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Šmartno in the Brda Hills

Photo: Tomo Jeseničnik

Šmartno is a picturesque fortified village with five preserved towers situated in the Brda Hills, also known as the Slovenian Tuscany.

This picturesque walled village with its five towers is visible from everywhere in the Brda  region, perched like an eyrie atop a hill commanding a remarkable view. On fine days the view stretches from Venice, over the Friulian plain, to the Julian Alps. 

Built on Roman foundations, the settlement acted as a fortification on the strategic Venetian–Austrian border. Today it is an architectural jewel, a cultural monument, unique as a whole and in numerous details. 

From the sixteenth century until the second half of the eighteenth century, Šmartno  was an important strategic point, part of a system of fortifications that the Venetians never succeeded in capturing. The village takes its name from the church of St Martin, the biggest church in the Brda region, whose bell tower was originally a fortress tower. A bell cast in 1857 and decorated with an image of the Three Kings hangs in the latter. The baroque church has three notable marble altars. The high altar is particularly ornate.

Text by Tanja Glogovčan