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View of the town of Idrija
View of the town of Idrija
Map showing, in red, Idrija
Map showing, in red, Idrija
Country  Slovenia
Traditional regional Littoral
Statistical region Goriška
 • Total 293.7 km2 (113.4 sq mi)
340 m (1,120 ft)
 • Total 11,960
 • Density 40.722/km2 (105.47/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
ISO 3166-2 SI-036
Website Official website
Official name: Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija
Type: Cultural
Criteria: ii, iv
Designated: 2012 (36th session)
Reference #: 1313
State Party: Spain
Region: Europe and North America

Idrija (Italian: Idria, German: Idria) is a small Slovenian town that is the administrative centre of the Municipality of Idrija (Slovene: Občina Idrija). It is known for its mercury mine and the production of lace.

The municipality of Idrija was established on 10 March 1994. In 2011, Idrija was given the Alpine Town of the Year award.


The municipality of Idrija is in western Slovenia and is part of the Goriška statistical region. The town of Idrija is at an altitude of 340 m (1,120 ft),

The municipality has an area 293.7 km2 (113.4 sq mi), and a population, in 2012, of 11,960: 5,975 men and 5,985 women. Its population density is of 40.7 inhabitants/km2.

The municipality of Idrija is surrounded by the following municipalities: Cerkno to the north, Žiri to the northeast, Logatec to the east and southeast, Ajdovščina to the south and soutwest, Nova Gorica (a short border) to the west and Tolmin to the northwest.

The main river in the municipality is the Idrijca river, that flows through the town of Idrija; the river gives its name to the main town of the muncipality, Idrija.

The area has a moderately continental climate; the average rainfall is 1,300 to 2,800 mm (51 to 110 in). The least precipitation is in February and July, and the highest is in November.


In 1497, deposits of mercury were discovered in Idrija. This is one of the only places in the world where one can find mercury in both its liquid form and like cinnabar (mercuric sulfide). It was only in the 1980s that the mine was closed.

From 1783 to 1918 the region of Idrija was part of Austria-Hungary. After World War II, it was annexed to Italy. Under Italian rule (1918–1943), the area that is now the Municipality of Idrija was a comune of the Province of Gorizia (as Idria).

The town is since June 2012 listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija) because of its former mercury mines.


There are 38 settlements (Slovene: Naselja) in the municipality; the main settlement is Idrija, which is the administrative centre of the municipality and is in a valley around the Idrijca river.

The other 37 settlements are Čekovnik, Črni Vrh, Dole, Godovič, Gore, Gorenja Kanomlja, Gorenji Vrsnik, Govejk, Idrijska Bela, Idrijske Krnice, Idrijski Log, Idršek, Javornik, Jelični Vrh, Kanji Dol, Korita, Ledine, Ledinske Krnice, Ledinsko Razpotje, Lome, Masore, Mrzli Log, Mrzli Vrh, Pečnik, Potok, Predgriže, Razpotje, Rejcov grič, Spodnja Idrija, Spodnja Kanomlja, Spodnji Vrsnik, Srednja Kanomlja, Strmec, Vojsko, Zadlog, Zavratec, Žirovnica.


Some tourist places in and around Indrija are:

  • Mercury mine. The mine entrance known as Anthony's Shaft (Slovene: Antonijev rov) is used today for tours of the upper levels; the lower levels are closed.
  • Gewerkenegg Castle. It was used by the administration of the mercury mine during 400 years.
  • Wild Lake (Slovene: Divje jezero). It is a lake near Idrija. The lake is the source of the Jezernica river, a tributary of the Idrijca and, at Template:Conver long, the shortest river in Slovenia.

Sister cities

Idrija is twinned with:

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