Music

MetalDays

24. 07. - 30. 07. 2022

Tolmin

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MetalDays

Dijaška ulica 18 SI-5220, Tolmin

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Though the first edition of the international metal music festival MetalDays was held in 2013, the festival actually goes back to 2004, as it is in all but name a continuation of the legendary Metalcamp. As such, for some time now, it is one of the central metal events in this part of Europe, attracting a massive international audience of thousands of fans from Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, the Mediterranean countries, and Slovenia. This is, among other things, due to the carefully crafted conjunction of a musical experience with a tourist one.

The festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the Alps and is held at the Sotočje peninsula at Tolmin. Its programme represents a wide variety of genres and sub-genres of metal with the addition of hardcore influenced styles in the 7-day gathering of bands performing on a couple of stages.

Background

Metalcamp, with its programme and especially its fantastic location, fast made a name for itself amongst the metal crowds from the whole of Europe. In its 10 years, its line-up featured a very decent part of the prolific metal bands touring around Europe and hosted Danzig, Apocalyptica, Hypocrisy, Blind Guardian, Ancient, Satyricon, Lamb of God, Primal Fear, Slayer, Anthrax, Obituary, Soulfly, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Motörhead, Cradle of Filth, Sepultura, Kreator, Immortal, Korpiklaani, Pain, The Exploited, Ministry, In Flames, Morbid Angels, Nightwish, Napalm Death, Down, Cannibal Corpse, Over Kill, Behemoth, Sabaton and the local powerhouse Noctiferia. The festival also had a second stage for newcomers.

MetalDays programme

Programme-wise, the MetalDays has kept the festival’s original direction and has hosted artists such as Annihilator, Iced Earth, In Flames, King Diamond, Mayhem, Sonata Arctica and Wintersun, Children of Bodom , Amorphis, Opeth, Megadeth, Korn, Sepultura, Dream Theater, Fear factory, etc. Nevertheless, MetalDays has enriched its roster by having the second stage booked by Dirty Skunks, a promoter that also has a year-long concert programme, staging various alternative music genres like metal, hardcore, punk and the many things in-between. To their stage in Sotočje they’ve brought bands like Rotting Christ, Beheaded, Immolation, Aborted, Nocturnal Depression, The Canyon Observer, Benediction and Vicious Rumors. There are also concert slots for newcomers, who are still strongly featured at this festival.

Besides music there is naturally some additional programme, the most curious one probably being man-in-thongs-volleyball (its corresponding sports happening being topless badminton). There are also occasional striptease shows and a karaoke stand.

MetalHoliday

As the audience is mostly international, MetalDays is logistically supported by MetalHoliday, an organisation that plans and organises coach trips to the festivals MetalDays (and Punk Rock Holiday – another summer festival held at that same location) from about 10 European countries and around 50 cities. MetalDays also makes available for rent all the stuff one needs for festival camping.

Music

Festival Kontrada

2. 07. - 22. 07. 2022

Kanal ob Soči

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Festival Kontrada

Pionirska 2 5213, Kanal ob Soči

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The beginnings of the Kontrada Festival date back to 1996, when the Channel Youth Club started this event. In the beginning, the festival included several artistic genres, but later it focused mainly on music. The festival took place all the time in a pleasant square in the medieval center of the Canal. This year we revived the festival after a few years of calm. As part of this year’s Kontrada Festival, 3 concerts will take place on Kontrada Square.

Programme

– DAN D, Saturday 02.07.2022 at 20.00

– SLAVKO IVANČIĆ, Saturday, 16.07.2022 at 20.00

– RUDI BUČAR TRIO, Friday 22.07.2022 at 20.00

Multidisciplinary

Sajeta Creative Camp

6. 07. - 11. 07. 2022

Tolmin

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Kreativni tabor Sajeta

Gregorčičeva 2 SI-5220, Tolmin

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Launched in 1998 and held on the peninsula between the mountain rivers Soča and Tolminka, Sajeta Creative Camp is a very special kind of a summer festival. Routinely transgressing the boundaries of the term, its musical programme forms only a part of the festival’s content. It also features a wide variety of workshops, ranging from literature, music and film production to wood carving and Linux programming. An important aspect of the Sajeta Creative Camp (called Sajeta in short) is its distinctively diverse and knowledgeable crowd and the laid back, even intimate, atmosphere. Regularly, a part of Sajeta’s programme is set in the nearby city centre of Tolmin, thus subverting the spatial festival convention as well.

The staged musical performances are never genre bound; folk, free improvisation, avant rock, electro-acoustics and dub techno can all be heard on the same stage in the same evening. The peripheral status of the presented sonic acts is more or less the only conceptual link between them.

Background

Created by a group of young enthusiasts from Tolmin, the creative camp was at first a weekend-long event based on artist workshops. A number of artists and performers gathered there in 1998 and 1999, but then for the next two years Sajeta (which is otherwise a mythical creature from those parts and also means a storm) was held on standby. In 2002, the Tolmin Union of Youth Associations relaunched the festival and expanded it with a musical and multimedia programme.

After that, Sajeta gradually became a renowned, about a week-long festival with a (more or less) ambitious musical programme, film screenings, drama performances and literary readings, generating a creative atmosphere unlike any other summer festival and strongly differentiating from the other, more commercially successful and genre-profiled events that also take place on the idyllic Sotočje peninsula, which in itself has in the last decade become the prime spot for summer music festivals.

Somewhat miraculously the festival persists in continuously bringing challenging and curious festival experiences.

Musical and other festival programme

The musicians and groups presented till now are innumerable. A few of the big names are the underground diva Lydia Lunch, the Vienna electronics scene prime protagonists Fennesz, Radian and Thilges 3, electronics pioneers such as Dieter Moebius, Richard Pinhas and Roedelius, folk virtuosos Alexander Balanescua and Lajko Felix. A very exceptional resident of Sajeta is probably the most prolific Slovene jazz musician Zlatko Kaučič, who performed concerts with jazz legends Trevor Watts, Akosh Szeleveny, Louis Sclavis and Peter Brötzmann. But still, the programme is not built on head liners – conversely, it seeks to escape such a paradigm.

Presenting many emerging and established musicians and bands from Slovenia, (the somewhat neglected) Eastern Europe and from elsewhere, the festival has hosted (to randomly select a few) Vasko Atanasovski Trio, Broken Heart Collector, Alzheimer Trio, Bratko Bibič, Orton, Ago Tela, Ivan Volarič – Feo, Psycho-Path, Cirkulacija 2, Random Logic, Borghesia, Vladimir Vaclavek, Uzgun Uver, Korai Orom, Zakarya and Manufacture, The Magic Carpathians Project, East Rodeo, 7 That Spells, Damir Avdić, Rambo Amadeus, Sejiro Murayama, Metalycee, Francesco Cusa, Haradhan Das Baul, and so on.

The almost never-absent rain and storms which happen during the festival are also thought by some to be part of the festival’s programme. Any weather goes well along with accompanying programmes: a very strong programme for children, more than a dozen workshops and also lectures, photography exhibitions and video screenings.

International collaborations

At least some of the workshops are always led by foreign artists, pedagogues and collectives; of them, two regulars are the Serbian film makers Kino klub Novi Sad and the Sicilian percussionist Francesco Cusa. Besides that, in 2009 Sajeta started a two-way collaboration with the famous German label Staubgold, whose musicians have had numerous appearances on the Sajeta stage till then. There was also the project Fair Music, within which Sajeta works with MICA (Music Information Center Austria) and International Music Council from UNESCO and which aims to build on the idea of fairness within musical publishing.

There is also the project Sotočja (Confluences) within which they have organised a series of concerts with musicians from different countries that collaborate especially for the festival. One such international project worth mentioning is the the Luminous Synergy Project in which the international crew of the Human Synergy Project and the mostly-Slovene Lighting Guerrilla team used different technologies to create a light and sound installation in the city centre.

Nova Gorica Arts Centre

Nova Gorica

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Kulturni dom Nova Gorica

Bevkov trg 4 SI-5000, Nova Gorica

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The Nova Gorica Arts Centre (Kulturni dom Nova Gorica) was opened as a regional cultural and community centre back in 1980. Besides being a prominent concert and film theatre venue, it is nowadays also the most important concert producer for classical and early music in Western Slovenia. Besides using its own two event halls, the Arts Centre often sets up concerts at other venues, most regularly at the Kromberk Castle and the Franciscan Monastery at Kostanjevica, a hill just above Nova Gorica.

Its visual arts branch, the Nova Gorica City Gallery, is located within the Nova Gorica theatre building complex. The Arts Centre organises a range of other programmes, including the Pixxelpoint International Festival of Computer Art, the October Jazz festival, the International Saxophone Meeting and the Flores Musicae Festival of mediaeval and renaissance music. All in all, the Nova Gorica Arts Centre organises more than 500 events with almost 65,000 visitors per year.

Collaborations

The Arts Centre collaborates with numerous producers and associations. Very notable and extensive is the work done with the Slovene branch of Jeunesses Musicales International, dedicated to the promotion of music education in primary and secondary schools in the wider region.

In the field of classical music, the centre regularly cooperates with the Academy of Music, the Ljubljana Music and Ballet Conservatory, Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTV Slovenia Music Production Unit, Glasbena matica Ljubljana, Society of Slovene Composers, the Ljubljana Festival, Imago Sloveniae and others.

Its close regional partners are Prosvetno društvo Soča Kanal (responsible for contemporary music festival Kogoj’s Days), the Union of Primorska Music Schools, the Italy based Cultural Centre Gorizia, the association Controtempo Cormons (IT), also responsible for the Festival of Jazz & Wine of Peace, Ensemble Dramsam. the association Progetto Musica (IT), Centro Giuliano di Musica Antica (IT) and Ensemble Dramsam (IT).

Classical and early music programme

The longest running programme at the centre has been presenting classical music since 1980. Simply called the Concert Season (Glasbeni abonma), it welcomed many internationally acclaimed musicians and featured almost all leading Slovene musicians. Among them were soloists such as Irena Grafenauer, Marjana Lipovšek, Tatjana Blome (DE), Natalie Clein (UK) and Grigorij Žislin (RU), orchestras like the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (RU), the Kiev Chamber Orchestra (UA), the Camerata Frankonia Chamber Orchestra (DE), the Vienna Concert-Verein Orchestra (AT), and various ensembles like the String Quartet Tchaikovsky (RU), The Dominant Quartet (RU), Slowind and Carmina Slovenica.

Of a similar nature but done on a smaller scale is the Castle harmonies (Grajske harmonije) cycle, taking place in the hall of the Kromberk Castle and co-produced with the Goriška Museum. These evenings with smaller chamber ensembles and soloists have been going on since 2012, and are a continuation of the 1990s and early 2000s series Goriška Muses, held at Dobrovo Castle. Some of the guests include Duo Claripiano, Jasna Corrado Merlak, Sebastian Bertoncelj, Ensemble Les Eléments (CH), Nadežda Tokareva (RU), Elena Graf (DE),

Another spatially outsourced cycle called Music from the Gardens of St. Francis is a series of concerts held in the beautiful surroundings of the Franciscan Monastery at Kostanjevica above Nova Gorica, designed primarily for young Slovene musicians.

In 2011 a new festival going by the name Days of Early Music was first set up in Nova Gorica (merging with the preexisting Royal Court Music International Festival). Organised in cooperation with well-established festivals Musica Cortese from Italy and Dvigrad from Croatian Istria, the festival was broad in scope, presenting geographically unbound interpretations of early music. The festival took place at the centre itself, yet also at the Hall of the Franciscan Monastery of Kostanjevica, the Villa Vipolže manor, the Kromberk Castle and some other venues in the region.

Apart from these international festivals, Nova Gorica Arts Centre also co-produced two cross-border music festivals with Italian partners, called Between the Sounds of Places and ECHOS – Cross-border Echoes.

Popular music programme

Since 1996, in collaboration with the Nova Gorica Arts Centre, the Nova Gorica Music School organises the International Saxophone Meeting, a summer school plus an accompanying festival held in and around the city.

Since the early 2000s the centre has also been setting up a festival for jazz, blues, gospel and ethno music. In 2015, this was re-established as the October Jazz festival. Some of the staged artists were Oliver Lake, Evan Parker, Bob Brozman (US), Katie Graham (US), Eric Sardinas & Big Motor (US), The Fonda/Stevens Group (US), Ken Vandermark (US), Zlatko Kaučič, Vasko Atanasovski Trio, Mia Žnidaršič, etc. Alongside all of this, there are many standalone concerts that range from rock and pop to world music, folk, etc

Film, multimedia and other programmes

The Film Theatre programme is more or less focused on art film, and the centre is a part of the Art Cinema Network.

The bar, operated by the centre, is also the place for various lectures, round tables, photographic exhibitions, smaller concerts, etc. A vurious part of the programme is a series of live interviews with remarkable people, from mountaineers to missionaries, from film authors (who accopany their film screenings) to photoraphers.

The Arts Centre is paying much attention to musical education and collaborates with all the elementary and secondary schools in the wider region. Each year, they organise around one hundred and fifty educational or entertainment programmes for the young.

Museum on the Border

Nova Gorica

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Muzej na meji

Kolodvorska pot 8 SI-5000 , Nova Gorica

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The Museum on the Border is situated in four different defunct premises at the border between Slovenia and Italy. This museological presentation of the heritage of everyday life on the border in the times od Socialism, has been conceived and maintained by the Goriška Museum. It includes the Museum Collection Railway Station in Nova Gorica, the Military Watchtower in Vrtojba and the collections in Miren and Pristava.

Permanent exhibitions

In 2012 the permanent exhibition Remember Me on illegal crossings of the border opened to the public at the Miren cemetery. The exhibition is dedicated to people whose lives were affected by the politics and who were looking for a better life on each of the sides of the demarcation line that literally split the Miren cemetery between the two countries after the WW2.

The ingenious ways of petty smuggling and everyday economic migration across the border is presented in the Pristava exhibition Smuggling in the Goriška Region after World War II. The local inhabitants have shared with the museum curators their memories on smuggling practices, the most popular goods such as blue jeans, coffee, washing powder, pornography, music records etc. The display in the former customs-office building includes also the escape room that reveals more details on the act of smuggling.

The Railway Station in Nova Gorica located by the border hosts the State Border in the Goriška Region 1945-2004 exhibition that opened in 2005. The building itself is a fine example of a Secession architecture, designed by a Viennese architect Robert Seelig. It was built in 1906 which makes it the oldest public building in the town of Nova Gorica. After the WW2 it fount itself on the territory of Yugoslavia.

The military watchtower in Vrtojba, however, testifies of the strict border control. It was built in 1948 and has been preserved as the smallest memorial museum in Slovenia. The collage-like exhibition focuses on the life next to the new state border demarcated in 1947, which divided the previously unified cultural, social, economic and political territory of the Goriška region into two parts.

Zemono Manor House

Zemono Manor House was built in the 17th Century, in 1689, on a hill north west of Vipava by the Lanthieri counts. The manor, which was used as their hunting residence, is the only example of polydonic secular architecture in Slovenia. Nowadays several cultural events take place here. The music programme at Zemono Manor House is co-funded by Ministry of Culture.

Myra Locatelli Cultural Association

Tolmin

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Kulturno društvo Myra Locatelli

Volče 123 SI-5220, Tolmin

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The Myra Locatelli Cultural Association’s starting point in 2000 was the Show Your Tongue International School of Scriptwriting. Later on its programme has developed some new initiatives which aim to connect different artistic and literary forms, and above all to develop them into interesting projects.

In the recent years the association has been organising the annual Lukatelce Festival, dedicated to ethno music and literature with a high quality programme. It takes place in the intimate atmosphere of the Locatelli homestead in Volče and is hosted by Zdravko Duša, writer, translator, and editor.

Lukatelova House

The Lukatelova House in Volče is home to the Myra Locatelli Cultural Association. Myra renews house contents, updates the village tradition, prints books, and sometimes releases a CD.

In the summer, almost every week, it invites lovers of books, conversations and art. Interesting authors, exciting topics, art exhibitions, music, films and also gourmet delights are the contribution of the Lukatel House to the local environment.

From the presentation of the Fičko throughout Yugoslavia book, ZRC Publishing

Lokar Gallery

Ajdovščina

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Lokarjeva galerija

Prešernova 15 SI-5270 , Ajdovščina

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Lokar Gallery was established in 2012 by the North Primorska Region Fine Artists Society. The gallery features contemporary visual artists. It also houses a memorial room of Danilo Lokar, a physician and Expressionist author.

In 2020, the project “Rise of woman in culture in Western Balkan”, led by Association Fenomena from Serbia, was selected on the Creative Europe special Western Balkans call. Lokar Gallery will participate in the upcoming project as a partner.

Lavrič Library, Ajdovščina

Ajdovščina

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Lavričeva knjižnica Ajdovščina

Cesta IV. prekomorske 1 SI-5270, Ajdovščina

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Lavrič Library in Ajdovščina traces its origins back to 1864, when Dr Karel Lavrič (1818–1876), a liberal politician and lawyer, established Slovenia’s 11th reading room. It has branches in Vipava, Podnanos, and Dobravlje as well as a mobile library.

Members can make use of a 45-seat reading room and a number of PC workstations. In addition to making the substantial collection of books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and other material accessible to its users, the library functions as a significant cultural, information and social centre of the region, striving to foster reading culture. It hosts events for children and adults; the elderly may join in on a number of meetings, while librarians also pay visits to the nursing home. A user-friendly institution, it enables access for disabled individuals, provides facilities for mothers with babies, and lends magnifying glasses to afford easier reading.

The library participates in the project Primorci beremo (“The Primorska Region Reads”), which joins all libraries of the Primorska region and some in the Italian border region in one of the largest reading campaigns in Slovenia.

Kobarid Museum

Kobarid

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Kobariški muzej

Gregorčičeva 10 SI-5222, Kobarid

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Kobarid Museum is devoted to the Soča (Isonzo) Front of the First World War. The valley of Soča River saw no fewer than 12 battles between the Italians and the forces of the Austro-Hungarian empire between May 1915 and November 1917, making it a battlefield of extraordinary proportions, even for World War I. The exact death toll has never been established. While talk used to be of over a million, historians now say that at least 300,000 soldiers died in three years of fighting.

Established in 1990 in the Slovene town Kobarid (called Karfreit when part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and Caporetto under the Italians) near the Italian border, the Kobarid Museum won the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize in 1993. The permanent exhibition is unique in that it does not favour any side in the war, there are just men fighting, losing lives and being mutilated under heavy fire or harsh weather conditions in a war where industry and money make a difference, not man power, courage or effort. It is a museum about war that leaves an impression of deep pacifism.

Exhibition

Accommodated in a renovated house in the vicinity of the town’s main square which once housed an Italian military court, the museum displays an amazing collection of military equipment, photographs and personal belongings of soldiers fighting at the front.

The entrance foyer symbolically introduces visitors to the theme of the permanent exhibitions with maps that present Europe’s World War I battlefields and the reshaped political borders at the end of the war, with flags, portraits of soldiers of many nationalities and gravestones from the military cemeteries in the Upper Soča Valley region. Because of its location at the junction of the Soča and Nadiža valleys that link Friuli and Carinthia, Kobarid was the scene of numerous invasions and wars, the most ferocious one being during the First World War.

The Krn Room presents the initial assaults along the Soča River after Italy’s entry into the war in 1915. Italian alpine troops achieved the first major victory on the Soča Front with the capture of Mount Krn, when in June 1915 they wrested this 2,245 metre peak from the hands of its Hungarian defenders. The central exhibit of this room is the 1:1000 scale model of Mount Krn, Mount Batognica and neighbouring peaks. Many visitors study the model carefully before taking the guided tour of this highest part of the former battlefield, or alternatively upon their return from the unforgettable open-air museum.

The White Room tells of the suffering of the soldiers in the cruel environment of the karst (limestone) mountains during winters with 6 (and sometimes more) metres of snow.

The Hinterland Room illustrates how the area behind the lines of the Soča Front became a genuine anthill of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and workers scattered from Mount Rombon to the shores of the Bay of Trieste.

The story of the 29 months of fighting for positions along the Soča River concludes in the Black Room, where photos, crucifixes and sculptures made by soldiers are on display.

The third floor depicts the final campaign of the Soča Front and the twelfth Soča battle, the counter-offensive by elite German and Austro-Hungarian units called the Battle of Kobarid (also, the Battle of Caporetto). The scale of this task is illustrated on a 1:5000-scale relief model of the Upper Soča River region and large maps showing the movements and distribution of military units. The preparations for the battle and its course are documented with numerous photographs, taken largely in the second half of October 1917 and during the first days of the fighting, which present most comprehensively the events in the Bovec basin, including the German attack with gas shells on the troops of the Friuli Brigade, the breakthrough of the 12th Silesian Division from Tolmin toward Kobarid, and the movement of first-lieutenant Erwin Rommel’s unit across the slopes of the Kolovrat mountain range to the peaks of Mount Matajur. A very detailed description of these events is presented in the 19-minute multivision video programme, which can be viewed in four languages.

The museum upgraded its multimedia equipment in 2005, acquiring new archives and making a new documentary about the museum to mark the 90th anniversary of the beginning of this bloody World War I battleground.

Guided tours

The Kobarid Historical Trail leads visitors to places in the surroundings of Kobarid where there are significant historical, cultural, and natural points of interest. It is 5 kilometres long and it takes 3 hours to see historical sites around the historical town of Kobarid. Major stops along the trail besides the Kobarid Museum are: Roman settlement at Gradič, Italian ossuary, Tonocov grad, Italian defence line, Soča Canyon, Kozjak Falls, Italian defence line and Napoleon Bridge.

For those with some trekking experience wishing to explore the historical battle field, 5 mountain trails from 3 to 10 hours are available to visit with a museum guide. The very demanding tours to Mount Krn and Mount Batognica (8 hours) and to the Ridge of Kal to Mount Krnčica (10 hours) as well as the medium difficulty tour to Rommel’s Route (6 hours) are the longest. The tour to Rommel’s Route follows the route of the decisive breakthrough of the German and Austro-Hungarian forces on 26 October 1917 near Tolmin as Erwin Rommel, later known as Desert Fox, described in his book Infanterie greift an [The infantry attacks] (1937).

Two easier tours include one to the Ridge of Kolovrat to Mount Na Gradu (3 hours), and finally, the tour to Mount Mrzli Vrh (4 hours). All along the Soča River many rich and interesting private museum collections on remains from First World War can be visited on prior notice.

Next to the Kobarid Museum there is a Tourist Information centre with a spacious exhibition space where occasional temporary, art and history exhibitions are held. Also, there is the information centre for the Walk of Peace, a 230 kilometres long trail that crosses many of the sites with remains from the Isonzo front and its aftermath.

International cooperation

The Kobarid Museum is an integral Slovene partner in international collaboration between Italian and Austrian organisations involved in researching and promoting a common history of the First World War and the Isonzo Front so that the whole southwest frontline can become a European Park of Memory. In order to preserve this heritage the Slovene Government adopted a 10-year programme in 2000 and established the Walk of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation as the head organisation for this national and international project. The objective of the project is to preserve, restore and present the historical and cultural heritage of the First World War in the area of the Isonzo Front for study, tourist and educational purposes. The foundation was supported also by the European Interreg IIIA program and Phare CBC Italia.