s rule between 1922 and 1943, making the town an important centre of the Partisan movement, both symbolically and on the ground.
When the Italians left the area it came under Nazi control, which lasted until it was liberated by the Yugoslav People’s Army in 1945. Then followed two years of rule by the Allied forces, before in 1947 Kobarid was given to Yugoslavia under the Paris Peace Treaties.
The town and its surroundings are thus a natural draw to those interested in the turbulent events of the first half the 20th century, although for those less familiar with its past Kobarid is now perhaps best known as a scenic area, or among gourmets as the home of the chef Ana Roš and Hiša Franko.
Whatever your interest in Kobarid, and however you end up there, we hope you take some time out to reflect on the remarkable geography of the area, formed over millions of years, and the settlement’s long, and often troubled history, and find time to be thankful for the peace we have now and the life to be lived in this beautiful part of the world.