A fascinating experience to discover the underground world of one of the oldest mercury mines in the world protected by UNESCO. Stroll through the halls of Idrija castle with collections focusing on mercury mining and lace making.
Admire the beautiful, like a spider web shaped Idrija lace and presentation how is made; try it yourself!
08:30 Morning departures: WED / FRI / SAT
13:30 Afternoon departures: TUE / THU / SUN
TUE / WED / THU / FRI operating only 1MAR – 30NOV
Small group approach with carefully planned time, where experienced local tour operator’s chauffeur guide will collect you at designated location for an informative hourly ride to inner part of Slovenia for your UNESCO experience.
The history of mining in Idrija dates back to the 15th century when, according to a legend, a bucket maker working in a local spring spotted a small amount of liquid mercury. That happened in 1492, the year that Columbus set sail for the Americas. Only the Almadén mercury mine in Spain was bigger. Both towns were so famous that their names were used in North America for the mining towns of New Idria and New Almadén (both in California).
Visitors decent into the mine with professional guide through Anthony’s Shaft, dug back in 1500. They explore the underground world of the mine where they find hidden pockets of cinnabar ore and droplets of mercury, learn about the method of mining mercury, are introduced to life-size mannequins of workers over the ages and see the mid-18th century unique underground chapel Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
The old town is dominated by the Gewerkenegg Castle which in German means mine castle. It was built in the period from 1522-1533. On display in the castle is an exhibition of the five hundred-year history of the mercury mine’s operation and an impressive retrospective exhibition of Idrija lace. The castle courtyard is beautifully decorated.
The craft of bobbin lace-making occupies a very important place in the history of Idrija for more than 300 years ago. Cloths and napkins, curtains and bed linen, clothes and ornaments for clothes, even earrings, necklaces and gloves are all products made of Idrija lace.
After a nice half day experience we will return back to Ljubljana.
Drop off will be at same location as pick up.
Very interesting visit to the Mercury mine
We did a half day trip to visit Idrija which is really the Mercury mine. It is very good with a very informative guide. You spend about 1.5 hours in the underground mine, you get a helmet and overalls to protect you. I would recommend doing this visit although maybe better time management if combined with trip to Postojna caves which aren’t very far from Idrija.
Reviewed on Tripadvisor
We had a great tour to Idrija with Milan. He told us everything about the region. The visit of the mercury mine was highly interesting and Milan was also able to tell us a lot about the museum in the castle.
Our guide, Milan, gave us a wonderful insight into Slovenian history and the Indigra mine and lace making. Going deep into the mine and the way it is set up gave you a real indication of what life was like for the miners. We also got to culinary experience of Indigra pasta … Delicious. I can highly recommend this half day trip … You will not be disappointed. A great experience.