Javorca, memorial Church of the Holy Spirit
Javorca memorial church of the Holy Spirit is an art nouveau wooden church standing on a stone pedestal that has been built during WW1. The Memorial Church was constructed between 1st March and 1st November 1916 by over one thousand Austro-Hungarian soldiers and many of them were master craftsmen and manufacturers. It was dedicated to their 2564 fallen soldiers, defenders of Tolmin battlefields on the Isonzo Front, which names are written on the oak wooden boards inside of the church.
The church was financed from voluntary contributions. The church and decorations were designed by Viennese architect Remigius Geyling, while the construction work was headed by Géza Jablonszky. The location of the church is set at the equal distance from the key WW1 battlefields of the area (Sleme, Mrzli vrh, Rdeči rob, Vodil vrh).
The impressive wooden interior with colorful decorations in blue, gold and white colors, 2 huge angels and wooden alter, will take your breath away.
Get amazed by the exterior of the church with coats of arms of the twenty provinces of Austro-Hungarian Empire (Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, Rijeka city Bosnia, Dalmatia, Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia, Galicia, Bukovina, Trieste city, Austrian Coast (Gorica-Grado, Istria), Tyrol, Salzburg, Carniola, Carinthia, Styria, Upper Austria, Lower Austria), which formed Austria-Hungary, a bell tower with a solar clock and the inscription PAX (peace) above the entrance, as well. The chapel, a refuge for the solders from different religions and backgrounds (Catholics, Protestants, Muslims) and atheists as well, served for daily services already during the war and was a peaceful place perfect for meditation.
This best hidden gem of the Julian Alps was awarded by European heritage label. It is the most beautiful WW1 memorial in Slovenia and a symbol of a call for reconciliation. What is more, the church has been proclaimed a cultural monument of national importance, and is the only sacred place in Slovenia featuring the Art Nouveau style in its entirety.
Javorca memorial church of the Holy spirit, a symbol of peace and a wooden shrine, is part of Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic. It is located on a bank and set among the Tolmin-Bohinj mountains and Rdeči rob overlooking the narrow and unspoilt Tolminka valley that offers great spots for admiring natural and cultural beauties of Soca valley.
Basic information about Javorca memorial church of the Holy Spirit
GPS location: N 46° 14′ 5.403″ E 13° 43′ 11.664″
Best time to visit: spring, autumn (avoid August if you can!).
What to bring: proper shoes, a bottle of water and a snack.
Entrance fee: 4 EUR/adult; 2 EUR/child (7 till 14 years); 3,20 EUR/seniors and students; 10 EUR/family (2+2).
30th March – 26th April every Saturday, Sunday, holidays from 10am to 5pm
27th April – 5th May every day from 10am to 5pm
6th May – 17th May every Saturday, Sunday, holidays from 10am to 5pm
18th May – 14th June every day from 10am to 5pm
15th June – 31st August every day from 10am to 7pm
1st September – 13th October every day from 10am to 5pm
14th October – 3rd November every Saturday, Sunday, holidays from 10am to 5pm
4th November – 29th March closed, visit is possible upon prior reservation at the price for groups.
How to reach Javorca memorial church of the Holy Spirit?
- By walk from Zatolmin: you need to follow the sign for Javorca. It takes 2 hours.
- By shuttle bus: during the summer time every Saturday and Sunday between 29th June and 1st September, between 29th July to 2nd August and 12th August to 22nd August also on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and every day between 20th July and 28th July and 3rd August to 11th August there is a shuttle bus for 20 people that connects Tolmin with Javorca. It operates at 10:40am. The return ride from Javorca is at 1:30pm. The ride costs 1 EUR/person.
- By car: At the traffic light (the only one in Tolmin!) in the center of Tolmin turn left (if you are coming from Kobarid) or turn right (if you are coming from Most na Soči) in the direction of Zatolmin. Follow signposts for Javorca. After 20 minutes driving on a narrow gravel zig-zag road you come to parking lot (it is (still) free of charge). Park your car here and walk for about 20 minutes to Javorca memorial church.
Most of the accommodation in Soca valley are booked? Check room availability at Herbal Rooms Homestay.