Get to Know Idrija – This Year’s Slovenian EDEN Winner

Published: 2.6.2011

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Get to Know Idrija – This Year’s Slovenian EDEN Winner

Idrija is this year’s winner of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition in Slovenia – the competition that puts forward destinations, which display excellence within sustainable development of tourism. Idrija invites you to discover it with the unique “Story for All Times”, which relates a 500-year-old story of the mining town, which was once well known throughout Europe.

Get to Know Idrija – This Year’s Slovenian EDEN Winner

Idrija is this year’s winner of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition in Slovenia – the competition that puts forward destinations, which display excellence within sustainable development of tourism. Idrija invites you to discover it with the unique “Story for All Times”, which relates a 500-year-old story of the mining town, which was once well known throughout Europe.

Idrija is the oldest mining town in Slovenia, and for five hundred years it was famed both at home and around the world for its wealth of mercury, which had a major influence on many events not just nationally but also within the wider European area. For several centuries the Idrija Mine was ranked among the most prominent Central European corporations, and it played a significant role in international economic relations.

The pioneering period of mining in the Idrijca Valley began after 1490, when the presence of autochthonous mercury was discovered. Its significance was of such a scope that its owners and managers were continually obliged to introduce the most modern technical processes, and to engage and appoint relevant top experts. For this reason Idrija, in general and throughout its past, was viewed as one of the centres of mining technology and metallurgy, which resulted in the flourishing of natural sciences as well as in the overall cultural progress.

500 years of mining in Idrija and the surrounding area left exceptionally rich heritage of technical, cultural and historical monuments and features, which are open to visitors as museum sites. Idrija`s ethnological distinctions include the local hand-made lace, which is certainly the most prominent one, while there is also a rich and diverse local cuisine, with pride given to the dumpling speciality known as “idrijski žlikrofi”.

The year 2011 is also important for Idrija for another reason. In January, after 100 years Idrija acquired a new hotel and thereby additional overnight facilities the town was lacking. The Jožef Hotel − the name comes from the numerous Jožefs who lived and worked in Idrija. The hotel is an addition to the current hotel offer of the unique Kenda Manor, member of the Relais & Chateaux chain, which in a sophisticated manner brings to life the story of Idrija and the Idrija lace.

Also get to know the remaining three finalists for 2011:

- Mežica with the “Peca Underworld – tourist mine and museum” - product;

- Velenje with the “Underground Adventure in Velenje” product; and

- Žiče with the “Žiče Carthusian Monastery in the valley of St. John the Baptist” product.

If sustainable destinations are close to your heart, it is worth considering visiting any of the first three Slovenian EDEN destinations:

- The Soča Valley, which lures visitors with its experiences on the emerald Soča, hikes in the nearby mountains and along the trails of the First World War clashes.

- Solčavsko with the harmony of three Alpine valleys (Logarska dolina, Robanov kot and Matkov kot).

- Kolpa River, which surprises with its slow natural stream, rapids, canyons, gravel beds, the surrounding landscape and its biodiversity, as well as with its luxuriant natural assets and cultural features.

More information about the entire Slovenian EDEN destinations network can be found on the sites of the Slovenian Tourist Board.

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