Mercury haritage inscribed on Unesco's List
Idrija is a town with the longest mining tradition in Slovenia. Its history is inseparably linked to five centuries of extraction of a precious metal – mercury. Owing to its qualities, Idrija mercury played an important role in co-shaping the development of world science, economics, medicine, the economy, and was indispensable in the amalgamation procedure used to obtain gold and silver. The mine attracted to Idrija some of the most distinguished technical minds of that time in Europe, who, together with domestic experts, devised technological and technical innovations of European importance in Idrija.
The proceeds from the sale of mercury filled the treasuries of the monarchies and states which laid claim to the mine in different periods.
After the mine’s shutdown, Idrija was left with an exceptional heritage of 500 years of mining, which is today recognized by the entire world. In June 2012, the »Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija«, the two largest mercury mines in the world, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The world thus recognized the uniqueness and exceptional work of generations of Idrija miners who created this heritage for almost half a millennium.