A winding unpaved road to the historic Loibl Pass
The Loibl Pass, also known as Ljubelj Pass, is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.367m (4,485ft) above the sea level, located in the Southern Limestone Alps, on the border of Austria and Slovenia. It’s said to be one of the oldest mountain passes in Europe.
The winding road to the summit is unpaved, narrow and pretty steep, with 16 hairpin turns. The pass, known as Loiblpass and Prelaz Ljubelj, is 5 km long. It’s a difficult road, with uncountable turns and twists. It is the shortest connection between the town of Ferlach (in Carinthia) and Tržič (in Upper Carniola).
A memorial on the Slovenian side of the Loibl Pass commemorates the victims of the Loibl Süd forced labor camp, which existed between 1943 and 1945. The old road over the summit of the mountain pass was closed for motorised traffic since 1967, when the Loibl-Tunnel was opened to traffic. The tunnel was built after the WWII by 1,000 war prisoners from the concentration camp Mauthausen and 800 other civilian workers. It opened on November, 15th, in 1963. The pass is currently only open for bicycles and wanderers. You may get an exception from the local police of the tiny village of Ferlach (Austrian side) but this exception is only valid for the Austrian side. You have to turn around when you are at the top of the pass because there starts the territory of Slovenia.
Road suggested by: Michael Spannlang
Pic: Markus Ortner