Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia


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Muzej premogovništva Slovenije, Velenje
Stari jašek-Koroška cesta, SI-3320 Velenje
Phone386 (0) 3 587 0997
Fax386 (0) 3 587 0997
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Managed byPremogovnik Velenje d d
Stojan Špegel, Head
Phone386 (0) 3 899 6507
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The Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia was originally established in 1957 at the Velenje Castle as a joint venture of the Velenje Coal Mine, the Municipality of Velenje and the Velenje Museum. In 1998 the museum moved to its current location, the abandoned underground workings of the Škale pit below Velenje Power Station which, when built in 1929, was the largest and most important power station in the province of the Drava. The first ton of coal was extracted in May 1887 and the "Old Shaft" was sunk in 1889. Designed by experts from Velenje Museum, the museum is managed by the Velenje Coal Mine, the largest and most state-of-the-art coal mine in Slovenia with an annual production of four million tons of lignite.



A visit to the museum is divided into two parts. The first is a guided tour of the underground mine workings, where visitors learn of the formation, discovery and digging of coal in the past and today. All visitors are given a coal miner's lunch and ride on the transport line and underground railway. The second part involves the viewing of a permanent collection about the development of Slovene coal mining. All of Slovenia's coal mines are presented and displays include: a typical coal miner's apartment – kitchen, living room and bedrooms – presented with furnishings from the period 1920–1930. Part of the exhibition shows a miners' custom called skok čez kožo ("jump over the skin") that stands for inauguration of young miners going to the mine for the first time. The traditional greeting Srečno! ("Good luck") obtains a new meaning before entering the shafts.

The museum incorporates an Industrial-Ecological Museum Instruction Centre (IEMIC) which offers a range of educational programmes to schools and community groups.

International cooperation and awards

The Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia is a part of the "Route of underground museums", in which seven mining destinations: Velenje, Mežica, Idrija (Slovenia); Cave del Predil (Italy); Hüttenberg/Cabin Mountain, Terra Mystica and Obir Dripstone Caves (Austria) collaborate in a project funded by the EU Phare project, after being ranked first place among 120 applications from across Europe. Together, the project partners participate in joint activities (training of staff, joint Internet presentations, information boards on site) and the production of a common leaflet, all intended to improve the visibility of the partner's museums and sites.

For its conservation of cultural and technical heritage the Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia received the Ford Motor Company's Conservation and Environmental Grants Programme Award in 2000. The museum was especially commended for outstanding achievements by the Committee for the European Museum of the Year Award in 2001.

See also

Other mining museums in Slovenia

External links

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