Images of the Former Podbela

The local community building in Podbela

The exhibition, which was established at the initiative of the inhabitants of Podbela, focuses on the former village, which was ruined in the Friuli earthquake.

The modern Podbela, located in the Breginj Combe, is a settlement that was formed in a hurry; its predominantly prefabricated houses were built after the Friuli earthquake in 1976. Its appearance and design are in no way reminiscent of the former village. Only the Venetian lion, which once adorned the village trough, happily avoided the changes and received a new position of honour in the middle of the newly-built village.

Before the earthquake, Podbela was an agglomeration with approximately fifty inhabited houses, huddled together along the edge of a plain at the confluence of the Nadiža and Bela rivers. It was built in a typical Venetian-Slovene architectural style. One- or two‑storey stone houses, covered with roof tiles, and commercial buildings alongside them were built close together, and formed the so-called “stegnjeni dom” [elongated home]. Among the clusters of houses, there were narrow, stone‑paved paths or “landrone”; at intersections, where there was more room, small village squares were formed. One of the characteristic architectural elements were the wooden balconies pointed towards the interior of the house; the “house traffic” ran through them, and they served to dry crops and store various objects.

The settlement underwent a radical change after two powerful earthquakes on May 6 and September 15, 1976. After the May earthquake, the inhabitants considered renovating and preserving at least some of the buildings, but the September earthquake severely weakened the already damaged constructions. The decision was made to level the entire village and build a new, modern settlement on top of the ruins. This makes Podbela the only village in the Breginj Combe that was destroyed and completely rebuilt after the Friuli earthquake.

Author: Karla Kofol
Design: Marko Grego
Images: Podbela inhabitants, the Tolmin Museum, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum

Set-up: August 2016

Information and reservations:
Turistično društvo Nadiža Podbela
Podbela 10
5223 Breginj
P: 051 238 312

Podbela, the village of two faces
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Opening time
Tolmin museum, permanent exhibition

Tuesday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday,
Holiday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday closed
Closed also Nov 1, Dec 24, 25, 26, 30 and 31, Jan 1, 2 and Saturdays, Sundays in January and Febuary
Entrance fee
Tolmin museum, permanent exhibition

adults 5 €
children, students, seniors 4 €
preschool children free
families with chidren up to 15 years 10 €
disabled person
and personal assistant free

adults 6 €
children, students, seniors 5 €
disabled persons 30 % discount

Tolmin museum, temporary exhibition

individual free
guided group (10 or more people) 3 €
disabled persons: 30 % discount

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