The Slovenia Times

Idrija: European Destination of Excellence 2011 in Slovenia


The oldest mining town

In 1490 Škafar discovered mercury in the Idrijca valley and during the following centuries, the mine grew to be the second largest mercury mine in the world. Idrija is the oldest mining town in Slovenia with an exceptionally rich technological, cultural and natural heritage. The way of life in Idrija from times past, when Idrija was known for the second largest mercury mine in the world, can be felt in every step as you explore the region. Despite the closing of the mine, Idrija still maintains living ties to its mining traditions and cultural heritage as it continues to develop and grow into a modern community. In 2007 Slovenia recommended for the first time that Idrija, with its mercury mining heritage, should be included on the Unesco World Heritage List.
This year Idrija supplemented its application and submitted it anew. Also this year Idrija has been awarded the flattering title of the "Alpine Town of the Year 2011". Idrija has also committed itself to set out on a path of sustainable development. The expert committee for the selection of the European Destination of Excellence 2011 awarded Idrija the title of the European Destination of Excellence.

Many sights in the centre

An unforgettable experience to be had in Idrija is to visit the mercury mine, one of the largest mercury mines in the world. In the oldest part of the mine, Anthony's Shaft, step into the world of mining and take a look at the work of the miners, you will get to see the precious cinnabar ore, drops of liquid mercury and visit the unique underground chapel. With its large Town square and the picturesque arcade courtyard of Gewerkenegg Castle, the city is a host to many cultural, traditional and entertainment events. The biggest and the most prominent event is the internationally renowned Idrija Lace Festival (held in June) which aims to preserve the tradition of lacemaking in Idrija and reflects the innovation of its use. Idrija can also be discovered by visiting the Municipal Museum of Idrija which takes care of preserving the heritage in the area of Idrija and Cerkno. Visitors can see the permanent exhibition of the 500 year long history of the mercury mine and town, an exhibition of the region of Idrija in the 20th century, view a rich geological collection as well as a collection of bobbin Idrija lace. In 2008, for its permanent exhibition "Idrija Lace - history written by a thread", the museum was awarded the prestigious Valvasor prize.
An interesting sight to visit is a typical Miner's house from the 18th century that is located not far from the town centre and represents the former way of life of miner families. You can discover the remnants of the mining past on your own or accompanied by a local guide who will share with you some secrets of the life of Idrija's miners.
You are invited to the secret world of underground shafts, raging waters and unique works of art. Actively discover the mysterious and raging waters as well as the monuments of inventiveness of the people of Idrija in unspoiled nature!

Touristic Information Centre TIC Idrija
Vodnikova 3, Idrija
T: 05 37 43 916; F: 05 37 43 915


More from Nekategorizirano