Anthony Mine Shaft
Idrija Lace-Making School
To the west of the square is the Idrija Lace-Making School in the Stara Šola , built in 1876. Lace-making is still a popular elective...
This award-winning museum is housed in the hilltop Gewerkenegg Castle . The collections, which deal with mercury, lace and local history...
Gostišče Barbara Restaurant
This restaurant serves ‘slow food’ and many consider it to be the best restaurant in town. There’s a set menu for €12.
Kosovelova ulica 3 · interesting places nearby
Anthony Mine Shaft information
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.