Cultural heritage

The most important cultural heritage of Idrija is linked to the tradition of five centuries of mining. Monumental technical devices and machines have been preserved. The town of Idrija and its surroundings boast a large number of cultural heritage sites, which testifies to the exceptional significance of this area for mercury production. The technical heritage facilities are the most direct witness of five centuries of mining. A great many rare and even unique specimens of technical heritage have been preserved. The preserved water barriers known as »klavže« are an exceptional example of building construction, and testify to the unique technology of timber floating for the needs of the mine. The continuously emerging challenges in ore extraction and metal production attracted prominent European researchers to Idrija. Idrija also developed as a town with all the necessary educational institutions offering opportunities to capable local inhabitants for educating themselves. Mining activities occupied the male labour force, but also brought lacemaking activities into the town, which were developed by women and provided them with an additional source of income.

A rural population lived in the surroundings of Idrija. Preserved today are the homesteads of powerful, wealthy farmers in Spodnja Idrija, and large, solitary homesteads in the Idrija hills. The existence of residential and all necessary farm buildings testify to the economic  independence of these farm units.

The influential historical processes that brought political and social changes also left their mark in the form of immovable heritage sites. These include military facilities from the First and Second World Wars – military routes, boundary fortifications, and burial grounds. Although of younger origin, these sites bear witness to the turbulent historical events in this area in the recent past as well.

The Municipality of Idrija has 14 cultural monuments of national importance (NM), while the remainder are cultural monuments of local importance (LM), and two locations hav a status of cultural heritage (CH). (Source: Register of immovable cultural heritage)

Idrija together with Almaden in Spain, has been inscribed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage for its exceptional mercury heritage.



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