• 001 - the logo.jpg
  • 002 - Hiroshima sunset.jpg
  • 003 - Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp.jpg
  • 004 - Chernobyl contamination.jpg
  • 005 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 006 - Berlin Wall madness.jpg
  • 007 - Bulgaria - monument at the bottom of Buzludzhy park hill.jpg
  • 008 - Ijen crater.jpg
  • 009 - Aralsk, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 010 - Paris catacombs.jpg
  • 011 - Krakatoa.jpg
  • 012 - Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hanoi.jpg
  • 013 - Uyuni.jpg
  • 014 - DMZ Vietnam.jpg
  • 015 - Colditz Kopie.jpg
  • 016 - Glasgow Necropolis.jpg
  • 017 - Hashima ghost island.jpg
  • 018 - Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 019 - Arlington.jpg
  • 020 - Karosta prison.jpg
  • 021 - Kamikaze.jpg
  • 022 - Chacabuco ghost town.jpg
  • 023 - Eagle's Nest, Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden.jpg
  • 024 - Kursk.jpg
  • 025 - Bran castle, Carpathia, Romania.jpg
  • 026 - Bestattungsmuseum Wien.jpg
  • 027 - Pripyat near Chernobyl.jpg
  • 028 - Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 029 - Pyramida Lenin.jpg
  • 030 - Falklands.jpg
  • 031 - Majdanek.jpg
  • 032 - Soufriere volcano, Montserrat.jpg
  • 033 - moai on Easter Island.jpg
  • 034 - Sidoarjo.jpg
  • 035 - Hötensleben.jpg
  • 036 - Natzweiler.jpg
  • 037 - Polygon, Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 038 - Srebrenica.jpg
  • 039 - Liepaja, Latvia.jpg
  • 040 - Vemork hydroelectric power plant building, Norway.jpg
  • 041 - Enola Gay.jpg
  • 042 - Pentagon 9-11 memorial.jpg
  • 043 - Robben Island prison, South Africa.jpg
  • 044 - Tollund man.jpg
  • 045 - Marienthal tunnel.jpg
  • 046 - Aso, Japan.jpg
  • 047 - Labrador battery Singapore.jpg
  • 048 - Artyom island, Absheron, Azerbaijan.jpg
  • 049 - Treblinka.jpg
  • 050 - Titan II silo.jpg
  • 051 - dosemetering doll, Chernobyl.jpg
  • 052 - Holocaust memorial, Berlin.jpg
  • 053 - Komodo dragon.jpg
  • 054 - cemeterio general, Santiago de Chile.jpg
  • 055 - Tuol Sleng, Phnom Phen, Cambodia.jpg
  • 056 - West Virginia penitentiary.jpg
  • 057 - ovens, Dachau.jpg
  • 058 - Derry, Northern Ireland.jpg
  • 059 - Bulgaria - Buzludzha - workers of all countries unite.jpg
  • 060 - Sachsenhausen.jpg
  • 061 - Tiraspol dom sovietov.jpg
  • 062 - modern-day Pompeii - Plymouth, Montserrat.jpg
  • 063 - Pico de Fogo.jpg
  • 064 - Trinity Day.jpg
  • 065 - Zwentendorf control room.jpg
  • 066 - Wolfschanze.jpg
  • 067 - Hiroshima by night.jpg
  • 068 - mass games, North Korea.jpg
  • 069 - Harrisburg.jpg
  • 070 - Nuremberg.jpg
  • 071 - Mostar.jpg
  • 072 - Tu-22, Riga aviation museum.jpg
  • 073 - Gallipoli, Lone Pine.jpg
  • 074 - Auschwitz-Birkenau - fence.jpg
  • 075 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 076 - Atatürk Mausoleum, Ankara.jpg
  • 077 - Banda Aceh boats.jpg
  • 078 - AMARG.jpg
  • 079 - Chacabuco ruins.jpg
  • 080 - Bucharest.jpg
  • 081 - Bernauer Straße.jpg
  • 082 - Death Railway, Thailand.jpg
  • 083 - Mandor killing fields.jpg
  • 084 - Kozloduy.jpg
  • 085 - Jerusalem.jpg
  • 086 - Latin Bridge, Sarajevo.jpg
  • 087 - Panmunjom, DMZ, Korea.jpg
  • 088 - Ijen blue flames.jpg
  • 089 - Derry reconsilliation monument.jpg
  • 090 - Ebensee.jpg
  • 091 - Mödlareuth barbed wire.jpg
  • 092 - skull heaps in Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 093 - Nikel.jpg
  • 094 - Fukushima-Daiichi NPP.jpg
  • 095 - Tital launch control centre.jpg
  • 096 - Dallas Dealy Plaza and Sixth Floor Museum.jpg
  • 097 - Auschwitz I.jpg
  • 098 - Stalin and Lenin, Tirana, Albania.jpg
  • 099 - Malta, Fort St Elmo.jpg
  • 100 - Peenemünde.jpg
  • 101 - Tarrafal.jpg
  • 102 - Kilmainham prison, Dublin.jpg
  • 103 - North Korea.jpg
  • 104 - Mittelbau-Dora.jpg
  • 105 - St Helena.jpg
  • 106 - Stutthof, Poland.jpg
  • 107 - Merapi destruction.jpg
  • 108 - Chueung Ek killing fields, Cambodia.jpg
  • 109 - Marienborn former GDR border.jpg
  • 110 - Mig and star, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 111 - Nagasaki WWII tunnels.jpg
  • 112 - Hellfire Pass, Thailand.jpg
  • 113 - Kiev.jpg
  • 114 - Grutas Park, Lithuania.jpg
  • 115 - Zwentendorf reactor core.jpg
  • 116 - two occupations, Tallinn.jpg
  • 117 - Trunyan burial site.jpg
  • 118 - Ushuaia prison.jpg
  • 119 - Buchenwald.jpg
  • 120 - Marienthal with ghost.jpg
  • 121 - Murmansk harbour - with an aircraft carrier.jpg
  • 122 - Berlin Olympiastadion.JPG
  • 123 - Bastille Day, Paris.jpg
  • 124 - Spassk.jpg
  • 125 - Theresienstadt.jpg
  • 126 - B-52s.jpg
  • 127 - Bledug Kuwu.jpg
  • 128 - Friedhof der Namenlosen, Vienna.jpg
  • 129 - Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks.jpg
  • 130 - mummies, Bolivia.jpg
  • 131 - Barringer meteor crater.jpg
  • 132 - Murambi, Rwanda.jpg
  • 133 - NTS.jpg
  • 134 - Mauthausen Soviet monument.jpg
  • 135 - pullution, Kazakhstan.JPG
  • 136 - palm oil madness.jpg
  • 137 - Berlin socialist realism.jpg
  • 138 - Okawa school building ruin.jpg
  • 139 - Pawiak, Warsaw.jpg
  • 140 - flying death, military museum Dresden.JPG
  • 141 - KGB gear.JPG
  • 142 - KZ jacket.JPG
  • 143 - ex-USSR.JPG
  • 144 - Indonesia fruit bats.JPG
  • 145 - Alcatraz.JPG
  • 146 - Chernobyl Museum, Kiev, Ukraine.JPG
  • 147 - Halemaumau lava lake glow, Hawaii.JPG
  • 148 - Rosinenbomber at Tempelhof, Berlin.jpg
  • 149 - Verdun, France.JPG
  • 150 - hospital, Vukovar, Croatia.JPG
  • 151 - the original tomb of Napoleon, St Helena.JPG
  • 152 - Buchenwald, Germany.JPG
  • 153 - Bhopal.JPG
  • 154 - Groß-Rosen, Poland.jpg
  • 155 - at Monino, Russia.jpg
  • 156 - blinking Komodo.jpg
  • 157 - inside Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 158 - Mount St Helens, USA.JPG
  • 159 - Maly Trostenec, Minsk, Belarus.jpg
  • 160 - Vucedol skulls, Croatia.JPG
  • 161 - colourful WW1 shells.JPG
  • 162 - Zeljava airbase in Croatia.JPG
  • 163 - rusting wrecks, Chernobyl.JPG
  • 164 - San Bernadine alle Ossa, Milan, Italy.jpg
  • 165 - USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
  • 166 - Brest Fortress, Belarus.JPG
  • 167 - thousands of bats, Dom Rep.JPG
  • 168 - Hohenschönhausen, Berlin.JPG
  • 169 - Perm-36 gulag site.JPG
  • 170 - Jasenovac, Croatia.JPG
  • 171 - Beelitz Heilstätten.JPG
  • 172 - Kremlin, Moscow.jpg
  • 173 - old arms factory, Dubnica.JPG
  • 174 - Pervomaisc ICBM base, more  missiles, including an SS-18 Satan.jpg
  • 175 - Cellular Jail, Port Blair.jpg
  • 177 - control room, Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 178 - Podgorica, Montenegro, small arms and light weapons sculpture.jpg
  • 179 - Vught.jpg
  • 180 - Japanese cave East Timor.jpg
  • 181 - Ani.jpg
  • 182 - Indonesia wildfire.jpg
  • 183 - Chacabuco big sky.jpg
  • 184 - Bunker Valentin, Germany.JPG
  • 185 - Lest we Forget, Ypres.JPG
  • 186 - the logo again.jpg

Kobariški Muzej 

  
   - darkometer rating:  5 -
  
A multiple-award-winning museum in Kobarid, Slovenia, about World War One and in particular about the Isonzo Front. 
  

>Location

>Access and costs

>Time required

>Combinations with other dark destinations

>Combinations with non-dark destinations

>Photos

   
What there is to see: The museum is housed in an old building which was occupied by an Italian military court during World War One, so in a way it is itself a rare exhibit, given that most of the little town of Kobarid was destroyed in the war. 
  
Just outside the entrance are the open-air displays of two exhibits: a medium-calibre field gun and a (very) large-calibre shell. 
  
Inside the large foyer are yet more shells of all kinds of sizes as well as crosses from war cemeteries and portrait photos of soldiers of various nations on the wall.
  
At the far end of the foyer is the museum shop, which is also where you pay your admission fee. Also on the ground floor are the rooms for temporary exhibitions as well as the room where the introductory film is screened. 
   
This film, which lasts 20 minutes and can be played in a range of languages including English, Italian, German and a few more, provides a good overview of the course of the war on the Isonzo Front and what warfare in the high mountains really meant. 
   
The museum's permanent exhibition is on the two floors above and is subdivided into several rooms with different themes. 
   
One section is actually not about World War One at all but presents an overview of the history of Kobarid and the region both before and after the war, including the period of forced Italianization in the inter-war years and the occupation by Nazi Germany from 1943 until the end of WWII.
  
The rest of the museum is, however, concentrated on its main topic. This is subdivided into sections. Amongst these are the earlier phases from when the Italians entered the war in May 1915 and succeeded in taking the Krn mountain range and establishing fortification. 
  
Another is about the war effort behind the front line as such and how people were affected all over the region. Yet another room concentrates on the suffering of the soldiers, on both sides, in this brutal mountain war. 
  
This is also the darkest part of the museum, naturally. In addition to 3-D reliefs of the front lines and a recreated section of the muck and gore of the trenches, there are also photos of the horrific injuries soldiers suffered. I had seen many of these images before (namely at the anti-war museum in Berlin), but still, they never fail to have their truly shocking effect. Not for the faint-hearted. Be warned. 
  
On the top floor is a large room that is dedicated to the twelfth and final battle on the Isonzo Front, also known as the Battle of Kobarid – or the “disaster” of Kobarid. The latter was certainly apt from the Italian point of view, as this was the quasi-decisive defeat of Italy by the reinforced Austro-Hungarian forces, with support from Germany … even though in the end it achieved nothing as the overall outcome of WWI was of course the victory of the Entente powers after all.
   
On display in the various rooms are all manner of war relics, ranging from plenty of guns and shells as well as personal items, clothes, including shoes, as well as various other bits of equipment. Especially poignant is the display of gas mortars and grenades. Yes, poison gas was also used on this front line! (Not just at the Somme & Verdun or Ypres.) 
   
The largest exhibit is a life-size mock-up of a “Kaverna”, a dug-out cave of the Italian army. Inside is a dummy soldier writing a letter home. You can press a button with the language of your choice to listen to an audio recording reading out the letter's content. 
   
In one of the hallways you'll find a large portrait of Ernest Hemingway. As a very young man he had been an eyewitness of, and in fact participant in, the Italian campaigns of WW1 in the region (as an ambulance driver mainly) and later reflected on this in his famous novel “A Farewell to Arms”. 
   
Also back en route downstairs you can pop into a smaller side room which is about famous visitors to the museum, associations of various organizations with the museum and the awards it has won. The latter includes the title Council of Europe Museum Prize for 1993 and a nomination for European Museum of the Year also in 1993.   
  
Downstairs it is usually worth exploring the temporary exhibition. At the time of my visit (in May 2016), this was about the Italian Army in the Upper Soča Region, and went hand in hand with the main permanent exhibition. 
   
A look in the museum shop is also worthwhile. In addition to various books in several languages about the Great War in general and the Isonzo Front in particular they also have a number of free leaflets and maps of the region and its WWI-related sites. 
   
All in all, I thought the acclaim the museum received is quite well deserved. It may be a bit “old school” in the way it is laid out, and with relatively few of the interactive elements that contemporary museums seem to have to come with. But is well done in that older style and I found it very educational and also moving. 
   
The museum, despite its rather rural and remote location, is also exceptionally welcoming to foreign visitors. Not only are all labels and descriptive texts written in four languages (Slovenian, English, German and Italian), they also offer introductions and tours in yet more languages. And what's more, I found the museum extremely responsive when I made a few enquires by email ahead of my visit. Given that so many other enquiries I have made with lots of museums were simply left unanswered, I think this museum's communicative merits too deserves a special mention here!
 
  
Location: just a hundred yards or so to the east of the centre of the little town of Kobarid in Slovenia, on Gregorčičeva ulica 10. 
  
Google maps locator: [46.2467, 13.5810]
  
  
Access and costs: in a somewhat remote village, but right in the centre of it; not expensive.  
  
Details: From within Kobarid, the museum easy to find and walkable from almost everywhere. If you come by car, you can park near the museum in the “white zone” (free – elsewhere fees and/or time restrictions apply).   
  
Opening times: daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. between April and September, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the rest of the year.  
  
Admission: 6 EUR (4 EUR concession). Temporary exhibitions: free.
  
Guided tours for groups smaller than 15 persons: 20 EUR; guided tours outside the museum: 25 EUR per hour. 
  
  
Time required: between about 45 minutes and two hours, possibly more if you want to read everything there is.
  
  
Combinations with other dark destinations: The museum itself offers several guided tours to other locations along the WWI Isonzo Front – but at least one of them can also easily be visited independently: Kolovrat
  
Furthermore, there are plenty more WWI-related sites along the Walk of Peace trail that more or less follows the front line from the Alps all the way down to the Adriatic coast. You can pick up leaflets about these locations and the trail in the museum shop and/or the Walk of Peace visitor centre that is just across the street from the museum and also features a mini-exhibition with interactive screens etc. of its own. 
  
See also under Kobarid and Slovenia in general.
  
  
Combinations with non-dark destinations: see under Kobarid
   
  
   
  • Kobariski muzej 01 - the buildingKobariski muzej 01 - the building
  • Kobariski muzej 02 - foyerKobariski muzej 02 - foyer
  • Kobariski muzej 03 - lots of war relicsKobariski muzej 03 - lots of war relics
  • Kobariski muzej 04 - shoeKobariski muzej 04 - shoe
  • Kobariski muzej 05 - field telephoneKobariski muzej 05 - field telephone
  • Kobariski muzej 06 - flags and weaponsKobariski muzej 06 - flags and weapons
  • Kobariski muzej 07 - bombs and shellsKobariski muzej 07 - bombs and shells
  • Kobariski muzej 08 - carnageKobariski muzej 08 - carnage
  • Kobariski muzej 09 - reconstructionKobariski muzej 09 - reconstruction
  • Kobariski muzej 10 - mountain warfareKobariski muzej 10 - mountain warfare
  • Kobariski muzej 11 - prison door with inmates notesKobariski muzej 11 - prison door with inmates notes
  • Kobariski muzej 12 - lots of infoKobariski muzej 12 - lots of info
  • Kobariski muzej 13 - KavernaKobariski muzej 13 - Kaverna
  • Kobariski muzej 14 - insideKobariski muzej 14 - inside
  • Kobariski muzej 15 - dummy writing a letter homeKobariski muzej 15 - dummy writing a letter home
  • Kobariski muzej 16 - mountain front linesKobariski muzej 16 - mountain front lines
  • Kobariski muzej 17 - war gearKobariski muzej 17 - war gear
  • Kobariski muzej 18 - gas mortarKobariski muzej 18 - gas mortar
  • Kobariski muzej 19 - a section on WWII tooKobariski muzej 19 - a section on WWII too
  • Kobariski muzej 20 - back outsideKobariski muzej 20 - back outside
  
  
  
   
    
 

 

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