Heritage Trails from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
Heritage Tours from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
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Major heritage sites

Mercury-mine in Idrija

The mercury-mining heritage of Idrija has left many fascinating sites throughout the town and its environs. Centuries of mining activity has made use of the area's natural resources of forest, water and mineral wealth, with the rivers providing easy transportation for the massive timbers needed to construct shafts and tunnels. The mining of mercury ore began as early as 1490. The mine is accessed by St. Antony's Shaft, at the head of which is a small Museum with exhibits showing how the mine was worked, and within which is the chapel of the Holy Trinity, built by miners in the 17th century. In a period of some 500 years, the Idrija mine has produced 13% of the world's total mercury extraction. The town's associated sites include St. Francis Shaft, a typical miner's cottage, and the famous Kamšt, an enormous wooden water wheel used to pump dry the miles of subterranean workings. If you look back towards the town, you will see the St. Antony Church and Calvary on a steep hill. From the Kamšt, take the pleasant 3km walk along the valley to the Divje Jezero lake and Slovenia's shortest river, the Jezernica, a mere 55m.