One of the Oldest Mines in Slovenia Opens its Doors to Tourists
The Sitarjevec Mine (Municipality of Litija), one of the oldest in the country, opened its doors to tourists 50 years after the closure. It offers numerous opportunities for the development of experimental tourism.
In the mines, there are unique fast-growing dwarf structures of limonite (stalactites, stalagmites, rain curtains and tubular stalactites). Sitarjevec belongs to the richest in geological rocks and minerals out of the abandoned European mines. There are more than 60 kinds of minerals found in it. The most famous are the cinnabar and cerussite crystals, which are the natural wealth of national importance.
The mine generally produced lead, zinc, copper, mercury, barite and iron ore. In 1886, in the Litija jewellery workshop, silver was first extracted from the ore mined in Sitarjevec. In the same year, at the state mint in Vienna, the famous commemorative silver coins were made, which were called the Litija tolars (Slovene: litijske tolarje). Due to slender resources, outdated technologies and silicosis of miners, the mine was closed in 1965.