Idrija

The Municipality of Idrija is a municipality in the west of Slovenia, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage mercury mine. It was awarded the Alpine Town of the Year 2011 for its exceptional efforts in the realisation of the Alpine Convention, and the European Destination of Excellence Award 2011, among others.

After 500 years of mercury mining in the world’s second largest mercury mine, Idrija was faced with an important dilemma: continue with mercury mining despite falling prices on a global market, negative ecological impact and health problems of its inhabitants or find an alternative future in other sectors? It has since developed into an important global and regional node, with a growing economy and one of the lowest levels of unemployment in Slovenia.

Idrija

The transformation from mining to industry began in the 1960s with the establishment of several electro-industry workshops. In the last decade, the municipality is increasingly developing into an innovation-based economy with special focus on sustainable development, heritage tourism, and youth policies, all supported and driven by smart city growth strategies.