The town of Idrija does not usually find itself on a average tourist's itinerary when rushing through Slovenia. It is true travelers are discovering Slovenia, but usually they still stay on the beaten path - if we suppose such a path even exists in Slovenia.
Unfortunately by doing this, they miss some pretty awesome places. In my opinion Idrija is definitely one of the places that deserve more attention. Since it was recently added to the UNESCO heritage list, I am obviously not the only one with such an opinion.
Centuries old lace making tradition is not the only thing this over 500 years old Slovenian town has to offer. During the annual lace festival the thread used for lace making is carefully intertwined with rich technical heritage mostly related to half of a millennium of mercury mining and many local culinary delights. You should definitely consider visiting this charming town during the festival - I wrote about it in my previous post.
Amongst the sights there is one definitely worth visiting - Antonijev rov mine shaft is a part of Idrija Mercury Mine that remains open to the public. The mine was actually officially closed a few years ago but serious mining has not been practiced for a couple of decades.
A visitor to Antonijev rov (literary meaning Antony's shaft) can get a pretty good idea about how mining looked in the old days. Now the mine is closed down due to exploited ore deposits but the memory of life revolving around mercury mining still remains very alive within the people of this old Slovenian town.
A charming castle located near the very center of the town houses an interesting museum, mostly dedicated to mining history. There are also other items on display but mainly things revolve around mercury and lace.
There are also a few other dislocated units of museum scattered around the town and some interesting sites are also located in the surrounding hills but I will address those at some other time.
For more information about Idrija and its surroundings you should click on the Idrija label.