Grgar, located 289 meters above sea level, is an extended village in the Grgar basin. In the south, it borders with Škabrijel (646 masl), Sveta Gora (681 masl) in the west and the southern ridge of Banjšice plateau - Podlaška Gora in the north; to the east, it continues to the Trnovo plateau. On the slopes above the basin, nucleated hamlets are scattered: Bitež, Fobca, Zagorje and Fobški Kal. The basin is a karst field with all typical karst features: Karst hollows, sinkholes, torrent riverbeds, chasms and swallets.
There are 748 inhabitants in the village. Grgar is located 7 kilometres from Nova Gorica. The village has a four-grade subsidiary school, a kindergarten, a local office, a post office, a house of culture, a grocery and a bakery.
The origin of the village name is not known. The folk tradition speaks about two versions. According to the first one, people in the past were carrying burdens to the hill on their shoulders. The path was steep and the burden was pushing the people to the ground. When they stopped, they rested a bit and then said: “Let’s go gr, gr.” This means: Let’s go up to the hill. The words slowly formed into the name of Grgar.
The other version goes as follows: When it rains heavily, the water from all torrents gathers, fills the chasms and sinkholes that slowly swallow the large quantities of water. They make a gargling sound (Slovene: grgra). So, Grgar is a place where water gargles in the chasms.
The Grgar basin and the Čepovan valley were created by a water-rich river springing in the Apline foothills and flowing into the Adriatic Sea. An old story says: Once, three rivers were flowing into the Grgar lake. The people had a good life because the lake was full of fish and the surrounding forests were full of game. One day, the water ran off and the springs dried up. The people felt lost. They built a beautiful stone plaque and organised processions there hoping the water would return. Although the plaque has been moved three times, the water has never returned to the lake. Soon, the people forgot about it and started to cultivate the land there, which was very fertile.
Text: Local Community of Grgar
Photo: Planet multimedia Association and Benjamin Černe
All local sights are located along or near the Bor path.
The Bor path
Start: car park at the local office or in front of school
Finish: circular track, length: 3.2 km
Duration: 1 hour
Height difference: 61 m
Difficulty: not difficult, marked tracks
Equipment: sports equipment and hiking boots
House and Monument of Matej Bor
The house where Matej Bor was born is located at the beginning of the village, right beside the road. The bust before the house by Marjan Keršič - Belač was set up in 1998 by the Association of Nova Gorica Patriots.
The village is the oldest part of Grgar. It is squeezed under the Gradišče hill, on which a castle once stood.
The through is located in the centre of the village.
St Peter Church, World War I Graveyard and the Walk of Peace
The succursal church of St Peter at the graveyard was being built from 1475 to 1485. Next to the civil graveyard and St Peter Chapel in Grgar, there is a military graveyard. In this graveyard, the Austro-Hungarian soldiers and officers who died during World War I in the area between Plave and Sveta Gora are buried. The soldiers were first buried in the civil part of the graveyard, but it was extended due to a large number of soldiers who died during the war. According to data by the Italian authorities who supervised the re-burying of military graveyards, 1,371 soldiers were buried here. Nowadays, the church is a cultural monument.
Katarinca Gothic Monument
This Gothic monument with a local name “Katarinca” is a pillar-shaped stone monument. It is not known how its location was chosen. It was probably set up in the 17th century.
The Mills of Grgar
In the north-east of Grgar, there is an idyllic valley of Slatina brook. Its water originates in the Karst springs near the Tlakar homestead. In the limestone, Slatina built beds and basins, the biggest one being Gospodnjek. Its numerous springs constantly supply water for the brook. Therefore, mills have been built along it since early ages. People from Grgar and its surroundings were coming here to mill cereals and corn. Unfortunately, most of the mills are abandoned, many of them also collapsed.
Source: Po Borovi poti, Čepovan Primary School, 2018.