European Walk of Peace planned in remembrance of WWI

Bovec, 3 June - Partners from nine countries, including Slovenia, have pledged to set up an European Walk of Peace to bring together the heritage of World War One (WWI) around Europe.

The Walk of Peace commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Isonzo Front, one of the bloodiest theatres of WWI.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

Representatives from nine European countries sign a charter on the partnership to launch an European Walk of Peace to bring togehter the heritage of WWI.
Photo: STA

A memorial to those killed in defence of Slovenia or its lands in both World Wars and the Independence War.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
File photo

"A European Walk of Peace is not just about remembering, it's foremost a noble idea about the necessity of peaceful coexistence among European nations," said Zdravko Likar, president of the Walk of Peace Foundation, which had given the idea for this pan-European project.

A charter on the partnership was signed by representatives of Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia as they attended an international conference on WWI in the Slovenian town of Bovec last week.

The idea for the walk of peace was presented to the partners by the Slovenian foundation, which hosted the two-day event together with the Soča Valley Development Centre.

At the conference The Memory of WWI: Let's Build a Walk of Peace, the Slovenian partners hosted representatives of 16 institutions from eight European countries.

The conference was an opportunity to present the results of and experiences with events commemorating the centenary of the end of WWI, and to discuss future cooperation.

It was also an opportunity for the foundation and its Italian partner Promoturismo FVG to present the project The Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic.

It is a network of more than 200 kilometres of mountain paths leading from the Slovenian village of Log pod Mangartom to the Italian coastal town of Duino.

It takes hikers along a number of sites where the Isonzo Front, one of the bloodiest mountain theatres of war in history, took place.

In 2016, it was put on UNESCO's tentative list of world heritage.

To upgrade all cross-border initiatives between Slovenia and Italy, the WalkofPeace was launched as part of the EU's Interreg Italy - Slovenia 2014-2020, the conference heard.

Maša Klavora from the foundation noted the new project will enable completing the Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic, turning it into the first full-fledged long-distance walk of peace.

Locations outside the area of the Isonzo Front will also be included in the WWI heritage, a data base of the soldiers killed on the Isonzo Front will be completed, some investments made and exhibitions put up, she said.

The Bovec conference was part of activities within the Networld project, which is designed to raise awareness about WWI in the Danube region.

© STA, 2019