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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Photo: Bohinj

Bohinj is a 20 km long and 5 km wide basin within the Julian Alps, in the Upper Carniola region of north-western Slovenia. It is traversed by the Sava Bohinjka river. Its main feature is the periglacial Lake Bohinj.

The church of St. John the Baptist, framed by the bridge and the famous view of Lake Bohinj, is no doubt the most famous image of Bohinj. The church, incorporating in the elements of Romanesque to Baroque periods, is one of the most diverse architectural monuments in Bohinj, and features among the most attractive examples of Slovenian medieval architecture and wall paintings.


Lake Bohinj, covering 317 hectares, is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. The largest of the streams that flow into the lake, the Savica (»little sava«), is fed from Black Lake, the largest lake in the Triglav Lakes Valley. The outflow at the eastern end is the Jezernica creek which merges with the Mostnica to form the Sava Bohinjka, which in turn becomes the larger Sava River at the confluence with the Sava Dolinka.



The Sava Bohinjka (which merges with the Sava Dolinka into the Sava) begins when two rivers, the Jezernica and the Mostnica, merge. The Mostnica comes from the Voje Valley, whereas the Jezernica is a very short river that flows from Lake Bohinj. Many smaller streams flow into the lake. The largest of them, the Savica, emerges in Komarča as a large waterfall. Savica Falls gets most of its water from Black Lake, which is the largest in the Triglav Lakes Valley.
Devil's Bridge was according to the legend created by the Devil. He made a deal with the people that were unable to build the bridge by themselves because it always collapsed. The deal was that, if the built the bridge for them, the first soul to cross it would be his. The people agreed, but couldn't decide whom to send when it was finished. But one farmer sent a dog across. The Devil went mad when he realised that they had tricked him.

Bohinjska Bistrica lies in the valley between the Sava Bohinjka River, the Dobrava and Ajdovski Gradec hills, and Bistrica and Belica creeks. The main road leading to the railway station divides the settlement into the upper and lower hamlets of Zgornja Vas and Spodnja Vas.


Bohinjska Bistrica is the location of three archaeological sites. The Giant's Castle archaeological site is a 5th Century BC fortification east of the settlement. It served as a refuge in the late Roman era, and features terracing, the remains of a defensive wall, and a fortified gate. It is associated with two prehistoric burial sites. The Selo archaeological site near Giant's Castle is a late Iron Age and Roman era site. The terraced slope shows traces of building layouts and various artifacts have been found at the site. The Telečnica archaeological site was inhabited in prehistoric times.


"Še dan današnji vidiš razvalino,
ki Ajdovski se gradec imenuje,
v nji gledaš Črtomírovo lastnino.
Narveč sveta otrokam sliši Slave,
tje bomo najdli pot, kjer nje sinovi
si prosti vóljo vero in postave."
The Baptism at the Savica – France Prešeren


The Zois Manor with Tower Clock was built in the neo Romanic style in the second half of the 18th century. Above the entrance doors we can see the famous arms. The manor was the residence and administrative building for iron entrepreneurs. In the Lord's garden, which is across the road in the southern side of the castle, is the Zois clock. Baron Ziga Zois built it that ironworkers would come in right time to the work. Ziga Zois was the ironworker, botanist, mineralogist, regenerator and the patron of the Slovenian literature. The castle and other buildings are today reorganized to the restaurant in the medieval style.
Rebro – Military cemetery of the First world war (1915-1917)
During the First world war, Bohinj was an important base behind Austro-Hungarian lines in the period from 1915-1917. The Bohinj railway was the most important supply route for the northern positions of the Austro-Hungarian 5th Army in the Tolmin bridge area; that is, in the part of the front between Mrzli vrh above Tolmin and Lom in Banjščice. Bohinjska Bistrica railway station was initially connected with Ukanc by a tow railway, which was later replaced with an electric narrow-gauge railway for the transport of military equipment to the high mountains of the Krn front. Two military hospitals operated in Bohinjska Bistrica from May 1915 until the end of 1917. Zois Castle housed Field Hospital No. 1506 (Feldspittal No. 1506), where the wounded were treated. Patients suffering from contagious diseases were treated in the Balassa Szarmat Reserve Hospital (Reserve Spittal Balassa Szarmat), popularly called Špital pod Rrebrom (Hospital below Rebro). Wounded soldiers and patients were conveyed by rail from the Tolmin bridge area, while some were also brought from the battlefield in the Krn range. The dead were buried here in the late 1917. At that time, both military hospitals moved closer to the battlefield on the Piava river. The cemetery comprises 285 marked graves where soldiers of all nations of the monarchy were put to rest: 202 of these were from the infantry ranks, 55 were from technical units and various services, 19 were from the artillery and 9 were Russian prisoners of war.

The First world war in Ukanc (1915-1917)
After Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, Bohinj became the immediate rear of the battlefield in the Krn mountain range. The main supply route of the 15th Austro-Hungarian Mountain Brigade, which was defending military positions on the eastern Krn sector, ran through Bohinj. The final station of the military aerial cableway leading to Komna Mountain was in Ukanc. There were several warehouses of military material. Many prisoners of war, mostly Russians, worked there. The troops left Bohinj in November 1917 after the Italians retreated to the Piave River. From June 1915 to November 1917, the cemetery in Ukanc was mostly used for burying Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed in the fierce battles that took place in the summer and autumn of 1915 in the Krn mountain range. The majority of these soldiers served in infantry regiments from the Hungarian part of the country. From the evidence of surnames and the centres of recruitment recorded, the majority of soldiers buried were Hungarians, Poles and Ukrainians. Civilians and soldiers from other nations of the monarchy were also among those buried: Slovaks, Czechs, Germans, Romanians, Serbs and Slovenes. There are also 17 Russians, two Romanian and one Italian prisoners of war buried at the cemetery. Prisoners of war in Bohinj, lacking food, built military roads, a railway, cut wood, carried military supplies, etc. A total of 282 graves are marked, including 221 with names. There are 64 graves of unknown soldiers and prisoners of war. As many as 14 graves have been lost or are the burial place of two soldiers.

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"Everyday I wake
I tell myself a little harmless lie
The whole wide world is mine"
- Angels & Airwaves

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