Kobarid Museum

Kobarid Museum


Kobarid Museum

Lake Jasna
66.8 km
1 h 40 min drive
Must see
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

The Kobarid Museum is a history museum in Kobarid (Soča Valley), founded in 1990 with the aim of preserving, researching and presenting the First World War, especially the Isonzo Front. In terms of the number of visitors, the Kobarid Museum is one of the most visited museum collections in Slovenia. In 1992 it received the highest national award, the Valvazor Prize, and a year later the Council of Europe Museum Prize.
The museum opened its doors to visitors on 20 October 1990 in the former Mašera farmstead, which was built in 1739. The house was first owned by the Peteani and Obrez families and later became the property of four generations of the Mašera family. It was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1976, but was rebuilt in 1990.

The collection is displayed in twelve rooms, spread over two floors, representing life on the battlefield and in the rear. The 12th Battle of the Isonzo Front, also known as the “Miracle of Kobarid“, is presented in more detail, and you can find out more about it by watching a short film in the multimedia room.

A cannon and a grenade stand in front of the museum. In the corridor on the ground floor, there are several memorials of the fallen Austro-Hungarian and Italian soldiers on the front. The museum also displays a model of the nearby peaks, showing cable cars, footpaths, mulattoes, and the border between Austria-Hungary and Italy. Visitors can also learn about the cavern where a soldier sits writing a letter to his father. In the uniform room, there are uniforms of different nations. Interestingly, not all soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army had the same uniform. Those from the Serbian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire had different uniforms from those from the Slovenian area. There is also a collection of weapons; pistols, rifles, grenades, etc.

Ernest Hemingway described the days of terrible trials in his novel A Farewell to Arms, and for Erwin Rommel, the Battle of Kobarid marked an important milestone in his brilliant military career. In addition to a plethora of documentary and photographic material and exhibits, the museum offers a subtle insight into the social, economic, and political fabric of society at the time, and exposes the absurdity and profound unethical nature of war through the narratives of experienced guides.

How to get to the Kobarid Museum?

From Kranjska Gora, you can either drive to the museum via the Vršič Pass and the Trenta Valley (1h 45 min) or through Italy via Trbiž and the Predil Pass (1h 25 min), passing Bovec to Kobarid. The route through Italy is faster by about 20 minutes and less steep. On this route, you can also stop at the beautiful Lake Rabelj. The route over Slovenia’s highest road pass is very scenic as it is surrounded by the Julian Alps. Along the way, you can stop at the Russian Chapel, at various viewpoints, take a break and have lunch in one of the lodges along the way or at the top of the pass and look for the face of the Pagan girl in the rocks.

Sights in the immediate vicinity

If you head to the Kobarid Museum, you can also see:

  • the Soča River and the water activities (rafting, canyoning, etc.)
  • the Virje waterfall
  • Tolmin Gorges
  • Kozjak waterfall
  • Tolmin Museum
  • Bridge on the Soča

Opening hours

  • January – March 10:00 – 17:00, every day
  • April – June 9:00 – 18:00, every day
  • July – August 9:00 – 20:00, every day
  • September 9:00 – 18:00, every day
  • October – December 10:00 – 17:00, every day

Visitors can visit the museum individually or in a group. The exhibitions are in Slovene, Italian, German, and English. For visitors who do not speak any of these languages, we offer a short summary in the other languages, which you will receive when you buy your ticket.
For groups of more than 15 people, a guided tour of the museum is already included in the ticket price. Individual guided tours are charged according to the price list.

Guided tours of the exhibitions are available in Slovene, Italian, German, English, Croatian, French, and Spanish. A typical guided tour of the Museum lasts one and a half hours and includes a 20-minute documentary film screened in Slovenian, Italian, German, English, French, Spanish, Czech, and Hungarian, subtitled in Hebrew, Russian and Croatian. The guided tour can be tailored to the wishes and requirements of the visitors. The museum is also open outside opening hours for groups with prior notice.

Image Gallery

YouTube player

Russian Chapel

Russian Chapel

Explore local heritage

Russian chapel

Lake Jasna
Must see
Elevation: 818 - 1.132 m
7.3 km
Local heritage
Height difference: 325 m
1 h 44 min walk
Asphalt road
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

The Russian Chapel was built in honor of the Russian soldiers who were building the road over the Vršič Pass in World War I and were tragically buried by an avalanche. Reportedly, 170 to 300 Russian and 10 to 80 Austro-Hungarian soldiers died during the road construction. Kranjska Gora was an important strategic point on the Isonzo Front at this time. The Orthodox wooden chapel of St Vladimir was built in 1916 and next to it is the grave of one of the buried soldiers with the Russian inscription ‘To the Sons of Russia’. The chapel is wooden and has a stone foundation. The two domes imitate the typical Russian Baroque style.

The Russian Chapel is dedicated to the memory of the Russian soldiers who were buried in an avalanche during the construction of the road over the Vršič mountain pass.

In 2006, the road to Vršič has renamed the Russian Road and connects Kranjska Gora with Bovec. All the turns are paved and numbered. Every first Sunday in September, the “Juriš na Vršič” or Goni Pony cycling event takes place on the road past the chapel.

Already at the time of Slovenia’s independence, the Kranj Institute for Nature Conservation and Cultural Heritage restored parts of the Russian Chapel, restored the graves of Russian prisoners at Erjavec lodge (Erjavčeva koča), cleaned and restored the grave of the unknown soldier next to the chapel and erected an information billboard. Since 1996, a Memorial Ceremony has been held at the Chapel every last Sunday in July, attended by many important Slovenian and Russian representatives. In the following years, the chapel’s deteriorated elements were continuously repaired, until in 2005, with the help of the Ministry of Culture and a donation from Russian sponsors, it was completely restored with its surroundings.

In 2015, the ceremony was attended by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and a year later by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

How to get to the Russian Chapel?

You will have to drive past the Jasna lakes, uphill towards the Vršič mountain pass, and past the Mihov dom mountain lodge. The Russian Chapel is located at the fifth kilometer of the Kranjska Gora – Vršič road at an altitude of 1,100 m. The area around the chapel is fenced and landscaped with paths and benches. On the opposite side of the road, there is a parking space for visitors to the chapel.

Sights in the immediate vicinity

If you go to the Russian Chapel, you can also see:

  • Jasna Lakes
  • Panoramic view on the way to Vršič (the Prisank window is particularly nice)
  • The Vršič mountain pass itself and the frozen face in the Prisank wall – the Pagan Girl
  • Have refreshments in one of the lodges on the way
  • Visit the Land of Kekec (Kekčeva dežela) with your children
  • Descend into the Tamar Valley and visit Bovec
Image Gallery

YouTube player