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Goče is a village on the Southern ridges of Upper Vipava Valley, dominated by its St. Andrew church (17th century) and surrounded by vineyards. The old part of the village originates from 14th century and village layout changed little since early 19th century or even earlier. Houses are built of local stone and many remain unplastered. The stone-cut entry to the graveyard and the chapel of Holy Sepulchre (1668) are worth mentioning.


The old part of the village is protected as heritage site. Old houses date from 17th-19th century. The local school was built in 1937 and is a typical example of Italian building style of the 1930th. Perched on the Obelunec hill above the village is St. Mary church, offering a perfect view of Goče and Upper Vipava Valley with Mt. Nanos.

In March 2007, the village water hole (kal), the place where cattle and other animals were brought to drink water, was cleaned and reopened.

There is a basic shop in the village (open daily but just for a few hours) but no bar or restaurant. The 'Cejkotova Household' (Cejkotova domačija) is a reconstructed village house that was converted into a restaurant serving local dishes and wines. It is only open upon reservation in advance. In addition, several wine cellars can be visited in different parts of the village but owners prefer to be called in advance if you wish to visit. These cellars are: Fajdigov hram (hram = wine cellar), Ferjančič farm, Furlan farm and Povh wines.

Goče is the birthplace of Ivan Mercina (1851-1940), a Slovenian campanologist (expert for church bells and for bell-ringing melodies). This might seem weird to someone living outside Central Europe, but there indeed is a kind of art behind it. Certain melodies are characteristic for some villages and there are bell-ringing competitions organized (one such is the regular May competition at St. Martin's church above the village of Brje in Vipava Valley). More about him at SBI.

Other personalities connected with Goče are listed on a separate page in Slovenian language.

Excerpts from the history of GočeEdit

(Also see a dedicated page in Slovenian with additional data).

Goče (in Slovenian the name of the village is actually a plural word form) was (were) apparently first mentioned in early 14th century. There is a separate page in Slovenian and English about the first known written mention of Goče.

Next, the St. Andrew church was mentioned in 1376. It is believed that it was built in the gothic style. Further, the village of Goče was mentioned in a document from 1398 that lists properties of the Gorizia Countship (see the article of Verica Šenica Pavlovič, published in a 2005 issue of 'Zgodovina v šoli' (History in school) that describes a part of local 19th century history focused on Ferjančič - Lasič family from Goče). 

The first church was destroyed and replaced in early 17th century by the present building. Wall paintings were completed by Johannes Michael Lichenreiter in 1759, while altars were completed  by Pasquale Lazzarini stone carving workshop around 1730. 

First village plans date from 1822 or 1823 when the Franciscan cadastral survey was made. Goče are covered on a separate map as part of the Postojna district folder.

In 1831, the Vipava deanery split from the Gorica diocese and joined Ljubljana diocese. As part of the Vipava deanery the Goče parish is listed as a one of deanery parts with the service of a curate (Slovenian; kuratija). The parish church was that of St. Andrew, with a dependency church of St. Mary of the Snow at Obelunec hill and two chapels: the graveyard chapel of Holy Tomb and the castle chapel of St. Joseph in Lože. [Data from J. Šilc: Parishes and their territorial extent in the diocese Ljubljana in the mid-19th century. In: Arhivi, 2009, 29(2), pp. 305-336.)

The first school building was constructed in 1851 under the Vipava church dean Jurij Grabrijan and as the first in the villages around Vipava. Local school authorities were searching for a teacher through announcements in the journal 'Kmetijske in rokodelske novice' in 1851/52. Teacher was supposed to act as church organist and sexton for the annual payment of 298 gulden (gld.) 45 kreuzer (kr.) 'in cash and wine'. The first teacher was Ivan Lenarčič. In 1863 teacher Janez Mercina resigned as teacher at Goče. In 1866 teacher was Anton Bezeg who in 1869 was relocated to Sostro while the position at Goče was open again.

Between 1920 and 1943 the area was annexed by Italy with military presence during WW2 (1941-43), followed by German occupation (1943-45). In 1923 the first Italian teacher came to Goče and Italian classes started. There was no permanent presence of foreign soldiers in the village, although they patrolled quite often due to information that resistance troups occasionally arrived to Goče. All villagers of Goče were expelled from their homes in March 1943. They were allowed to return after several months only.

The 1941-1945 period is presented in more detail in Slovenian language.

In1958 a group of ethnologists from the Slovene Ethnographic Museum visited Goče and documented many interesting village details, from architecture to tools. Several of the photographs and sketches are available in the museum's archives [1].

The local school was independent until 1963. With the school year 196/5 it became a branch of the primary school in Vipava. Classes are combined - so called multigrade classes (two or more generations of pupils are taught simultaneously by one teacher), as the number of local children is too small to according to national standards. (Source: Breda Žvokelj, graduation thesis, University of Littoral, Koper, 2013).

Although it is generally accepted that Goče is a unique example of countryside architecture and urban planning, it was not until 1987 that the core of the village of Goče was protected as a heritage site of regional importance (declared by the municipality of Ajdovščina that in that time also included today's municipality of Vipava). This coincides with a summer architecture school organized by the Faculty of civil planning, architecture and geodesy, University of Ljubljana in 1986. The goal of the summer school was to prepare ideas and models for renewal of selected houses in the village. Already in 1986, there existed a Society for protection of Goče cultural heritage which proposed the organisation of the architectural summer school. In 1987, a Board for renewal of Goče started to operate. In the summer of 1987, there were two events in the village: another architectural summer school and an ethnography student camp that researched on habits and lifestyle. In parallel, the Heritage protection institution of Gorica prepared an evaluation of Goče village buildings. In 1988 there was an international architectural students summer camp organized in the village. Despite all the efforts mentioned, in 1989 the national Committee for nature protection and spatial planning refused to confirm the renovation plans, which negatively influenced further activities towards village protection and renewal. [Data from PhD thesis of Vesna Mia Ipavec, University of Nova Gorica, 2011, pp. 386-288)

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