Sveti Pavel above Vrtovin

Sveti Pavel above Vrtovin
Sveti Pavel above Vrtovin

St. Paul’s Hill (Školj Sv. Pavla) above the village of Vrtovin is set on the slopes of Mt Čaven and noticeable from afar despite the moderate altitude of 520 m. Historical sources report that the hill was settled back in the Iron Age and was significantly influenced by the Romans. In late antiquity, when the migrating Barbarians forced the local population to abandon their valley settlements, the inselberg was used as a refuge and later additionally fortified with a wall. The remains of the wall that protected the late Roman settlement are visible to this day.

The eye-catching water tower, a unique architectural coup, is eleven metres tall and regarded as the tallest Roman structure in Slovenia. The water was carried from the tower over steep steps across the rocky south edge and the access to the precious water was tightly guarded. On the site of this protected settlement, which was preceded by a 3rd century chapel according to oral accounts, the locals erected St Paul’s Church after WW2 as a tribute to the casualties of war from the Vipava Valley.

The recently renovated church, the water tower and attractive landscape attract increasing numbers of visitors to St. Paul’s Hill.

Information: TIC Ajdovščina

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