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THE KOLOVRAT RANGE – outdoor museum
The third Italian line of defence
(linea d' armata)

Access: On the road between Kobarid and Tolmin, at the settlement Idrsko, turn towards the village Livek (5 km). At the crossroads in the centre of the village turn left, towards Kuk or Livške Ravne (4 km). From here, further gross three kilometers of asphalt road lead to the outdoor museum. The museum information board is located at a small parking site. From the parking site the path ascends to the cleaned and restored positions of the Italian army and then up to the top of Mt. Na Gradu (1115 m), where the state border with Italy runs. Access possible also from the Italian side. Easy access to the positions.

Altitude: Livške Ravne 1037 m
  Kolovrat - Na Gradu 1115 m

Time required for visit : 1 hour

Historical outline: On the left bank of the Soča a steep slope of the Kolovrat range rises between Kobarid and Tolmin. Along its ridge the borderline between Austro-Hungary and Italy ran before the First World War. On the first day of the war the Italian troops transgressed the border ridge and started to fortify it. The Italian army gradually built an extensive system of defence line which was called “linea d'armata”. Numerous gun positions and observation posts were on the ridge, from where the Soča/Isonzo battlefield, from the Krn mountains, Mt. Mrzli vrh, the Tolmin bridgehead to the Banjška planota plateau, were being observed. From these posts at high locations the Italian gunners were able to shell the Austro-Hungarian first line of defence, the supply route between Tolmin and Baška grapa and other relevant targets in the Austro-Hungarian rear. The entire ridge was also crisscrossed with fortified trenches. Across the saddle between the mountains Na Gradu (1115 m) and Trinški vrh (1139 m) an important supply route ran, connecting the rear with the positions before the Tolmin bridgehead, or with the first and the second lines of Italian positions. The positions on the Kolovrat range were one of the key points of defence to the Italians during the 12th Isonzo battle. The command of the Austro-Hungarian army granted a high decoration, “Pour le mérite”, to the officer who would conquer this point. It was awarded to first lieutenant Schörner who, with his troop from the composition of the German Alpine Corps, conquered the positions on Na Gradu as early as the evening of the first day of the offensive, 24 October 1917. By conquering them, the German troops opened the way for their further advance along the ridge of the Kolovrat range and Mt. Matajur and farther on to the Friuli lowlands. In the fights on the Kolovrat range first lieutenant Erwin Rommel also took part, as the commander to a troop from the Württemberg Mountain Battalion. On the third day of the 12th Isonzo battle, with his troop he conquered Mt. Matajur.

Present situation: Arranged on the ridge of the Kolovrat range is an outdoor museum. This location offers a splendid panoramic view over the former battlefield stretching from the Krn mountains to Sveta Gora and the Friuli lowlands. Located here are commanders' and observation posts, machine-gun and gun positions, caves and a network of trenches and connection galleries at several levels. Structures of the third Italian line of defence are densely tossed on both sides of the state border. A special approach to the restoration of these positions was the use of original building materials (wire nets for fortifying slopes, corrugated sheets, slates, etc.) from the time of the First World War.

In charge of the reconstruction and maintenance of Italian positions on the Slovenian side of the Kolovrat range is the Ustanova »Fundacija Poti miru v Posočju« (»Walks of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation«).

 
 
   
             
   
     
 
  The making of the website was financially supported by the European Union. The Ustanova »Fundacija Poti miru v Posoeju« (»Walks of Peace in the Soea Region Foundation«) bears the sole responsibility for the contents of this document and it by no means can be treated as the official stance of the European Union.