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THE IDRIJA-CERKNO REGION Unforgettable adventures for an unforgettable vacation



The Idrija-Cerkno region A hilly area, mysteriously formed by Nature on the border between the Alps and the Karst. The vast forests covering over three quarters of the area surround the treasures of rich flora and fauna. The visitors are enraptured with the hiking paths that offer a beautiful view and hiking pleasures throughout the year and are also convenient for Nordic walking. You will be fascinated by the intact nature with its forests and clean water, ethnological features, tourist farm in the countryside, excellent culinary treats (Idrija žlikrofi – filled dumplings –,Šebrelje želodec – filled pork stomach) and technical, historical and cultural monuments of European importance. In the summer, swimmers can enjoy the water and when the beautiful landscape is covered in snow, the Idrija-Cerkno region attracts numerous ski lovers and fans of other winter activities. Visit this part of Slovenia and learn how the Idrian miners extracted mercury, get to know the mischievous mine elf Prekmandlc, the legendary tub-maker, the life of lace makers and the famous Napoleon’s mistress the Dog Countess! Relive the Franja Partisan Hospital, which offered shelter for wounded soldiers during World War II, and visit the archaeological site of Divje babe, famous for its finding of the world's oldest musical instrument – the Neanderthal Flute. While taking a cup of coffee, listen to the singsong dialects of Idrija and Cerkno which are a treat to one’s ears. We kindly invite you to experience the Idrija-Cerkno region, a diverse landscape, connected by the clean waters of the river Idrijca!













United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2012

The Idrija Region: Watch centuries pass

According to the oral tradition, mercury was discovered by accident in 1490, when a tub-maker was soaking his tub in a spring. The news about his find quickly spread and attracted many people to this by then yet unknown basin. There is a church of the St Trinity standing on the place where the tub-maker supposedly found mercury. Idrija, the oldest Slovene mining town, charms its visitors with its rich technical, cultural and natural heritage. With an over 500-year-long mining tradition, the town features numerous facilities that bear witness to the mine’s rich history and the way of life of the Idrian miner and his family. When in Idrija, it is interesting to visit the second largest mercury mine in the world. You can discover the mysterious underground in the Anthony's Shaft – you might even meet the mine elf Prekmandlc! Here you will get to know the miners' hard work, the precious cinnabar ore, mercury drops and a unique underground chapel.


The modest miner's family could use every penny they could earn and so the women and girls made money by selling their hand-made Idrija bobbin lace. Today we are proud to use the lace for private, business and protocolary gifts, and fashionable lace accessories are found in every modern woman's wardrobe.


History and art lovers will enjoy the Idrija Municipal Museum on the Gewerkenegg castle where the permanent exhibitions offer a comprehensive account of the half-a-century heritage of the mine, the town and the lace. On 30 June, 2012 in Saint Petersburg, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee decided to include Idrija's mercury mine along with the mine in Spain's Almaden on its world heritage list. The heritage in Idrija inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List includes the heritage of the mine and mining in the widest possible sense: the mines, tunnels, shafts, industrial buildings and profane and sacral architecture. Anthony's shaft is the most important feature of the mines (it represents the Idrija underground in the form of a museum), followed by the Gewerkenegg castle, where the best European museum of industrial and technical heritage found its place, Francisca's shaft with restored mining machines and equipment, the 'kamšt', smelting plant, 'klavže water barrier', mine's warehouse and mine's theatre, Idrija miner's house, the old city centre, etc.

• M Idrija Aquarium – the most beautiful and diverse aquarium in Slovenia • Idrija War Museum • The first Slovene non-classical secondary school (1901) • The mine theatre – the first Slovene theatre building from 1770 • The mine warehouse – the granary from 1770, where until 1912 the grain was stored and distributed to the miners • The Inzaghi Shaft engine room – by the bus station, the headquarters of the Idrija Tourist Information Centre • Kamšt (1790) – a wooden water wheel which was a part of the mine pumping system and is the biggest preserved wooden wheel of its kind in Europe • Mine engines – at the entrance to Rake (a water channel with a walking path and a nature trail) • The Idrija miner’s house form the 18th century – an insight into the lives of miners and their families • The entrance building to the Francis’ shaft – where you will find a remarkable collection of restored mine machines and equipment • The Slovenija Partisan Printing House in Vojsko – an authentically preserved partisan printing house from 1944, where the only daily paper of the resistance movement in Europe was being printed • The Vojščica partisan graveyard in Vojsko • Follow the process from grain to bread on the farm pr’Jureč where you can see the hay barn with the collection of old farming equipment • The St Mary of the Assumption parish church, also known as Mary on the Rock, in Spodnja Idrija • Šturmajce in Gorenja Kanomlja – the most beautiful “rural frescoes” on a farm house which are about 200 years old


The Cerkno Region: Rest your body and soul

During World War II, Cerkno was an important partisan base. The reminders of these events are numerous monuments of the past. Stop at the Franja Partisan Hospital hidden in the Pasice gorge, one of the rare preserved hospitals from World War II in Slovenia. It is a symbol of Slovene partisan healthcare. See the original Kamlonarše homestead with its “black kitchen” and the house in Zakojca where the writer France Bevk lived in his youth. During the Carnival season, Cerkno hosts one of the most important carnival events, the Cerkno laufarija. You will learn all you need to know about it in the Cerkno Museum and its permanent exhibition entitled Blame it on the Carnival – The story of the laufarji from Cerkno, which is represented in the museum alongside the exhibition in the history of the Cerkno Region. When it gets warm, you will not regret going to the Divje babe Archaeological Park, hidden above the Idrijca River Valley under the Šebrelje plateau. It is the home to the oldest musical instrument in the world (dating 55 000 years back), the Neanderthal flute. In the period after the First World War, the Novaki area saw the development of the famous Novaki bow ski that holds its place in the heritage of the ski culture. Those who enjoy the white slopes and fresh air during the winter months will appreciate the offer of the most modern family ski centre in Slovenia, the Cerkno Ski Centre.



• Miklavžev turn in Labinje – the ruins of an old miners’ church dating to the Middle Ages • The Danse Macabre in the St Jodocus church in Trebenče • The Italian underground war forts in Zakriž • The exhibition of old farming tools and a demonstration of the old trades at Praprotnik, Gorenji Novaki • The St Anne church in the Cerkno town centre featuring magnificent frescoes on its façade • Various villages in the Cerkno Region that offer an insight into history and many particularities hidden to general public


The home of the Idrian Lace This is the home of the famous “beauty”. The Idrian lace charms everybody. You know her, don’t you? Be amazed by the rich offer of the Idrian lace in numerous boutiques and studios in Idrija and in the Idrija Lace School. Watch how the lace is being done or test your own lace-making skills. You will recognize the Idrian lace by its Idrian lace geographical indication that is only attributed to high quality lace. Idrian lace is a challenge to various renowned fashion designers, artists and other creators. You will be surprised at the masterpieces made under the hands of Idrija and Cerkno lacemakers! Offer a gift of Idrian lace to yourself and to your close ones!

Recommendations: • The Idrija Municipal Museum permanent exhibition Idrija lace, A history written in thread – an integral presentation of lacemaking and other activities connected to it in the Idrija Region • The exhibition of the Idrija Lace School students – lace masterpieces of children and the youth who take up lacemaking as a hobby • Idrija Lace School workshops • The purchase of Idrian lace and Idrian lace products via Internet:

Rich flavours for gourmet pleasuresE Your day of sightseeing will be perfectly complemented by delicious local food. Women from Idrija-Cerkno Region were always famous for their cuisine. Gourmands know that the thing to eat here are Idrian žlikrofi, a culinary particularity of the town, that are protected with the European indication Traditional Specialty Guaranteed. They are served as the main dish on numerous protocol events in Slovenia. The žlikrofi have a typical shape and are traditionally served with bakalca – a mutton sauce. Beside žlikrofi, the regional women make other fresh delicacies such as zeljševka, ocvirkovca, smukavc or štruklji. In Cerkno you are served the excellent Šebrelje želodec, a dried-meat product with a geographical indication. As a dessert in Cerkno, try having a cup of coffee with a delicious dried fruit and honey cake, the recipe for which was once forgotten but was then again found in the culinary heritage of the area. If the adults are tempted to taste geruš, the traditional miner drink, be ready for a strong taste!

Recommendations: • Culinary workshops – by prior arrangement • Restaurants with typical local cuisine


Natural heritage

an opportunity to explore and learn Learn about nature and see many marks of the mining past in the Upper Idrijca Natural Park that is a true source of energy for the whole family. The confluence of the Idrijca and Belca rivers forms a bathing spot, while the surrounding woods offer shelter to many animals. The Wild Lake, Slovenia’s biggest Karst spring, hides the proteus in its mysterious depths. In the period of heavy rains, water starts erupting from the lake; a phenomenon that explains the lake’s name. The Jezernica River, Slovenia’s shortest surface river, originates in the lake and flows into the Idrijca River. Follow the “Trail of Idrija’s Natural Scientists” along the Rake water channel from Idrija to the Wild Lake. Don’t forget to take a look of the Scopoli’s Memorial Garden, located at the beginning of the trail, that keeps rare natural treasures, discovered by numerous famous natural scientists and botanists. Idrija and its surroundings are a marvellous starting point for exploring rocks and other geological particularities of the entire diverse area of the Idrija municipality that is encompassed in the Idrija Geopark, one of the most interesting parks in Europe due to its incredible natural heritage. In Godovič in the Idrija Region grows the kačja smreka fir tree with its snake-like branches. Here, you can also find dinosaur footprints. All nature lovers are invited to come to the Cerkno Region to see an interesting twin tree, two joint birch trees, Siamese twins. A feature of an interesting hydrological heritage is the Zaganjalka source under the Cerkljanski vrh. It is a special Karst phenomenon, the characteristic of which is the constantly changing water flow. If you want to experience real and intact wilderness, find your calm in Zakojca Gorge, the once inhabited area with numerous waterfalls, pools and relaxing woods.

We recommend:

• The mine collection of cinnabar ores, minerals and rocks – in the administrative building of the mine vis-à-vis Francis’ Shaft • The Kobila water dam, Educational trail Rake, Idrija • The cave above Kobila, Educational trail Rake, Idrija • Klavže on the Idrijca, Belca and Kanomljica rivers – brick river barriers designed to float wood for the mine • Babji zob – a dolomite inselberg on the road from Idrijska Bela to Belca klavže, Upper Idrijca Natural Park • Kazarska grapa – a gorge brimming with natural monuments • Soteska Pasice – the Čerinščica torrent forms numerous pools and waterfalls on its way • Kanjon Zapoške – a steep gorge featuring two bigger waterfalls • The Idrijca River with its many affluents


Numerous internationally recognised events The entire area is famous for its ethnological, cultural, entertainment and other events that offer the visitors an unforgettable experience. Discover the wisdom of the folk tradition by visiting events in the near countryside, organised by village associations to revive and relieve the memories on the life in the old days. The biggest internationally renowned event in Idrija is the Idrija Lace Fastival in celebration of the traditional lace-making trade and in encouragement of the particular and innovative ways of fabrication and use. The Cerkno laufarija is one of the most important carnival events in Slovenia. For centuries, it followed unwritten rules that were carried from generation to generation orally. Come, embrace the spirit of carnival pranks and help the laufarji drive away the winter! The International Jazz Cerkno Festival brings joy to every jazz enthusiast. The event features numerous jazz musicians from all around the globe and offers a rich insight into current jazz trends.


• Tango Festival, Idrija • Alter Art Festival, Idrija • Shina - Experimental music festival, Idrija • Festival Čipkarija, Idrija • The traditional carnival celebration – Grapa Kravneval, Idrija • Assumption – Pr’farski štrukljevec, Spodnja Idrija • Charcoal Sunday, Idrijske Krnice • Trnovski Marathon, Črni vrh nad Idrijo • The winter and night hike to Javornik with torches • The hike on the wounded solder transport trails form Želin to Vojsko • Poletje v Cerknem • ALA festival, Cerkno • A get-together under Črni vrh • The Franja Cycling Marathon • The winter hike to Porezen • The Keltika Festival, Cerkno • Poletje pod Kojco, Cerkno • The PVC Festival, Cerkno • The Cmakajne Festival, Cerkno • The Trakulja Festival, Cerkno • Skiing the old way, Cerkno • The Rad bi bil normalen Festival, Ravne pri Cerknem • Bevk Days, Cerkno


Active holidays If you are young or young at heart, you will find numerous opportunities for actively spending your free time and living experiences you will never forget. Pick one among many hiking and walking trails that will lead you to appreciate the beauty of this part of Slovenia. Among the hills and hill-tops, valleys and narrow gorges with crystal-clear waters follow their courses along dispersed plateaus. This is an area spread with hiking trails and transversals: the Idrija-Cerkno mountain trail, the Slovenian Transversal, the E7 European long distance path, the Via Alpina Red trail, the pre-Alpine trail. Hikers are welcome in pleasant mountain cabins on Javornik, Hleviše and Porezen. Move your body by taking one of the marked cycling trails that lead to the plateaus in the vicinity – the trail are suitable for every type of cyclist, from the adventurers to families, as they come in different lengths and levels of difficulty. Climbs on the near-by mountain-tops will be repaid by unforgettable views and downhill rides. During the summer, seek for refreshment in the natural bathing spot Na Lajštu in Idrijska Bela, on the confluence of the Idrijca and Belca rivers. The bathing spot is highly frequented during the summer months as it also serves as a starting point to klavže, brick water barriers designed for floating wood, and the Idrija lauf, the first forest railway in Europe. Are you tempted by rock climbing? There are climbing areas Strug and Gore in the Idrija region, and Lutne skale in Kazarska grapa in the Cerkno region. For additional adrenalin flow, try paintball or paragliding. Sport fishing in the pure rivers enables an authentic connection with the intact nature, a healthy way of spending your free time, and relaxation. The clean Idrijca River and its affluents are a home to the noblest of fish species (trout, grayling). Tennis players will be taken care for in all seasons while winter caters to skiers, cross-country skiers and sled riders as there are many winter sport possibilities in the ski centres (Cerkno, Vojsko, Javornik, Črni Vrh nad Idrijo) and cross-country ski trails in Vojsko, Črni Vrh nad Idrijo and Cerkno. Trails of numerous difficulties are suitable for recreational as well as for competitive skiers. Reserve your vacation to enjoy winter in the Cerkno Ski Centre, reputed as the most modern family ski resort with a ski school and kindergarten in Slovenia. Hospitable tourist farms in the pleasant rural environment, not far from the noises of the city, call for a visit. Spend a day, a weekend or a longer vacation here, as the intact nature and fresh country air will fill you with new strength. For those who wish to spend the night, there are inns, private apartments and rooms, the Jožef hotel in Idrija and the Cerkno hotel (a categorised hikers’ and cyclers’ hotel). In Spodnja Idrija the Kenda Manor, a member of the prestigious castle and manor chain Relais & Châteaux.

Recommendations: • A swim in the Hotel Cerkno thermal pool and in the Idrijca River during the summer • The trail of messengers and couriers • The walking path to Kopa (1360m) • The climb to Kojca (1303) • The climb to Bevkov vrh (1051) • The cycling trail across the Cerkno hills • The cycling trail “Following the traces of the flute and caverns” • Adrenalin kiting, Cerkno • The mountain marathon of four municipalities • MountainBikePark Javornik





Idrija - Sp. Idrija 4 km Idrija - Vojsko 13 km Idrija - Cerkno 20 km Idrija - Godovič 10,9 km Idrija - Črni Vrh 18,5 km Idrija - Logatec 24,7 km Idrija - Ajdovščina 35,7 km Idrija - Nova Gorica 62,9 km

Idrija - Vrhnika 36,2 km Idrija - Žiri 13,4 km Idrija - Škofja Loka 40,7 km Idrija - Tolmin 44,6 km Idrija - Železniki 46,0 km Idrija - Postojna 40,8 km Idrija - Koper 102 km Idrija - Kalce pri Logatcu 23 km

Trips / events / accommodation booking / tourist offer in the Idrija-Cerkno region: TIC IDRIJA Vodnikova 3, 5280 Idrija T: +386 (0)5 374 39 16 F: +386 (0)5 374 39 15 E: W:

TIC CERKNO Močnikova ulica 2, 5282 Cerkno T: +386 (0)5 373 46 45 E: W:

Published by: RDO Smaragdna pot, 2012 Co-financed by: Municipality Cerkno, Municipality Idrija Concept/text: ICRA d.o.o. Idrija, LTO Laufar Cerkno Translation: Tina Benčina Photograps: archive ICRA d.o.o. Idrija, archive LTO Laufar Cerkno, archive RŽS,, Zoran Abram, Amadej Carl, Drago Kuralt – the Cerkno museum photo library, Daphne Levac Cornelissen, Jani Peternelj, Bojan Tavčar, Samo Trebižan, Božo Uršič, Dunja Wedam, Robert Zabukovec Design: Grafično oblikovanje, Klemen Rupnik s.p. Print: Gorenjski tisk Edition: 10.000