How to get there:
Franja Hospital is in the vicinity of Cerkno. The easiest way to come to Cerkno is through Idrija or through Selška valley (Škofja Loka - Železniki - Davča - ski resort Cerkno - Cerkno). On the road 'Cerkno - Železniki' (about 5 km from Cerkno) in the village Dolenji Novaki signs will direct us to Franja Hospital. We turn left from the main road and park at the end of the road next to a cafe.
From central Slovenia it is also possible to come to Dolenji Novaki through Poljanska valley (Škofja Loka - direction 'Žiri' to Hotavlje – turn right towards the ski resort Cerkno - at the ski resort turn left in the direction 'Cerkno' and then pay attention to signs for Franja Hospital).
Hidden partisan hospitals were a specialty of Slovenian resistance movement during the 2nd World War. Franja, named after the physician Dr. Franja Bojc Bidovec who ran the hospital, is one of the rare preserved hospitals of this kind. First wounded people were brought to the difficultly accessible gorge of Pasica in December 1943. The transport of the wounded was happening by night and besides this the wounded were also blindfolded so that they couldn't betray the hospital. The hospital had its own armed and efficient defence squad. You will notice natural bunkers in the steep walls above the stream, from where machine guns were lurking on the enemy and a mine field was a part of the defensive system as well. The gorge was attacked twice, however the hospital was never discovered and the last injured people left in May 1945. It has been opened for visitors in 1946 already.
Franja Hospital complex composes of 14 wooden sheds and some subsidiary facilities where the bedrooms for injured people and staff, a kitchen, storage rooms, room for x-ray, an operating room, drugstore and even electric plant were located. Unfortunately, the hospital was completely destroyed in the 2007 flooding and the water carried the majority of original equipment away. Today the sheds are completely reconstructed, copies of some items have been made, replacement objects that show the life and work of the hospital have been acquired.
Nowadays a nicely arranged path with a few descriptive board leads to the hospital through the Pasica gorge. Steep walls and rapids, pools and waterfalls of the stream 'Čerinščica' surround us. It is hard to imagine that wounded people were being transferred here at night without a proper path.
Hospital Franja is under patronage of The Municipal Museum Idrija, where you can get up-to-date information about opening times.