Slovenian Alpine Museum celebrates 10th anniversary

Mojstrana – The Slovenian Alpine Museum in Mojstrana in the north-west of the country is celebrating these days its 10th anniversary, which coincides with the 125th anniversary of the erection of the Aljaž Tower, a shelter on top of Mt Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak.

An exhibition called Ten Anchors of Slovenian Alpine Climbing opened on Friday evening at the museum, while the main ceremony will be held on Monday.

“When we wrote down the goals of the Slovenian Alpine Museum ten years ago, we wanted it to become a meeting point of all alpine climbers, and that it also becomes a space for education, culture and teaching of alpine climbing,” said the museum operators on the occasion.

Upon its opening, the museum had 1,600 exhibits, and today it has as many as 3,200, while it has also collected more than 3,300 books, as well as a multitude of photographs, post cards and other material.

“We are slowly running out of space,” said Irena Lačen Benedičič of Gornjesavski Muzej Jesenice, noting that the museum had been well accepted by visitors, as it had reached a record visit of 65,000 last year.

In the ten years, the permanent exhibition has been viewed by more than 100,000 people, while the total number of visitors since the museum opened has been estimated at around half a million.

According to Alenka Smerkolj, the secretary general of the Alpine Convention, it is one of the most interactive, beautiful and interesting museums in the entire Alps.

The museum also serves as an info point of the international territorial treaty for the sustainable development of the Alps, and as such it spreads the ideas of the convention, she added.

The 10th anniversary of the museum coincides with the 125th anniversary of the erection of the Aljaž Tower on top of Mt Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain, which overlooks Mojstrana.

The symbol not only of Slovenian mountains but of the country at large recently underwent much needed repairs and was returned to the top of Triglav, where it had stood for 123 years, in October 2018.

The tower was erected in 1895 by the priest Jakob Aljaž, a trailblazer in the Julian Alps. The tower and its immediate site have become inexorably linked with Slovenian identity and were proclaimed a site of national cultural importance in 1999.

The 10th anniversary is being celebrated throughout the year with a number of events and exhibitions, and the celebrations will culminate on Monday with a ceremony featuring President Borut Pahor.

The exhibition that opened today is “dedicated to all appreciated alpine climbers”, taking the viewers through the history of the ten greatest feats of Slovenian climbing, said Lačen Benedičič.