Nova Gorica is a town and a municipality in western Slovenia, on the border with Italy. It is a new town, built after 1948 when the Paris Peace Treaty established a new border between Yugoslavia and Italy, leaving nearby Gorizia outside the borders of Yugoslavia, thus decapitating the Soca and Vipava Valleys and the north-western Kras Plateau from their traditional regional center. Nova Gorica is the principal urban center of the traditional region of Goriska in the Slovenian Littoral. Since May 2011, Nova Gorica is joined together with Gorizia and Sempeter-Vrtojba in a common trans-border metropolitan zone, administered by a joint administration board.
Nova Gorica, a small town on the border with Italy, has been the heart of the sunny Goriska region for almost six decades. It has grown after the World War II as a substitute town for Gorizia, which remained on the other side of the border. It is a town with a mild climate, green and blooming all year round, young, lively and friendly to the local people and visitors from all over the world. As a unique example in Europe, the two towns are located at the border with no border crossings and living in a greater co-existence at all levels.
Town of Roses
Nova Gorica is a town of roses. This is an attractive town for entertainment as in all seasons various venues, indoors or outdoors as it offers a rich selection of events. Concerts, festivals, theatre performances, fairs, exhibitions and other cultural, culinary and ethnological events enrich the lives of locals and guests. Nova Gorica is a gaming town where two entertainment centers and several casinos offer entertainment with the most modern gaming equipment. A pleasant atmosphere is complemented by excellent cuisine, accommodation and wellness services. Nova Gorica is the right place to experience sights and attractions of the town and its surroundings in a genuine way.
To the northeast, Nova Gorica is protected from the cold winds by the Trnovo and Bankside plateau, a marvelous world with a completely different climate, full of folk traditions and natural attractions which in a special way enrich the sport of hiking. Lovers of peace will be impressed by the widespread Trnovo Forest which invites you to take biking paths and hiking trails where you can get to know rich fauna and flora. Those interested in flora will enjoy visiting the Herbal center in Grgarske Ravne where they will become familiar with the production, processing, and use of medicinal herbs.
Meaning of Nova Gorica
The name Nova Gorica literally means “New Gorizia.” However, most people from the area simply call the town Gorica while they refer to the neighboring Italian town as “Old Gorizia”. This use is also reflected in Slovenian license plates, the name of the local association football club ND Gorica, and the local student association. The word “Gorica” is a diminutive form of the Slovene “Gora”, “mountain.”
A number of beautiful castles cluster around the town. The Gorica Museum is based in Kromberk Castle and houses permanent collections covering archaeology, ethnology, and history of art.
Nova Gorica hosts one of the four national theatres in Slovenia. The Museum of Goriska is also located in the town’s Kromberk district, hosted in the Kromberk Castle.
University of Nova Gorica
The University of Nova Gorica is located in the suburb of Rozna Dolina. The Nova Gorica Grammar School, located in the city center, is one of the most renowned high schools in Slovenia.
To the south of the town lies Kostanjevica Hill, home to the Church of The Annunciation of Our Lady and a 17th-century Franciscan monastery whose treasures from the past are rich indeed. The last members of the Bourbons, the French royal family, are buried in a crypt beneath the church Charles X himself, and members of his family and entourage including his son Louis-Antoine de France, and his grandson Henri d’Artois, nephew of Louis neither Louis-Antoine nor Henri ever reigned as kings. He fled France following the revolution in 1830, finding refuge in Gorizia, and eventually eternal peace. Also buried there is Pierre Louis Jean Casimir, a Bourbon nobleman who also died in exile in 1839.
The lovely building of Vogrsko Manor House is a fine example of Mediterranean Baroque. Construction began in the first half of the 16th century, but the building was completely overhauled in the 17th century and finished in the Baroque style. The manor house has once again been renovated and today serves many purposes: haute cuisine, accommodation, and recreation, a venue for meetings and events, equestrianism and enjoyment of nature. The best view of the Vipava Valley, a valley famous for its fine, genuine wines and delicious prosciutto, is provided by the medieval castle of Rihemberk. In the summer this jewel of the Middle Ages becomes a place for people to meet and for events and performances.
There is also plenty of room for sports lovers, who can enjoy tennis, parachuting, hang-gliding, cycling, canoeing on the Soca, or riding at Ajsevica, which is just 4 km from the center itself. And for those that appreciate good food, a number of inns and tourist farms offer all manner of fine wines and local dishes.
Opposite Kostanjevica Hill, north of the town is Sveta Gora or the Holy Mountain, a peak of 682 m that has attracted pilgrims for 450 years. The view from there is exceptional, and on a clear day, visitors can see as far as Istria, Venice, the Dolomites, and the Kamnik and Julian Alps. The mountaintop is home to a magnificent basilica, where concerts are occasionally held, a Franciscan monastery, and a museum of the Battles of the Isonzo.
The municipality of Nova Gorica is governed by a mayor, elected every 4 years by popular vote, and a municipal council of 32 members. Both in local and national elections, Nova Gorica has been considered an electoral stronghold of the left, in particular of the Social Democrats. Since the early 1990s, the local political influence has largely contended between the Social Democrats and the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, which is both considered left-wing parties. In the national elections, conservative parties particularly the Slovenian Democratic Party tend to receive better results than in local elections, although remaining far behind the left wing forces. The Nova Gorica electoral district is the home district of the current Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor.
The green and wine-growing Vipava valley stretch out to the East of the town, in the direction towards Ajdovscina. These nice places are the home of great wines, also of the unique varieties such as Zelen, Pinela, and Klarnica, which are best combined with tasty Vipava dishes. You can taste them inhospitable cellars, at Osmica and tourist farms, in inns, restaurants and also during the ethnologically colored events which bring back into life the customs of the past, both the festive and the working ones.