The Napoleon Bridge near Kobarid is one of the oldest stone bridges in Austria, located over the Soča River gorge east of Kobarid. It was created where the Soča squeezes into a narrow gorge for the last time before entering the plain of the Kobariška basin.
The bridge got its name because French troops marched over it during the Napoleonic conquest. The first known bridge was the wooden Venice Bridge, which was demolished in 1616. In 1750, a new stone Napoleon Bridge was built. The retreating Austrian troops mined this during the First World War and after the war, and the Italians made the existing bridge. During World War II, the bridge played an essential role in the battle for the defence of the Republic of Kobari.
The Napoleon Bridge in Kobarid is a frequent scene of jumping into the Soča River.
During the times of the Italian occupation of Primorska (1918-1943) and also later during Yugoslavia, the narrow Soča gorge above the bridge represented ideas about flooding the valley and the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Soča near Kobarid.
The Italians had already started the construction of preparatory works (construction of the new road Kobarid – Bovec on the current, elevated location), but the war overtook their plans. After the Second World War, Yugoslavia tried to implement the strategies. Still, after the revolt of the population and the disaster in the settlement of Longarone (Italy) in 1963, the activities were stopped, and the upper course of the Soča up to Mosta na Soča has declared an environment without dams.
Currently, the bridge has the role of connecting Drežnica and Smasti with the surrounding area to Kobarid. It represents a bottleneck on the local road, especially during the tourist season when many pedestrians are on it. From time to time, jumps into the Soča also take place from it, although these are more common in the Kanal and Most na Soč.