Print
PDF

Franja Partisan Hospital

The Second World War was one of the most difficult trials for mankind. Like other freedom-loving nations, the Slovenes organised themselves to struggle against fascism and nazism. Clandestine hospitals were a particularity of the Slovenian resistance movement. They were built in barely accessible forests, deep gorges and underground caves. They saved lives in circumstances that are hardly imaginable today.

After the capitulation of Italy in the fall of 1943, Dr. Viktor Volčjak and a group of combatants began to build a new hospital in the barely accessible Pasice gorge in Dolenji Novaki in the Cerkno region on the advice of a local inhabitant, Janez Peternelj. With the devoted assistance of the locals, the hospital was constructed gradually until the end of the war, when 14 wooden cabins and several auxiliary facilities were squeezed into the bottom of the hollow alongside the Čerinščica stream. Already during the war, the hospital was named after Franja Bojc Bidovec, a partisan physician who administered the hospital for the longest period of time. 578 severely wounded persons were treated in the central facility, today known as the Franja Partisan Hospital, and about 300 wounded persons were treated in other dislocated units. Among the wounded were, besides Slovenes, also members of former Yugoslav nations and the nations of the Soviet Union, Italians, Poles, Frenchmen, two Austrians, and two Americans. 

After the war, the Franja Partisan Hospital became a symbol of the partisan movement and its extensive and extremely well-organised medical activities. Following the disastrous flood that destroyed the hospital in September 2007, the monument has been reconstructed almost in its entirety. Based on previously prepared drawings and documents, the cabins and auxiliary facilities were reconstructed, copies of objects were made, and substitute objects were acquired. In restoring the facility we were guided by the desire to preserve, to the fullest extent possible, the message conveyed by the monument and its symbolic value.

The Franja Partisan Hospital is a cultural monument of national importance, is entered in UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage, and bears the European Heritage Label. Despite the loss of authentic tangible heritage, it has remained a symbol of international alliance and resistance, and above all a precious reminder of humanity, nobleness, and comradeship.

franja4
Cabin for the Wounded
franja3
Detail from the kitchen
franja1
Kitchen

franja10
Washroom and Invalid Care Facility
Pb_Franja-soteska2
Room for the Wounded and Dining Room
franja11
X-ray Cabin, Surgery Cabin and Isolation Cabin

franja21
In front of the Dining Room
franja31
Electric Plant
franja22
Cabin for Hospital Staff, Washroom and Invalid Care Facility

ehl
The Franja Partisan Hospital received the European Heritage Label in 2007
logopbf
Logo