NOVA GORICA: friendly people and beautiful surrounding nature

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The City of Roses

The City of Roses, Nova Gorica, is the second largest urban area in western Slovenia (after Koper). Nova Gorica is a very young city, built after the Second World War, when Gorizia, the former regional capital, became part of Italy. Gorizia (now called Stara Gorica) was not open to the Yugoslav population at that time, so in 1948, they began to build a new city based on the principles of modernist architecture. As the cultural capital, overlooking the Soča and Vipava valleys and the northwest Karst region, Nova Gorica has grown rapidly over the decades and today boasts a lively cultural life, hosting one of Slovenia’s four national theaters.

The city enjoys an enviable geographical position with a mild Mediterranean climate, shielded from cold winds by the Banjška and Trnovo plateaus. Today, the border between Stara and Nova Gorica is open, indicating that relations are certainly moving in the right direction, although an atmosphere of separation still lingers. Nova Gorica is also a casino city, boasting several casinos with top-notch equipment and a considerable number of Italian visitors from across the border. If you don’t want to visit the city to try your luck, come for the friendly people and the beautiful surrounding nature, where rich history awaits around every corner, or simply for a wine tasting experience in one of the top vineyards in the immediate vicinity.

EUROPE SQUARE

Upon Slovenia’s entry into the European Union, the former border between Stara and Nova Gorica, which divided communities, was removed. In honor of the European association, a square was built in Nova Gorica in front of the railway station, which is considered one of the more urbanized intersections between the two cities. Among many proposals, the architectural solution of a resident of Gorizia was chosen for the construction of the square.

In the center of the square, there is a large circular mosaic with the inscription ‘mosaic of the new Europe’, based on a simple motif of dark and light-colored lines made of gray stone, symbolizing the transition connecting the two cities.

KOSTANJEVICA MONASTERY

Very few places outside of France can boast the presence of the tomb of a French monarch, but the Franciscan monastery of Kostanjevica is one of them. In the ‘chapel’, as the locals call it, Charles X, along with other members of the Bourbon family, who were exiled after the July Revolution in the 1830s, is buried there.

On the southern facade of the monastery, appropriately, one can find one of the largest and most complete collections of Bourbon roses. Another attraction within the monastery itself is the Škrabec Library, which was declared a cultural monument in 1952. It houses a collection of more than 10,000 books in various languages, including influential Slovenian works from the 16th century. The monastery complex stands on a hill 143 meters high in Pristava and offers an exceptional view of Gorizia Castle and the suburbs of Nova Gorica.

SOLKAN BRIDGE

The Solkan Bridge near Nova Gorica is a true masterpiece of bridge construction, which still stands today as the second largest stone bridge in the world and the longest railway bridge. The current structure, with a length of 220 meters and an 85-meter-long arch over the Soča River, is actually a reconstruction completed in 1927. The original bridge was built around 1905 by the Austrians, who barely a decade later destroyed it to prevent the enemy’s advance during the First World War. At its peak, Solkan represented a significant breakthrough and part of the Austrian line between Jesenice and Gorizia. If you find yourself in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit, and just for the bridge alone, it’s worth coming to Nova Gorica.

SVETA GORA

Just from its name, you can expect a lot from the ascent of Sveta Gora. Its peak sits at an altitude of 682 meters and boasts a rich pilgrimage tradition, as befitting a mountain with such a name. Located at the intersection of the Soča and Vipava valleys, it offers a pleasant view of the entire region, from the Julian Alps and Trnovski forest to the Dolomites in the west.

GORIŠKI MUSEUM – VILA BARTOLOMEI IN SOLKAN

In Solkan stands the magnificent Villa Bartolomei, housing the headquarters of the Gorizia Museum, where restoration workshops and numerous exhibitions showcasing the famous history of the region take place. You can explore many interesting exhibitions under the auspices of the Gorizia Museum, such as the Marian Museum at Sveta Gora, the collection “State Border in Goriška” (which boasts an extremely exciting name), and the Military Guard Tower, one of the smallest museums in the world.

Address: Pod Vinogradi 2, Solkan, Phone: +386 (0)5 335 98 11, Website: www.goriskimuzej.si.

KROMBERK CASTLE

On the hill east of the city stands the beautiful Kromberk Castle, which offers several reasons to visit. The first attraction is the castle itself, built in the 17th century: this typical Renaissance-style fortress was once a single-story structure with four towers, and during the reconstruction after the First World War, an additional floor was added. Surrounding the mansion are meticulously maintained terraced gardens that invite exploration. Today, the castle hosts temporary and permanent art exhibitions and exhibitions of historical artifacts organized by the Gorizia Museum.


RIHEMBERK CASTLE

Rihemberk Castle is one of the most magnificent and oldest castles in the Primorska region, standing on a steep slope above the village of Branik. Its stunning medieval appearance dates back to the 13th century, and within its ancient walls lie centuries-old stories that have shaped the places and people in this part of Europe. In addition to its significant cultural and historical importance, the castle also serves as a home to several endangered species of bats.

Address: Branik, Phone: +386 51 201 910, Email: [email protected], Website: www.nova-gorica.si.

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER

Upon arriving in Nova Gorica, the easiest way to orient yourself is by visiting the Tourist Information Center first. There, you’ll discover a rich array of brochures, leaflets, and other materials just waiting to introduce you to the entire Gorizia region. The friendly staff will be delighted to recommend restaurants and accommodation options and assist you with reservations. You can also get all the information about upcoming events here.

Address: Delpinova 18b, Phone: +386 (0)5 330 46 00, Email: [email protected], Website: www.novagorica-turizem.com.