The territory of today's Šmartno in Brda (261 m above sea level) are our ancestors began to settle already in the Bronze Age. They settled down on a marked hilly back, which pulls from the pass over Plave towards the southwest.
On the "northern door of Brda" lies a village Vrhovlje pri Kojskem (altitude about 390 m). The hilly back is split into more ridges and in the "direction of Šmartno" sinks in the lowlands, only 50 m above the sea below Vipolže.
Findings show a permanent settlement in the antiquity and the Middle Ages, the Šmartno received its exceptional importance during the Venetian-Austrian wars between the 15th and the 18th century.
Officially settlement around the church was fortified as camp against Turkish invasions, but in real life it was built against Venetians. Little later strong fortress with seven towers was built and into the fortress was placed command of a strong military unit. The Turkish invasions were just an excuse, because it was not "healthy" to irritate and to provoke neighbors with such magnificent buildings and military units.
The Šmartno was mostly settled by paid soldiers called uskoki (Serbs, Bosnians, Croats, and others from the military border land along the frontier between Austrian and Turkih empires of that time). Soldiers had his arable land on the territory of present village Imenje. They called their land imanje, what mean property.
Present image Šmartno mainly received in the 19th century, when Venetian-Austrian wars were over. Soldiers have moved or turned into farmers - viticulturists and winemakers.
The settlement survived two world wars and strong earthquakes in the 20th century, Many houses were severely damaged (looted, burned, blown up ...) in both wars.
"Friul earthquakes" caused at buildings very high damage in 1976, but also "that one from Drežnica" not spared old houses in 1998. Fortunately there was no earthquake victims in Slovenija. Governement decided for a thorough renovation already at end of the 70th years, but many people from the walled center moved to new houses near the fortress.
A life has coming back in Šmartno after independence of Slovenija in 1991. Municipality of Brda and the Slovene Ministry of Culture renewed series of houses at the upper part of the fortress, company Salonit Anhovo, d. d., renovated the left tower and the house beside at the lower part. Private owners also renovated houses to live in them. That is the the most important thing, settlement without of permanent residents is dead, no matter what the eminent is behind closed doors of beautifully restored buildings.
The page from 5th August, 2012 by Daniel Rojšek.
Your comments are welcome.
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