|Ljubljanska 54, SI-3320 Velenje|
|Phone||386 (0) 3 898 2630|
|Fax||386 (0) 3 898 2640|
|Founded by||Municipality of Velenje|
|Damijan Kljajič, Director|
|Phone||386 (0) 3 898 2634|
The museum originated in 1957 when the Association of Mining and Metallurgy Engineers and Technicians of Velenje (DRMIT) established the Slovene Coal Mining Museum here. Gradually the first collections were organised and at the same time an intensive renovation of the building was done. In 1966 the permanent exhibition of Coal Mining in Slovenia was presented. However, in 1998 the mining collection was relocated to the authentic environment of the 180-metre-deep Old Shaft (Stari jašek) at Velenje Coal Mine, where it became part of the Slovene Coal Mining Museum, Velenje.
First mentioned in 1270 as Wellen, Velenje Castle is one of the most well-preserved in Slovenia. During its 740-year history it was changed and rebuilt many times. Especially in the 16th century when it was transformed into a Renaissance residence. Various owners and spirits of the times have contributed to the diversity of the castle's look and the Velenje Museum has embraced these differences and incorporated the collections into suitable parts of the castle.
The northeastern defence tower of Velenje Castle, rearranged into a chapel in 1660, was renovated in 1985 and a collection of Baroque church art (St George in Škale) was installed there. The collection comprises works of well-known sculptors and painters from Štajerska. Particularly eminent are the works of the sculptor Ferdinand Galle from Celje, especially two wooden statues representing St Florian and St George, dressed in Roman military costumes.
Two authentic interiors from the 1930s are: the general store and the inn. The general store exhibits original furniture of two shops from the Šalek Valley and about 1,500 different articles from the period. They comprise various cartons, advertising boards, vessels, scales, boxes, textiles, bags, fashion accessories, tobacco products, perfumes, a cash register and even original spices, teas, soap, and detergents. The inn is decorated with original furniture and features a bar, refrigerator, cupboards for glasses and plates, tables, chairs, benches, coat stands, a gramophone and wall paintings. Further smaller items include various soda and soft drink bottles, glasses, beer jugs, wine carafes, beer bottles and crates. Both rooms are arranged to be used functionally.
The archaeological collection presented at Velenje Castle includes: the remains of a mastodon – bunolophodon (anancus) arvernensis – discovered in Škale near Velenje in 1964 together with a life-size replica of the animal. The permanent exhibition The Šalek Valley from the 10th to the 17th Centuries shows the turbulent history in the middle ages, the strategic and cultural importance of the town of Velenje's control over important routes towards the north.
Partisans and the period of the Second World War can be seen in the Šaleška Valley Between 1941–45 where the difficult times of the German occupation and the battles of the Slovene 14th Partisan Division are presented. When Velenje Became a Town, dedicated to the period 1945–1960, portrays the times of rapid industrialisation which spurred the growth of the town.
African Collection of František Foit
The notable exhibition African Collection of František Foit is another impressive attraction, featuring the collection of the Czech academic sculptor. It was acquired in 1971 and comprises African vessels, masks, puppets, Foit's sculptures and portraits as well as his audio recordings. Foit moved to Velenje after 25 years of living and researching in Africa but tragically died soon after in a traffic accident when accompanying the transfer of his collection to Velenje. His widow, however, stayed in Velenje until 1995 when she moved back to Czech Republic.
Velenje Museum branches
The museum manages several dislocated museum units. Kavčnik Homestead in Zavodnje near Šoštanj, the Memorial Room at Topolšica dedicated to the capitulation of German military forces of south-east Europe that was signed to Partisans in Topolšica spa resort on 9 May 1945. The Memorial room at Graška Gora is consecrated to the combats of the legendary 14th Partisan Division.
The biggest unit is the recently opened museum in Šoštanj established in 2009. The Museum of the Leather Industry in Slovenia presents the 210-year-old tradition of the leather industry in Šoštanj; everything from the establishment of the Vošnjak leather factory in 1788 to the ascent into the heavy industry and to the abolition of the Leather Factory Šoštanj in 1999.
- Kavčnik Homestead
- Memorial Room at Topolšica
- Velenje Gallery
- Velenje Artists' Colony
- Gorenje Art Collection
- Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia
- Velenje Museum website
- Pictures of Velenje Museum on kraji.eu website
- VR Panoramas of Velenje Castle on Virtual Guide to Slovene Museums and Galleries
- Museum of the Leather Industry in Slovenia website