Idrija is the cradle of Slovenian natural science

Through the centuries, the famous mercury mine attracted numerous natural scientists to Idrija. Alongside their regular work, these scientists explored animate and inanimate nature in the entire region of Carniola. In Idrija they wrote some of their most important works which, as early as in the 18th and 19th centuries, laid the foundations for geology, mineralogy, paleontology, metallurgy, chemistry, botany, insectology (entomology), geodesy, cartography, and occupational medicine in Slovenia. Numerous reputed natural scientists were linked to Idrija: J. A. Scopoli – Idrija’s first mine physician, erudite European polymath naturalist; B. Hacquet – surgeon, polymath; F. Hladnik – founder of the Botanical Gardens in Ljubljana; H. Freyer – pharmacist and museologist; J. Dolinar - botanist; M. V. Lipold – first Slovenian educated geologist; K. Dežman – naturalist and museologist; J. Glowacki – botanist, and others.