UNESCO sights

The following sights in Slovenia have been entered onto the UNESCO World Heritage list so far: the Škocjan Caves, which represent part of the world's natural heritage and the Idrija mercury mine, as well as the prehistoric pile dwellings in the area of Ljubljansko barje as part of the world's cultural heritage.

The Škocjan Caves

The natural pearl of the Slovenian Karst underground has been on the UNESCO list since 1986. The several kilometre-long system of water caves that has been formed by the Reka river through million of years incorporates astonishing halls, including one of the largest in Europe. Martel hall is 16 metres high, 120 metres wide and 300 metres long. The natural bridges and windows and various stalagmite shapes are astonishing as well. Only a small portion of the caves is open for tourists; in 2011, a portion of the caves that had been closed since 1965, when the path was destroyed by a big flood, was re-opened.

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps

The pile dwellings in the area of Ljubljansko barje are part of the attraction that includes 111 pile dwellings in six countries in the area of the Alps, built between 5000 and 500 B.C. For these dwellings, it is characteristic that the wood used for their construction was preserved in exceptionally good condition. The remains of the pile dwellings, constructed at the edge of Ljubljansko barje – this area used to be a lake – are now only visible in Slovenian museums and deep underground. Besides various tools and even preserved clothes, archaeologists managed to find the oldest wheel with an axle in the world in Ljubljansko barje. It is approximately 5200 years old.

The mercury heritage. Almadén and Idrija

The former mercury mine in Idrija entered the UNESCO list in 2012, together with the Almadén mine in central Spain. In Idrija, mercury was dug out from 1490 to the mid 90's of the previous century. The Antonij’s shaft of the once second largest mercury mine in the world now offers a picturesque depiction of the work and lives of numerous generations of Idrija miners and their families.


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