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EXHIBITION

Come and experience the rich history of mining.

16 years of unique underground adventure.

Aboveground part of museum

In the aboveground part of  museum the development of coal mining in Slovenia is presented in detail. We begin with the formation of different types of coal deposits and its use, from the ancient times in China 3000 years ago to the 17th century in Slovenia where we find the first known references to the application of coal. There early records indicate coal was employed by apothecaries under the name of “sanguis draco” – dragon’s blood – as a cure for sick cattle.

Systematic search for coal in Slovenia began in the 18th century. 19th century saw the extensive development of coal mining due to the introduction of steam engines and the building of railways. In the 20th century the coal mining industry in Slovenia, by then part of Yugoslavia, was very prominent with its share of the total nation coal production amounting to at least 40%. In 1943 the production of coal exceeded 2 million tons for the first time. In 1954 3 million tons of coal were produced. The figure rose to 6 million tons in 1969. However, the latter part of the 20th century saw the coal reserves diminish and most of the coal mines in Slovenia closed down. The current level of production at the Velenje Coal Mine is steady at 4 million tons per year.

Next we see the technological progress and development of the process of coal mining from the 18th century onwards: how coal was being located, drilling of test holes and a detailed display of the introduction of various conveyors cutting machines and other excavation equipment into the Slovenian coal mines. There is also a display showing various protective items relating to occupational safety (helmets, special footwear, work clothes etc.), hospitals being build close to the mines, organized mining emergency rescue services outfitted with modern, insulated rescue equipment since the beginning of the 20th century etc. In addition, coal extraction from underground mines has been closely associated with the development of mine ventilation systems, transport equipment, and the use of gunpowder and other explosives for the purposes of mining, since mid- 19th century.

Exhibits depicting the lives of miners, their ways and customs, the evolution of the miner’s uniform, and the way of life in their settlements- mining camps, where most miners used to reside. First humble cottages had a common kitchen used by two or four families and only one room. Later, miners’ cottages would provide a kitchen and at least one room per family. The reconstruction of a typical miner’s dwelling from about 1920 can also be seen in this part of the Museum. Most of the items on display were once owned by the well-known Stropnik family of miners, and could be found as late as their little cottage in the middle of the Škalsko jezero lake, which can be observed through the window of the dwelling.

 

Miner's apartment

Miner's apartment - living room (1920-1930)
Miner's apartment - living room (1920-1930)
Miner's apartment - dining room (1920-1930)
Miner's apartment - dining room (1920-1930)
Miner's apartment - bedroom (1920-1930)
Miner's apartment - bedroom (1920-1930)

life of the miners

Exhibition of Slovene coal mining