The Soča or Isonzo (in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

) (other names , archaic ) is a 140 km long river
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 that flows through western Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 and northeastern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. An Alpine
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 river in character, its source lies in the Trenta Valley
Trenta Valley
Trenta is a valley in the Julian Alps in the northern part of the Goriška traditional region of Slovenia. The source of the river Soča and the settlements of Soča, Lepena and Trenta are located in Trenta. The Vršič pass connects the valley with the Upper Carniola to the east. The Soča flows...

 in the Julian Alps
Julian Alps
The Julian Alps are a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps that stretches from northeastern Italy to Slovenia, where they rise to 2,864 m at Mount Triglav. They are named after Julius Caesar, who founded the municipium of Cividale del Friuli at the foot of the mountains...

 in Slovenia, at an elevation of around 1,100 metres. The river runs past Slovenia's highest peak, Triglav
Triglav is the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps. While its name, meaning "three-headed", can describe its shape as seen from the Bohinj area, the mountain was most probably named after the Slavic god Triglav. The mountain is the preeminent symbol of the Slovene...

 (2,864 m) before heading south past the towns of Bovec
Bovec is a small city and municipality in northwestern Slovenia. The city of Bovec lies in the Bovec Basin in the Soča Valley below the Kanin mountain in the Julian Alps.-Geographical location:...

, Kobarid
Kobarid is a town and a municipality in the upper Soča valley, western Slovenia, near the Italian border.Kobarid is known for the famous Battle of Caporetto, where the Italian retreat was documented by Ernest Hemingway in his novel A Farewell to Arms. The battle is well documented in the museum in...

, Tolmin
Tolmin is a small town and municipality in the Littoral region of Slovenia.-Geography:Tolmin, the old town that gave the name to the entire area , is the largest settlement in the Upper Soča Valley , as well as its economic, cultural and administrative centre. It is located on a terrace above the...

, Kanal ob Soči
Kanal ob Soci
Kanal ob Soči is a town and municipality in Slovenia, established in 1995 by secession from Nova Gorica.The town itself is an important crossing point over the River Soča. The first bridge was built by the Romans. The current bridge was built after World War I. The center of the town was fortified...

, Nova Gorica
Nova Gorica
Nova Gorica ; 21,082 ; 31,000 ) is a town and a municipality in western Slovenia, on the border with Italy...

 (where it is crossed by the Solkan Bridge
Solkan Bridge
Solkan Bridge is a 220-metre long stone bridge over the river Soča near Nova Gorica in western Slovenia. With an arch span of 85 metres it is the second longest stone arch in the world and the longest stone arch among train bridges. It was built in the time of the Secession, between 1900 and...

) and Gorizia
Gorizia is a town and comune in northeastern Italy, in the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is located at the foot of the Julian Alps, bordering Slovenia. It is the capital of the Province of Gorizia, and it is a local center of tourism, industry, and commerce. Since 1947, a twin...

, entering the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 close to the Italian town of Monfalcone
Monfalcone is a town and comune of the province of Gorizia , located on the coast of the Gulf of Trieste. Monfalcone means "Mount of Falcon" in Italian....


Major changes in the watershed

The present course of the river is the result of several dramatic changes that occurred during the past 2,000 years. According to the Roman historian Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

, the river named Aesontius which in Roman times flowed past Aquileia
Aquileia is an ancient Roman city in what is now Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 10 km from the sea, on the river Natiso , the course of which has changed somewhat since Roman times...

 to the Adriatic Sea was essentially the Natisone
The Natisone is a river that flows for some time as a border river between Slovenia and Italy, continues in Slovenia and then crosses the border and continues in Eastern Friuli, in north-eastern Italy...

 and Torre
Torre means tower in six Romance languages and may refer to:- Biology :* Muir-Torre syndrome, the inherited cancer syndrome...

 river system. In 585, a landslide cut off the upper part of the Natisone riverbed, causing its avulsion
Avulsion (river)
In sedimentary geology and fluvial geomorphology, avulsion is the rapid abandonment of a river channel and the formation of a new river channel. Avulsions occur as a result of channel slopes that are much lower than the slope that the river could travel if it took a new course.-Deltaic and...

 and subsequent stream capture by the Bontius river. The original subterrenean discharge of the Bontius into the Timavo
The River, known in Slovene as the or , is a 2-km river in the Province of Trieste. It has four sources near San Giovanni near Duino and outflows in the Gulf of Panzano between Trieste and Monfalcone , Italy....

 became obstructed, and another avulsion returned the new watercourse into the bed of the lower Natisone. During the next centuries the estuary of this new river — the Soča — moved eastward until it captured the short costal river Sdobba, through which the Soča now discharges into the Adriatic Sea. The former estuary (of the Aesontius, and the early Soča/Isonzo) in the newly formed lagoon of Grado became an independent coastal rivulet.


Due to its emerald
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of mineral hardness...

 green water, the river is marketed as "The Emerald Beauty". It is said to be one of the rare rivers in the world that retain such a colour throughout their length.
Giuseppe Ungaretti
Giuseppe Ungaretti
Giuseppe Ungaretti was an Italian modernist poet, journalist, essayist, critic and academic. A leading representative of the experimental trend known as Ermetismo , he was one of the most prominent contributors to 20th century Italian literature. Influenced by symbolism, he was briefly aligned...

, one of the greatest Italian poets, describes the Isonzo in the poem "The Rivers".

The Soča inspired the poet Simon Gregorčič
Simon Gregorcic
Simon Gregorčič was a Slovene poet and Roman Catholic priest.- Biography :Gregorčič was born in the small mountain village of Vrsno above the river Soča in the County of Gorizia and Gradisca. In 1851, he attended primary school in Libušnje, but was in 1855 sent to school in Gorizia. After...

 to write his best-known poem Soči (To the Soča), one of the masterpieces of Slovene poetry. This region served as a location for the 2008 Disney film Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

The Isonzo/Soča is also well known for its unique trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

 species Salmo marmoratus
Salmo marmoratus
Marble trout is a species of freshwater fish in the Salmonidae family, the second largest European trout species, second in size only to huchen...

(known as the marble trout), which lives in the upper course of the crystal-clear river. This species is endangered due to the introduction of other non-indigenous trout species sometime between World War I and World War II.

Significance in World War I

The Soča valley was the stage of major military operations including the twelve battles of the Isonzo
Battles of the Isonzo
The Battles of the Isonzo were a series of 12 battles between the Austro-Hungarian and Italian armies in World War I. They were fought along the Soča River on the eastern sector of the Italian Front between June 1915 and November 1917...

 on the Italian front
Italian Campaign (World War I)
The Italian campaign refers to a series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy, along with their allies, in northern Italy between 1915 and 1918. Italy hoped that by joining the countries of the Triple Entente against the Central Powers it would gain Cisalpine Tyrol , the...

in World War I between May 1915 and November 1917, in which over 600,000 Austro-Hungarian and Italian soldiers lost their lives.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.