View Tower in Gonjače Circular Trail – Šmartno
Goriška Brda Wine Region is stunningly captivating. Excellent wines allied to a picturesque landscape have bestowed on Brda the title “Tuscany of Slovenia” (Source: mondayfeelings.com website). The municipality also stretches across the border to the emerald-green Soča River to the town of Idrija and is proudly guarded by the hills of Sabotin and Korada. Visit the Goriška Brda during cherry season and other interesting events they organize over the year.
Šmartno is situated in the geographical centre of Brda. Gradnik, the local poet, compares the village with the eagle´s nest resting on a place, where the view stretches from the Nanos hill in the east to the Carnija Alps in the northwest, and from the Furlanija to the Adriatic Sea. The village on the top of the hill, surrounded by defence walls with watchtowers is first mentioned in 1317. There are no special historical records of the origin of the defence walls, but it is believed that the walls were most probably erected on the remains of a Roman bastion in the period of the wars between the Habsburgs and the Venetians. The houses in the centre of the village are grouped closely together around the Church of St. Martin. When entering the Šmartno fortification and walking around the narrow streets among the old and newer houses, the feeling of being in a medieval labyrinth crosses the visitor´s mind (Source: brda.si website). You can also visit the Brda House Museum, which presents the typical architecture and equipment of the Brda culture.
You can take the circular path to the View tower in Gonjače, but a part of it goes on the main road. For any lively toddlers, it may be safer to return to the part of the trail that goes through the village of Imenje.
On your trip around the Goriška Brda region, you will encounter a series of monuments and memorial plaques. The most widely known is the bronze monument in Gonjače, which is dedicated to the 315 citizens of Brda who gave their lives in WWII. When the sky is clear, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of all four points of the compass: the Julian and Carnian Alps, as well as the Dolomites to the North, the Friulian plain to the West, the Trieste Gulf and the Karst to the South, and the Trnovo forest and the Vipava Valley to the east (Source: brda.si website). This lookout tower is 23 metres high and has 144 stairs.
Have you heard of the “Wljkava” dish? These rolled dumplings are a typical Slovenian food in the Brda region, where štruklji are made from unleavened dough and are filled with sliced homemade salami and sausages, olives and spices.
Brda House (Briška hiša)
Sit down and enjoy the beautiful and romantic summer garden and a nicely decorated interior. Of course, it is almost necessary for parents to order some local wine and indulge in the local cuisine. The waiters pay close attention to the customer and recommend the many specials which are featured on their menu.
Mila and Staš Recommend
June is the month of cherries! It is great if you manage to go on a procession of farm wagons, where “Brike” and “Brici” introduce both children and adults to the Goriška Brda farm life, habits and customs. The Cherry Festival (Praznik češenj) is the most delicious and sweet party you can attend around here!