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The story of a silver stream amidst the forests

IDRIJA – THE UNESCO TOWN – ENTICES YOU TO NEW EXPERIENCES

In the oldest mining town in the heart of Slovenia, the sound of hammers and mining machinery echoed day after day for more than five centuries. In the past the mercury mine provided the town with great prosperity in all fields, from technology and science to trade and culture. Nowadays the entire old town centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Gewerkenegg mining castle  from the 16th century still watches over the attractive town, surrounded by clear waters, ample forests and green hills offering magnificent views. Idrija invites you to discover its wealth of cultural and technical heritage , already known worldwide. Get to know the tradition of lacemaking, enjoy the pristine natural environment, breathe the fresh air and taste the traditional local delicacies  in the nearby villages. 


  


8 EXPERIENCES YOU MUST TRY WHILE IN IDRIJA
• UNESCO heritage of the Idrija Mercury Mine
Municipal Museum at Gewerkenegg Castle
• Lacemaking workshop at Idrija Lace School 
• Cooking workshop – making idrijski žlikrofi by the protected recipe
Divje jezero Wild Lake, one of the most interesting natural phenomena in the country
• Walking the Path of Idrija’s natural scientists along the Rake water channel
• Cycling or hiking the theme trails within the Idrija Geopark
• Fishing in the crystal clear Idrijca river with the Idrija Angling Club


  


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TRE_7772 (Medium).jpg

  

      

The story of a silver stream amidst the forests

IDRIJA – THE UNESCO TOWN – ENTICES YOU TO NEW EXPERIENCES

In the oldest mining town in the heart of Slovenia, the sound of hammers and mining machinery echoed day after day for more than five centuries. In the past the mercury mine provided the town with great prosperity in all fields, from technology and science to trade and culture. Nowadays the entire old town centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Gewerkenegg mining castle  from the 16th century still watches over the attractive town, surrounded by clear waters, ample forests and green hills offering magnificent views. Idrija invites you to discover its wealth of cultural and technical heritage , already known worldwide. Get to know the tradition of lacemaking, enjoy the pristine natural environment, breathe the fresh air and taste the traditional local delicacies  in the nearby villages. 


  


8 EXPERIENCES YOU MUST TRY WHILE IN IDRIJA
• UNESCO heritage of the Idrija Mercury Mine
Municipal Museum at Gewerkenegg Castle
• Lacemaking workshop at Idrija Lace School 
• Cooking workshop – making idrijski žlikrofi by the protected recipe
Divje jezero Wild Lake, one of the most interesting natural phenomena in the country
• Walking the Path of Idrija’s natural scientists along the Rake water channel
• Cycling or hiking the theme trails within the Idrija Geopark
• Fishing in the crystal clear Idrijca river with the Idrija Angling Club


  


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Idrija, DISCOVER THE CITY OF UNESCO HERITAGE

Idrija, DISCOVER THE CITY OF UNESCO HERITAGE

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  • Address: Mestni trg 2, 5280 Idrija
  • Contact info available at: TIC Idrija
  • Phone: +386 (0)5 37 43 916
  • E-mail: tic@visit-idrija.si
  • Website: www.visit-idrija.si
  • GEO:46.000973200000 / 14.021466800000

  

      

The story of a silver stream amidst the forests

IDRIJA – THE UNESCO TOWN – ENTICES YOU TO NEW EXPERIENCES

In the oldest mining town in the heart of Slovenia, the sound of hammers and mining machinery echoed day after day for more than five centuries. In the past the mercury mine provided the town with great prosperity in all fields, from technology and science to trade and culture. Nowadays the entire old town centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Gewerkenegg mining castle  from the 16th century still watches over the attractive town, surrounded by clear waters, ample forests and green hills offering magnificent views. Idrija invites you to discover its wealth of cultural and technical heritage , already known worldwide. Get to know the tradition of lacemaking, enjoy the pristine natural environment, breathe the fresh air and taste the traditional local delicacies  in the nearby villages. 


  


8 EXPERIENCES YOU MUST TRY WHILE IN IDRIJA
• UNESCO heritage of the Idrija Mercury Mine
Municipal Museum at Gewerkenegg Castle
• Lacemaking workshop at Idrija Lace School 
• Cooking workshop – making idrijski žlikrofi by the protected recipe
Divje jezero Wild Lake, one of the most interesting natural phenomena in the country
• Walking the Path of Idrija’s natural scientists along the Rake water channel
• Cycling or hiking the theme trails within the Idrija Geopark
• Fishing in the crystal clear Idrijca river with the Idrija Angling Club


  



Where the Alpine and the Karst worlds meet

In the western part of Slovenia the intertwining of the Alpine and the Karst worlds has created an xtraordinary natural environment. On plateaus that lie at about 1,000 metres above sea level, small countryside villages offer hospitality at tourist farms and stunning views of the surrounding landscape, split by streams, deep gorges and narrow valleys.


Green views in Idrija Geopark

Geologically one of the most peculiar parts of the country, the Idrija area encompasses the Idrija Geopark, which is also the UNESCO Hertitage Site. It offers many opportunities for your active getaway. Because of its green responsibility to the environment Idrija was named both the Alpine Town of the Year and the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) in the year 2011.

  


The success story of the second largest mercury mine in the world

ANTHONY’S MAIN ROAD: A 500-YEAR-OLD UNESCO HERITAGE SITE

The story of the old mercury mine, the second-largest in the world, which vitally influenced the economy of Central Europe for several centuries begins with an unusual event. When a barrel maker was soaking his bucket in the stream he saw something shiny, and immediately went to show it at the market. It was mercury that had leaked to the surface; the only liquid metal once believed by alchemists to be the source of all other metals. Over a couple of centuries Idrijan miners dug out over 700 kilometres of tunnels and shafts reaching 380 metres in depth at 15 different levels, and produced almost 150 thousand tonnes of mercury, which was used all over Europe and worldwide in science, agriculture, and the extraction of precious metals, among other things. Anthony’s Main Road, one of the oldest preserved mine entrances in the world, has made it through five hundred years of operation. Nowadays it welcomes you to a tourist adventure.


  

Popular mining adventure

You enter Anthony’s Main Road just as the real miners did, dressed in an overcoat and wearing a helmet. Experienced guides lead the way underground, through the source of the mercury treasure, and tell exciting mining stories. After a pause at the mine chapel, wishing each other the miners’ traditional “Good luck!”, you walk past the illuminated pits, get to know the miners’ activities and look for the mine dwarf Perkmandlc, who used to tease the miners at work, at a depth of 100 metres below the surface.


One third of Slovenia’s preserved technical heritage

The owners of the mine continually supported technological development, making Idrija the home of plenty of interesting preserved mine equipment. Idrija Kamšt used to be a water pump for the mine and has the largest preserved wooden water wheel in Europe. In the Francisci Shaft building there is an exhibition of mine machineries, which are precious examples of the technical heritage. In the heart of the forests around Idrija you can find the water barriers, “klavže” in Slovene, which were used to transport wood along the streams.


  


The story of the flourishing town and the inventive people

THE MUNICIPAL MUSEUM WELCOMES YOU TO GEWERKENEGG – THE FORMER MINE CASTLE

Nowadays there are few real miners left in Idrija, but you can follow their cultural and technical legacy at every step you take. The mine administration once resided in Gewerkenegg Castle, which nowadays holds Idrija Municipal Museum. The town, at the confluence of the Idrijca and the Nikova rivers, evolved quickly due to the second-largest mercury ore deposit in the world. It attracted many influential natural scientists, constructors and inventors of the time. Miners loved rejoicing and relaxing after their hard labour underground, which encouraged creative engagement into music, culture and sports associations in the town. All the major events once took place at the “old square” as the locals still call Ahacijev trg (Square), named after St. Achatius, the patron saint of miners.


  


A walk through the old centre of the town

Take a walk to Ahacijev trg where you can find a Baroque fountain in the centre. At this very place the wealth of the mercury ore was found 42 metres deep in the early 16th century, and the first underground entrance, called the Shaft of Luck, was made. While exploring the old centre of Idrija you will also see the first theatre building in Slovenia, the first Slovenian non-classical secondary school and the Magazin, the preserved mine grain store.

  


The oldest brass band in Europe

Sit in the main square and take a look at the castle, or visit lace shops and feel the tradition of Idrija. Maybe you come at just the right time for one of the many events with the Idrija miners’ brass band. The oldest brass band in Slovenia and even in Europe has celebrated 350 years of tradition. In August the Čipkarija Festival is worth visiting. It is organised by young locals who have enriched the summer programme of events with music, sports and games for all generations for the last 20 years.


The story of the gentle Idrija lace Idrija

GET TO KNOW THE LACEMAKERS OF IDRIJA

Idrija is the main and the oldest Slovenian centre of handmade bobbin lace. The lacemaking craft flourished at the peak of mercury mining in Idrija. Soon all the main lacemaking cities started admiring Idrija lace, not only the Austrian and German centres, where Idrija lacemaking most probably originated, but also Dutch and Flemish ones. Idrija lace nowadays carries a geographical mark as the finest handmade craft product. “Crossing and twisting” the threads coiled on wooden bobbins and forming patterns such as “srčkovka”, in the shape of a heart, lacemaking requires much knowledge and dedication. Lacemakers learn their skills at Idrija Lace School, which is still the pillar of lacemaking in Europe. The last decade has been a chance for Idrija Lace to influence the fashion world and contemporary creativity. Get to know this attractive tradition at a lacemaking workshop.


  


International Idrija Lace Festival

In the summer time, you can see the skilled lacemakers’ hands twisting the threads on the streets of Idrija. Idrija Lace Festival is the biggest event in the town with an international reputation, dedicated to the craft of lacemaking and preserving the tradition. The festival promotes creative approaches to making and applying the lace. Feel the festive spirit at the biggest outdoor lacemaking competition in Slovenia and visit top class lace exhibitions during the days of the festival.

  


From traditional lace to lace earrings

“Idrija Lace, A History Written In Thread”, is the title of the lace exhibition in Idrija Municipal Museum where you can get to know the story of the Idrija lacemakers. You can help to preserve the old handicraft by buying handmade doilies, jewellery or other lace items. Learn the basics of lacemaking at Idrija Lace School, which has been active continuously since 1876, and still offers classes to all generations, including many children from Idrija and its surrounding area.

  


The story of an active spirit

IDRIJA GEOPARK INVITES YOU TO ITS CYCLING AND HIKING TRAILS

Did you know that it was the Idrija-born sportsman, inventor and sports architect Stanko Bloudek who first brought different sports to Slovenia from abroad? Idrija is a true paradise for enthusiasts of outdoor activities in a pristine environment, who go hiking or cycling at any time of the year, or go fishing, climbing, or pick herbs and mushrooms when the time is right. During the winter the plateaus of Vojsko and Črni Vrh are packed with skiers. UNESCO’s Idrija Geopark embodies all the beauties of the geologically most fascinating part of the country, where the gorges and valleys cut deep between the high plateaus and forests. Explore the network of 22 hiking and cycling theme trails. Discover the preserved Partisan Printing Shop from WWII, or climb up to the top of Javornik (1,241 m), the highest peak in the area, and indulge in the magnificent green views.

  


Fishing in the crystal clear Idrijca river 

Get to know the Idrija Angling Club which organises unforgettable fly fishing tours on one of the most attractive rivers for fishing in Slovenia. Local fishermen are proud of the clear clean waters and the marble trout. To cross the river you can use one of the wooden suspension bridges. Or cycle to the village of Bela near Idrija and freshen up in the natural pools of the Idrijca at the Lajšt bathing spot.


Along the Path of natural scientists to Wild Lake

One of the main attractions in Slovenia is the wealth of underground water. Divje jezero or Wild Lake, under high, precipitous rocks, is in fact a Karst spring that gushes water during unfavourable weather. One way to reach it is along the theme trail of Idrija’s natural scientists along the Rake water channel.


  


The story of delicious Idrijski žlikrofi

TASTE ŽLIKROFI AND OTHER TRADITIONAL LOCAL DELICACIES

The symbol of Idrija’s cuisine is žlikrofi - soft dumplings filled with a potato, bacon and herb stuffing. They were the first Slovenian dish to get a national and European mark of a Guaranteed Traditional Speciality. According to legend the making of žlikrofi was brought to Idrija by a German mining family who moved to Idrija for work. The popular local dish has a special place in the Idrija Municipal Museum where many culinary stories are kept. A žlikrof is like life – you have to make something delicious with very simple ingredients, claim the local chefs. Every year in late August they gather at the Žlikrof Day Festival and compete to make žlikrofi according to the protected recipe and method. Learn how to prepare them encouraged by local experts, and enjoy žlikrofi with bakalca, a sauce made from lamb and vegetables.


The rich table tempts your taste buds

Among the traditional local dishes the juicy curd cheese štruklji (dumplings) are often served. Before you indulge in this delicious dish, do enjoy the rich smukavc cabbage and potato stew. The traditional types of “potica” cake, ocvirkovka with cracknels and zeljševka with chives are very popular, too. As a dessert do not hesitate to take a sip of geruš – the miners’ wormwood spirit.

  


Žlikrofi shaped like Napoleon’s hat

Should we believe the legend that žlikrofi were first made when Napoleon Bonaparte visited Idrija and his mistress made the special dumplings for him in the shape of his hat? Nowadays everything about žlikrofi is strictly defined. They must be 3 cm long and 2 cm high and they must have the typical dimple on top, the fingerprint, which is like the personal signature of the chef.


  


The story of countryside homesteads

GREEN PLATEAUS ENTICE YOU TO TASTE THE MILK AND HONEY

The countryside of Idrija is a world of natural treasures and authentic adventures. At about 1,000 metres above sea level there are plateaus where the sun, the wind and the waters have stimulated the healing powers of herbs for centuries. Nowadays locals still know how to naturally turn them into herbal teas, syrups and healthy drinks. On the mountain farms dairy products such as cheeses, buttermilk or whey are also produced. Dairy products combine perfectly with honey delicacies. The heritage of beekeeping in the region of Idrija has a centuries-long tradition. According to the legend even the barrel maker who discovered mercury served honey to the first merchants arriving in Idrija. Nowadays Idrija is a bee-friendly environment where beekeepers produce various types of honey and honey products.

  

A traditional culinary festival

August 15, Assumption Day, is a special festival in Spodnja Idrija. According to an old tradition families used to celebrate the occasion by cooking štruklji, weaving garlands, rejoicing and singing. Because of this annual making of štruklji the festival got its own local name Prfarski štrukljevc.


Idrija milk and cheese for strength

Get yourself ready for sporting endeavours in Idrija with a nurturing breakfast. When was the last time you tried organic yogurt, milk, buttermilk or whey? If you love cheese, we can recommend the full-flavoured Krnčan cheese or Škripavec cheese, which tastes great grilled. Every second Wednesday you can buy all dairy products from the surrounding farms at the covered market in Idrija.

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TIC Idrija, Mestni trg 2

+386 (0)5 37 43 916
tic@visit-idrija.si

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