Idrija UNESCO heritage of Lace/Mercury
Idrija and mercury mine
Once Europe’s second biggest mercury mine, Idrija is Slovenia’s newest EDEN (European Destination of Excellence 2011) and Slovenia’s latest addition to the UNESCO heritage list (2012).
Visit its mysterious underground mines and see where the impressive tradion of lace making comes from. Marvel at the natural beauties in the surrounding area, such as the deepest lake in Slovenia, the Wild lake, and the remarkable structures ‘klavže’ dams built on the river Idrijca.
Idrija - UNESCO heritage
In the Idrija region you can admire Klavže, a river engineering phenomenon called Slovenia’s pyramids, look into the bottomless Wild lake and walk along Slovenia’s shortest river, visit Idrija castle and its interesting museum, and descend into the depths of the disused mercury mine, transformed into a world-class attraction protected by UNESCO.
Idrija mercury mine
The Idrija mercury mine is one of the oldest mines in Europe, the first mining dating back to 1490, and was considered the second largest mercury mine in the world. Today it is no longer operating, but you can visit one of the oldest shafts and see why Idrija was famed around the globe for over 500 years. You will get yourself familiarized with the extraction of the only liquid metal known to man, visit the underground Chapel and if you are lucky, you might even meet Perkmandlc, the mischievous mine elf.
Idrija lace was first mentioned in documents from 1696. It began when the miners' wives tried to earn some extra money for the family. By perfecting the craft, they helped place Idrija on the map as one of the more prominent lace making centres in Europe. The lace making craft is still taught in a lace making school that was founded in the 19th century and is today an important part of Slovene cultural heritage.
Wild Lake and Idrijca River
Wild Lake is one of the most mysterious lakes you might come across. It is hidden beneath a cliff close to Idrija and is known as the deepest lake in Slovenia with the deepest point measured so far at 160 metres. The area is protected due to its rich flora and fauna that have developed in this remarkable spot.
The Idrijca river, which used to serve as a means of transportation of the timber that was used in the nearby mercury mine in Idrija, is a heaven for fishing throughout the year. The beautiful crystal clear waters are the home of a great variety of fish.
Klavže, the Pyramids of Slovenia
Klavže are one of the most important technical monuments in Slovenia. They are tall stone river dams built to collect water and transport the timber to the Idrija mercury mine. Their monumental size has earned them a nickname – The pyramids of Slovenia.
Price: € 89 / person
Our prices are all-inclusive, so the only extra cost on the tour is lunch. You need to take that into consideration when comparing tour prices, as many agencies advertise low prices and put the admission fees and other extras in the small print.
- Entrance fee to Gewerkenegg castle
- Guided tour of Idrija mercury mine
Our scheduled day trips have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 passengers (single traveller surcharge is 50€ when there are no other bookings for the tour).
All of our daytrips are also available as private tours. We can customize any tour to the needs and interests of the guest (1-3 persons from 390€; 4-8 persons from 490€).
Further reading: Slovenia