The UNESCO World Heritage List in Slovenia Important to Cultural & Natural Heritage

The UNESCO World Heritage List is of the utmost importance for cultural and natural heritage. Three Slovenian gems shine on the global map of 1,000 heritage units: Škocjan Caves as a unique natural monument, the prehistoric pile-dwellings in Ljubljana and the mercury mine in Idrija.


In addition to the central sites of special interest, the World Heritage Site Tentative List includes Franja Partisan Hospital, Classic Karst, Fužina Hills in Bohinj and the timeless humanistic architecture of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana and Prague. 

The liveliness of Slovenia’s heart is reflected in the variegated relief of the country from the Alps to the Mediterranean. More than 10,000 underground caves can be found here, among which the Škocjan Cavesare probably the most outstanding. The caves are the centre of a regional park encompassing the most important characteristics of the classical Karst. They have many exciting features: many natural bridges, openings, stalagmites, stalactites and other underground Karst phenomena.

The prehistoric pile-dwellings on the Ljubljana Marshes were added to the UNESCO List in 2011. The pile-dwellings and the wetlands famous for their durable and preserved wood dating to between 5,000 and 500 B.C. safeguarded one of the most important discoveries in Slovenia: it is over 5,000 years old and thus the oldest preserved wooden wheel with an axle in the world. When walking around the Marshes, visit the Church of St Michael in Črna vas, which was built between 1937 and 1940 according to the plans of the renowned Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik and is considered one of the most beautiful cultural monuments there. Due to the poor bearing capacity of the ground, the church is standing on some 350 8-metre pylons. Its uniqueness is displayed in its interior, which Plečnik designed in an authentic manner, while paying special attention to folk architecture.

In 2012, Idrija joined the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List due to its exceptional heritage, which includes lace-making and the mercury mine, once one of the two largest mercury mines in the world. Venture into an unforgettable adventure on Anthony’s Main Road where a special key, the exclamation of the word “Good luck”, opens the black door to the former mine and you are already under the safe protection of the patron saints of the Idrija miners. Anthony’s Main Road, which dates to the 15th century, is the oldest preserved entrance to the mine. Follow your guide into the underground and look out for Perkmandeljc, the mischievous elf. Then visit Gewerkenegg Castle, which houses the best European museum of industrial and technical heritage, and marvel at the site of over 170 different fresh and salt-water species of fish in Aquarium M Idrija.

In addition to the leading tourist attractions, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tentative List includes the following Slovenian sites of special interest: Franja Partisan HospitalClassic KarstFužina Hills in Bohinjand the timeless, humanistic architecture of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana and Prague.

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