Four destinations in Slovenia for the 2011 EDEN award

Published: 2.5.2011

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Four destinations in Slovenia for the 2011 EDEN award

The Slovenian Tourist Board takes part for the fourth time in the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) project. The theme of the 2011 competition is ‘Tourism and the Regeneration of Physical Sites’. As many as 11 destinations have competed for the award this year and in May, a winner will be selected among four finalists.

Four destinations in Slovenia for the 2011 EDEN award

The Slovenian Tourist Board takes part for the fourth time in the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) project. The theme of the 2011 competition is ‘Tourism and the Regeneration of Physical Sites’. As many as 11 destinations have competed for the award this year and in May, a winner will be selected among four finalists.

The EDEN competition is one of the key strategic projects of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB), aimed at encouraging the Slovenian destinations, by means of the European funds, to develop green tourism, drawing attention to social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism. The competing destinations for the 2011 EDEN award are those that have succeeded in regenerating the cultural heritage sites, converted them into tourism attractions, promoted further local regeneration using a sustainable approach and created year round tourism activities. Regeneration of a physical site includes any project and type of reclamation, preservation and enhancement of a site in respect of the principles of sustainability.

The evaluation committee chaired by Dr. Janez Bogataj, renowned Slovenian ethnologist, will make on-site assessments of the destinations in the coming weeks and then choose the winning Slovenian destination on the basis of additional criteria. The winning destination will be the fourth European destination of excellence in Slovenia, after the Soča Valley in 2008, Solčavsko in 2009 and the Kolpa River in 2010.

The four finalists for 2011 include (in alphabetical order):

Idrija – A story for all times: 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 in the wider European area. The application indicates the cultural sites directly and indirectly related to the now abandoned Idrija mercury mine, converted into a tourism attraction.

The underground world of Peca – Tourist mine and museum: The abandoned Mežica lead mine has been converted into an attractive tourism site providing various ways to experience the underground world. Long years of mining and the expansion of the lead mine have made a special impact on the people and the environment in this part of Slovenia at the foot of the Karavanke. The tourist mine and museum was nominated for the European Museum Year Award 2007!

An underground adventure in Velenje: The visitors of the Velenje Coal Mining Museum can experience and learn about the work of miners. Its location in an urban setting, created after the end of WW II and the proximity to other cultural sites of both the city and the region allow for designing a full tourist product in the future.

Ziče Carthusian Monastery in the Valley of St. John the Baptist: The value of the monastic complex also lies in the recognition of Romanic effects on the development of the Carthusian settlements in Germanic and Slavic countries, as the Žiče monastery is the first Carthusian monastery outside that cultural area. After decades of efforts to preserve the former Carthusian monastery in Žiče, this site is becoming an increasingly attractive tourist destination.

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