The Soča is a 138 kilometres long river that flows through western Slovenia and northeastern Italy. It is an Alpine river, its source lies in the Trenta Valley in the Julian Alps. The Soča spring is rising at the elevation of 1,087 metres. It is one of the most beautiful karst springs in the Alps. Due to its emerald-green water, the river is also known as the ‘Emerald Beauty’ and is said to be one of few rivers in the world that maintain such colour throughout their length.
The Soča inspired a famous Slovenian poet, Simon Gregorčič, to write his best-known poem Soči (Eng. To the Soča), one of the masterpieces of Slovenian poetry. An interesting fact is that a lot of scenes from the film The Stories of Narnia, more precisely in the chapter of prince Caspian, were actually filmed in this area, which played a huge part in the movie. Only this region in Slovenia and a few others in New Zealand were deemed beautiful enough for the scenery of this movie. Andrew Adamson, the director, became an honorary citizen of Bovec and there was also a documentary film filmed which follows the construction of the wooden bridge and the adventures the filming crew had while staying in this beautiful region.
This region was also the main filming location for what remains the most famous Slovenian film to this date – Kekec. It is an adventure fairy tale children’s film that was directed by Jože Gale in 1951. It was filmed in black and white and follows the mishaps of a young boy named Kekec, who is in a constant dispute with a cruel immigrant named Bedanec. The confident and clever Kekec manages to free the hostages and forces Bedanec to leave the mountains for good. He is regarded as a symbol of Slovenian pride and tenacity. The film received the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Franchise continued with two more films: Good luck Kekec and Kekec’s Tricks.
The Soča Valley played an important role in World War I. It was the stage of major military operations including the twelve battles of the Isonzo on the Italian front, in which over 300,000 Austro-Hungarian and Italian soldiers lost their lives.