Thursday 21 Sep 2017

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VELENJE

Velenje is located in the eastern part of the doline Šaleška valley between rolling green hills. The city is embraced by nature. It is the 5th largest city in Slovenia. The central part of the town is situated on the plain along the river Paka. The entire V-plain of the valley is urbanized.
While the city is just an hour away from the three biggest cities in Slovenia (Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje), the city is quite unknown for both tourists and locals.

Velenje with its magnificent castle was first mentioned in 1264. It was a small town and an agricultural center for the numerous villages and farms in the area. This was the case until the discovery of one of the world's largest coal deposits. The city subsequently expanded rapidly.

Velenje owes most of its existence to the coalmine, which is already active since the 19th century. The mine still produces 4 million tons of coal per year. The coal is mainly used at the nearby power plant in Šoštanj. Here in Velenje is one of the largest coal deposits in the world. In Velenje is the only mining school of Slovenia.

The mine is also home to a mining museum. Here tourists can discover a mysterious underground world. Together with experienced guides it’s possible to visit the mine as the miners did for over 100 years. Dressed up in a miners working suit and with a helmet on the head the tourists descend in the old mine shaft to 160 m depth. In the underground tunnels you can see in one and a half hour a vivid demonstration of how the work of the miners looked like in the past and how they are doing their work now. In a 2nd part of the museum is an exhibition concerning the development of mining in Slobvenia.
Velenje made big efforts to restore the devastated landscape The lakes of Velenje became a tourist attraction and a recreational center.

When arriving in Velenje from the direction of Celje, entering the doline valley Šaleška, you can see the mighty castle of Velenje looming. Together with the neighboring castles of Šalek and Ekenštajn they controlled the routes from the Celjska basin to Carinthia. The oldest record found concerning the castle is from the 13th century when the castle was property of the nobility of Kunšperk. The current outlook of the castle dates from the 16th century. Further improvements throughout the centuries have further shaped the castle.
The castle is a popular venue for various cultural and musical events.

Šalek castle is situated above the hamlet Šalek and is probably the oldest castle in the Šaleška valley. The castle was abandoned after 1770. The castle tower, which has been preserved until today, is the oldest part of the castle and is famous for its unusual triangular shape which is quite unique for Slovenia.

  

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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