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ZAPRIKRAJ – outdoor museum
The first Italian line of defence

Access: In Kobarid turn towards the village of Drežnica (5 km), from there towards Drežniške Ravne (2 km). At the crossroads before the denser settlement of Drežniške Ravne turn right towards the alp of Zaprikraj (6 km). After about one kilometer of asphalt road, at a trough (cars can be parked there), a section of poorer, macadam road follows; driving with low-bottom cars dissuaded. Access with car possible to the border of the Triglav National Park, or to the entrance gate to the alp of Zaprikraj where a small parking site is arranged. From the parking site to the outdoor museum further 30 minutes of easy walk along the macadam track. The remains of the first Italian line of defence are located on either side of the macadam track at the fork of a forest route and a track to the alp of Predolina.

Altitude: Drežniške Ravne 560 m
The alp of Planina Zaprikraj 1208 m

Time required for visit: 2–3 hours (from the parking site at the
entrance to the Triglav National park)
 

5–6 hours (from the trough above Drežniške Ravne)

Historical outline: After Italy had declared war on Austro-Hungary the latter decided to transfer its defence from the then state border to the mountain ridges on the left bank of the Soča/Isonzo. The Italians were successful in the mountains above Drežnica at the beginning of the war, since they conquered a large portion of west ridges of the Krn mountains and the top of Mt. Krn on 16 June 1915. The Austro-Hungarian troops had to retreat northwards to tougher positions. Until the breakthrough of 1917, they only withstood the assaults on the positions in north-westernmost section of the ridge above the alps of Drežniške Ravne (on Mt. Kal). Austro-Hungary suffered there defeats because the troops that were deployed at the beginning of fights in these sections were not equally skilled in mountain fighting as the Italian alpini. Below the west section of the Krn mountains, on the saddle between Mt. Kal and Mt. Krasji vrh (above the alp of Predolina), the Italians constructed a system of built and concrete trenches with loopholes, and drilled caves and gun positions into rocks. Thus, they protected the area where the threat of Austro-Hungarian attack was pending. Concurrently, it was possible to intensify the attacks of their troops in the direction of Mt. Javoršček and the Golobar plateau by shelling. On certain locations, particularly on Mt. Kal, the positions of the two belligerent sides were very close to each other, only some tens of meters apart. For the supply of soldiers on these positions numerous mule tracks, the mulatiere , were made which are still visible today. Likewise, a road was built from Kobarid to Drežnica and further on to the alp of Zaprikraj for the supply of the front. The hardest times in these mountains during the two years of warfare were in the autumn of 1915. In the following two years either army was stuck in their trenches and only occasionally triggered some bigger attacks.

On the first day of the 12th Isonzo battle the Italians fiercely defended their positions above the alp of Predolina, so that the Austro-Hungarian army could not achieve any bigger success here. Since in the meantime the attackers had already conquered the valley, the Italians retreated from these positions too during the night of 24/25 October.

Present situation: In the area between the alps of Zaprikraj and Predolina an outdoor museum is arranged. Here we can see well-preserved and partly cleaned and restored positions of the Italian first line of defence – trenches, caves and fortified positions. In the vicinity there are also the remains of cabins, gun- and mortar positions and a restored memorial.

In charge of the reconstruction and maintenance of the Austro-Hungarian positions on Mt. Ravelnik is the Society Dreizehn-Dreizehn (13–13) of Bovec, in collaboration with 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.