In the south-western part of Slovenia, not far from the Croatian border and Portorož, lies the village of Korte, which is in the heart of the Izola countryside, community and parish. The immediate vicinity of the seaside - with its mild climate, fertile water-retaining soil and perfect defensive position - have attracted people to these parts since prehistoric times. Traces of the past are clearly visible, and there are many fascinating cultural features.
On Kašler - above Korte – there was a prehistoric wooden fortified settlement on the Apulian route that led over Istria and between southern Italy and central Europe. From here, the ancient Ilirs–Histri guarded the Northern Adriatic Sea and defended Istria from the Romans. The Romans later enslaved them (Roman graves with glass tear vessels). Ancient stories even testify that Old Izola was located here (contract on re-settlement due to the threat from beyond the sea from 1165).
In Stara vas at Medoše there was an ancient Albucianum–Boćan–Obićan–Krog settlement with a rich history (Byzantine history, the Gravisi counts, St Benedict's monastery). It was also the centre of the ancient parish (fallow Turen (tower), ruins of St Sunday's church). The old village was destroyed by the plague in the Middle Ages, and the parish re-located to Korte.
The first section of Korte was on a 'pier' behind Poćudra (ground wells) above the brook and fallow Pil (small chapel; source: Antoniana, 1280). The parish of Korte was mentioned in the mid-fifteenth century (in 1435, as the church of St Anthony the Great; in 1468 as the holder of a relict tabernacle, Glagolithic liturgy; last name Grbec). Protestantism in the sixteenth century also left traces, because the Bishop of Koper and the 'heretic' Vergerij lived at Čuki below Stara vas (a well-known folk-tale is mentioned in the book Mrak eno Jutrnja and in Tomizzo's novel Il male viene dal nord).
Other villages in the parish and local communities also boast a rich past. In the Middle Ages, Jews from central Italy settled west of Korte (Geta on Malija; last name Bologna in Kocina). At the beginning of the fourteenth century, 4km west of Korte, St James' Church was built on Šared, from where people started pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela.
Nationalism began to grow at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century, when Venice was in decline and the French occupied these parts (the Benedetti Era: the building of a larger church with a bell tower and parsonage, and the French road in the valley of Drnica). A parish school was opened in 1815, and a folk school in 1819. In 1839, the Glagolithic influence was eradicated, and from 1870 to 1919, a better, so-called Ravnik-Orel school (priest Ravnik and teacher Orel) was introduced. After World War I (1918), a period of violent Italian influence and folk resistance began. The church was decorated with frescoes by Vergil Pittsheider in 1939. After World War II, there followed almost ten years under the Yugoslav military government of Zone B and almost forty years of Communist Yugoslavia.
Cultural features also include: the proud attitude of the community, choral tradition, rich old customs, folk literature, unique dialect distinguished by the use of letter ć and many old words (v'z'm, sekrva, opasilo, šrajati, brum'n, doboto, tć'nica, grab'c, pašt'n, pir, postoli, etc.), and unique cuisine, which is 'buttered' with olive oil, or with minced lard (t'canje); locals do not use roux. Menus include a lot of vegetables – especially appreciated are the first sprouts of spring, wild asparagus, fennel and aromatic herbs. There is no need to mention that the specialities of Istrian cuisine, including fish and wines, have an exceptional taste and aroma, and above all are also beneficial to health. You can taste it for yourself – try them in our restaurant – Restaurant KORTE!