Cultural sights

Franja Partisan Hospital

Franja Partisan Hospital was functioning during the 2nd World War in the hidden gorge of Pasica in Dolenji Novaki near Cerkno. A difficultly accessible gorge that leads to the hospital provided safe shelter from the invaders. Franja was operating all together 18 months and treated 578 injured people. A severe flooding that completely destroyed all sheds and a major part of equipment affected the hospital in 2007. Today the facilities are reconstructed and arranged for visitors again. The path to the hospital is magnificent and in spite of the recent natural disaster the hospital itself is worth visiting and remains an essential memory of wartime events and above all humanity and comradeship.

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Basic information
LocationCerkno, North Primorska
Type: partisan hospital
Entrance fee: yes
Altitude: 620 m
How to get there:
Franja Hospital is in the vicinity of Cerkno. The easiest way to come to Cerkno is through Idrija or through Selška valley (Škofja Loka - Železniki - Davča - ski resort Cerkno - Cerkno). On the road 'Cerkno - Železniki' (about 5 km from Cerkno) in the village Dolenji Novaki signs will direct us to Franja Hospital. We turn left from the main road and park at the end of the road next to a cafe.

From central Slovenia it is also possible to come to Dolenji Novaki through Poljanska valley (Škofja Loka - direction 'Žiri' to Hotavlje – turn right towards the ski resort Cerkno - at the ski resort turn left in the direction 'Cerkno' and then pay attention to signs for Franja Hospital). 

Description: 
Hidden partisan hospitals were a specialty of Slovenian resistance movement during the 2nd World War. Franja, named after the physician Dr. Franja Bojc Bidovec who ran the hospital, is one of the rare preserved hospitals of this kind. First wounded people were brought to the difficultly accessible gorge of Pasica in December 1943. The transport of the wounded was happening by night and besides this the wounded were also blindfolded so that they couldn't betray the hospital. The hospital had its own armed and efficient defence squad. You will notice natural bunkers in the steep walls above the stream, from where machine guns were lurking on the enemy and a mine field was a part of the defensive system as well. The gorge was attacked twice, however the hospital was never discovered and the last injured people left in May 1945. It has been opened for visitors in 1946 already. 

Franja Hospital complex composes of 14 wooden sheds and some subsidiary facilities where the bedrooms for injured people and staff, a kitchen, storage rooms, room for x-ray, an operating room, drugstore and even electric plant were located. Unfortunately, the hospital was completely destroyed in the 2007 flooding and the water carried the majority of original equipment away. Today the sheds are completely reconstructed, copies of some items have been made, replacement objects that show the life and work of the hospital have been acquired.

Nowadays a nicely arranged path with a few descriptive board leads to the hospital through the Pasica gorge. Steep walls and rapids, pools and waterfalls of the stream 'Čerinščica' surround us. It is hard to imagine that wounded people were being transferred here at night without a proper path. 

Hospital Franja is under patronage of The Municipal Museum Idrija, where you can get up-to-date information about opening times.




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Partizanska bolnica Franja
Franja Partisan Hospital was functioning during the 2nd World War in the hidden gorge of Pasica in Dolenji Novaki near Cerkno. A difficultly accessible gorge that leads to the hospital provided safe shelter from the invaders. Franja was operating all together 18 months and treated 578 injured people. A severe flooding that completely destroyed all sheds and a major part of equipment affected the hospital in 2007. Today the facilities are reconstructed and arranged for visitors again. The path to the hospital is magnificent and in spite of the recent natural disaster the hospital itself is worth visiting and remains an essential memory of wartime events and above all humanity and comradeship.