The Slovenia Times

Tesla's Coils and Tito's Cars



It was named after the Bistra brook, a tributary of the Ljubljanica river. Bistra Castle is situated right next to the brook. Over the centuries, the castle has changed its economic and social roles three times. From 1260 to 1782, it was the home of the Carthusian monks, whose monastery was built by the Carinthian Duke Bernhard of Spannheim. In the 17th century, the castle housed the monks' school and a library, which kept numerous valuable manuscripts. After major renovation works in 1826, Bistra functioned as a mansion, and since 1951, it has housed the Technical Museum of Slovenia. The Technical Museum of Slovenia offers numerous permanent collections in fields as diverse as agriculture, roads, forestry, timber industry, hunting, fishing, textiles, electronics, and typography. Artefacts and devices exhibited are both fascinating and educational, as well as holding significant historical value. The Museum's Department of Antique Vehicles is arguably one of the most highly regarded collections. It features many rare vehicles, including Slovenia's first electric-powered vehicle, a tramcar that transported passengers along the streets of Ljubljana in 1901. The Woodworking Department features several reconstructions of the first water-powered saws used in Europe, while the Hunting Department boasts a number of stuffed trophy stags indigenous to the forests of Mt. Sneznik. The Forestry Department incorporates a projection room, where visitors can learn about forests in Slovenia. An interesting and appealing element of the museum's Electronics collection is the demonstration of various experiments commonly attributed to the famous inventor Nikola Tesla. Visitors are first acquainted with a short summary of his life and work, followed by the demonstrations of some of his most famous experiments on working exhibits. In addition to the exhibitions, the museum offers many lectures, workshops and demonstrations, thus enabling visitors to truly feel the technological spirit of the past. The surroundings of the castle are equally fascinating. Situated at the confluence of the Bistra brook and the Ljubljanica river are an old Venetian sawmill and a veneer sawmill. Next to the Bistra brook, there is a reconstruction of a forge featuring a large mechanical sledgehammer, one of the last of its size preserved in Slovenia. A vast park with a fishpond spreads along the Castle, while a nature trail is on the hill just above it.


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