Idrija's Mercury Mine is well worth a visit. As tourists, we are only allowed to visit a tiny proportion of the entire mine, yet we still descended 70m underground and walked a 1.2km loop!
The history of mining in Idrija dates back to 1490. Only the Almadén mercury mine in Spain was bigger and dates back to the Roman times. Both towns were so famous that their names were used in North America for the mining towns of New Idria and New Almadén. Until World War I the Idrija Mercury Mine was one of the best technically equipped mines in Europe. The mercury miners of Idrija mined over 13 per cent of the world production of mecury. In 500 years Idrija exported 107,700 tons of this liquid metal.