Discover the underground world of one of the oldest mercury mines in the world and explore the halls of Idrija Castle on a sightseeing trip from Ljubljana. Admire the famous lace of Idrija at the permanent exhibition inside Gewerkenegg Castle.
What to Expect
Depart Ljubljana and travel to the town of Idrija in the traditional region of the Slovenian Littoral, known, according to its inhabitants, for 2 things - the mercury mine, now protected by UNESCO; and the world-famous Idrija lace.
Descend into the mine with professional guides. Go through Anthony's Shaft, dug way back in 1500. Explore the underground world, where hidden pockets of cinnabar ore and droplets of mercury were found. Learn about mercury mining methods and see the life-size mannequins of workers through the ages. Discover the unique, mid-18th century underground Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
The history of mining in Idrija dates back to the 15th century when, according to legend, a bucket maker working in a local spring spotted a small amount of liquid mercury. This happened in 1492, the same year that Columbus set sail for the Americas. While the Almadén mercury mine in Spain was bigger, both towns were famous enough to give their names to the Californian mining towns of New Idria and New Almadén. Discover how the mercury mine was the source of living for the miners, but also the scourge of early death through mercury poisoning.
Venture into the old town, dominated by Gewerkenegg Castle and its beautiful courtyards. Built between 1522 and 1533, the castle is now the permanent home to an exhibition about the 500-year history of the mercury mine and an impressive retrospective exhibition of Idrija lace.
The craft of bobbin lace-making has occupied a very important place in the history of Idrija for more than 300 years. Napkins, curtains and bed linen, ornaments for clothes and even earrings, necklaces and gloves have all been made with Idrija lace. Learn more in the "Idrija Lace – A History Written in Thread" exhibition inside Gewerkenegg Castle.
- English-speaking chauffeur/guide
- Entrance fee to the Mercury Mine
- Entrance fee to Idrija Castle
What's Not Included
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and drinks
- Hotel pick-up and drop off
Know Before You Go
• Confirmation will be received at time of booking
• A minimum of 2 people per booking is required. Tours may be cancelled after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet the requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund