Mercury and lace storyA 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, spiderweb-shaped Idrija lace and the presentation on how it is made. Try it for yourself!
Small group approach with carefully planned time, where an experienced local tour operator’s chauffeur guide will collect you at designated location for an informative hourly ride to the 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 descend into the mine with a 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, areintroduced to life-size mannequins of workers over the ages, and see the mid-18th century unique underground chapel, the 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 retrospectiveexhibition 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, you will return back to Ljubljana. Drop off will be at same location as pick up.