Anthony Mine Shaft

sights / Historic

Anthony Mine Shaft information

Location
Idrija , Slovenia
Address
Kosovelova ulica 3
Telephone
+386 31 810 194
Telephone 2
+386 5 377 11 42
More information
www.rzs-idrija.si
Prices
adult/child €6/4
Opening hours
tour 10am & 3pm Mon-Fri, 10am, 3pm & 4pm Sat & Sun
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The mine, a ‘living museum’ in the Šelštev building south of Trg Svetega Ahacija, allows you to get a feeling for the working conditions of mercury miners in Idrija. The entrance is the Anthony Shaft, built in 1500, which led to the first mine: 1.5km long, 600m wide and 400m deep.

The tour, lasting about 1¼ hours, begins in the ‘call room’ of an 18th-century building where miners were selected each morning and assigned their duties. There’s an excellent 20-minute video in several languages (including English) describing the history of Idrija and the mine.

Before entering the shaft, you must don green overcoats and helmets with the miners’ insignia and wish each other ‘Srečno!’ (Good luck!), the traditional miners’ farewell.

As you follow the circular tour, you’ll see samples of live mercury on the walls that the miners painstakingly scraped to a depth of about 5cm, as well as some cinnabar ore. The 18th-century Chapel of the Holy Trinity (Cerkev Sv Trojice) in the shaft contains statues of St Barbara, the patroness of miners, and St Ahacius, on whose feast day (22 June) rich deposits of cinnabar were discovered.