Franja Partisan Hospital, Cerkno

#5 of 47 in Historic Sites in Slovenian Littoral Region
Monument · Historic Site
Franja Partisan Hospital was a secret World War II hospital at Dolenji Novaki near Cerkno in western Slovenia. It was run by the Slovene Partisans from December 1943 until the end of the war as part of a broadly organized resistance movement against the Fascist and Nazi occupying forces.
The wounded being treated there were soldiers from both the Allied Powers and the Axis Powers. Although the occupying Wehrmacht forces launched several attempts to find the hospital, it was never discovered. Today it exists as a museum. It has been protected as a cultural monument of national significance.
Built in difficult and rugged terrain in the remote Pasica Gorge in western Slovenia by Slovene Partisans, the hospital opened in December 1943 and saw continuous improvements until May 1945. The hospital was located deep inside German-occupied Europe, only a few hours from Austria and the central parts of the Third Reich. German military activity was frequent in the general region throughout the operation of the hospital. The hospital's entrance was hidden in the forest, and the hospital could only be reached by bridges.
The bridges could be retracted if the enemy was in the vicinity. In order to preserve the secrecy necessary for a clandestine hospital to operate, the patients were blindfolded during transportation to the facility. The hospital was also protected by minefields and nests of machine guns. As the hospital is in a gorge, the many trees and camouflaged buildings provided protection against air reconnaissance.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
116 reviews
  • Spend an hour in this nice open air museum. All information in English. Definitely worth visiting, but you probably need to drive a while because it is situated quite decentrally. Not all points of...  more »
  • You simply must visit this place if you’re near it. Lots of history, soul and fantastic heritage. The place is very well preserved and the guided tour is superb!  more »
  • Short walk from parking to the hospital is great. The nature is beautiful. But when you come to cabins you have to pay to continue. It's nothing wrong with paying for the upkeep of the place, but 38 EUR for 2 adults and 2 kids to see what you see is a bit too much.
  • I underestimated the extent and organization of the hospital. They even had an X-ray machine, which I find totally impressive. Especially the fact that they had to power it somehow in those woods with a water-driven generator. Well worth the visit.

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