The Socerb Castle

Socerb was founded on the ruins of an Illyrian hill-fort. The fortress expanded during the Middle Ages. Due to its excellent geographic position, it used to be a constant target in the wars between the Venice and the people of Trieste.


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How to get there:

Take the motorway from Koper to Črni Kal/Ljubljana. Take a right exit when you see the Črni Kal/Socerb sign. Turn right for Socerb and follow the signs. Turn left for Črni Kal.

Overlooking the Gulf of Trieste, Socerb Castle, built on the ruins of an Illyrian hill-fort, has for centuries withstood the northern wind bora and ravages of time. First mentioned in 1040, it was named after the patron saint of Trieste and martyr, St. Servul (St. Socerb, San Servolo). According to legend, after having converted to Christianity, Servul hid in the nearby cave (283 or 284) before the governor of Trieste had him executed. In the past, the castle had a significant strategic position, controlling the political border and important routes, so it was the reason for battles between the Venetians and people of Trieste. In the early medieval period residential areas were added, so it grew into a fortification with permanently resident troops. However, in the second half of the 14th c., the town nobles withdrew from their knightly life and turned to more profitable sources of income. After the peace agreement, the fortification was transformed into agricultural land. Territories of the ancient ager of Trieste and villages that had been taken away long before, were joined to it. In spite of the renowned wine from the surrounding vineyards, the owners fell into debts and were forced to sell the property. This was followed by fires, devastation, selling and change of owners and finally in 1925, reconstruction. The present appearance of the castle differs greatly from the description of the historian and travel writer Valvasor in The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (Slavi vojvodine Kranjske). He also gives a detailed account of the Holy Cave, the only subterranean church in the world, where a mass in honour of St. Servul is held every May.