Base 20

Historic Site in Dolenjska

During WWII's early days, the Partisans, under Marshal Tito's command, headquartered in Kočevski Rog's dense forests. Amid limestone caves they operated hospitals, schools and printing presses. The nerve centre was the so-called Base 20 (662m), about 9km southwest of Dolenjske Toplice. Reconstructed and turned into a national monument after the war, it was once a favourite pilgrimage spot for Slovenes and Yugoslavs; it's now a shadow of its former self, its 26 wooden buildings slowly being consumed by the forest.

Two of the huts (Nos 16 and 22) house exhibits about the role of Base 20 and of Kočevski Rog during WWII. A plaque erected near the site in 1995 diplomatically pays homage to everyone involved in the ‘national liberation war’, presumably including the thousands of Domobranci (Home Guards) executed here by the Partisans in 1945.

There's no bus service, but Base 20 can be reached by sealed road or on foot or bike from Podturn. It's 2km from Dolenjske Toplice to Podturn, and a further 7km uphill to Base 20.