The museum got its headquarters in the Velenje Castle that was in a bad condition due to the consequences of the war. First the renovation of the building had to be carried out – it was completed in the nineties of the 20th century.
The collection of Slovene coalmines exhibited in 1966 was the first organized collection in the museum. Within the framework of this collection, a model of a mine cave was made and visitors could experience the mine atmosphere. The coalmine collection was completed with the mastodon remains found in Škale in 1964. In 1971 the museum got very important works of African art of František Foit and later extended the collection on other areas. The most recent is titled Šaleška dolina valley between the 10th century and the 17th century and represents the every day life of all social classes in the valley.
Today Velenje Museum houses eleven permanent collections. Besides the collections in Velenje castle, the museum also displays Kavčnik homestead in Zavodnj near Šoštanj – an exceptional cultural monument of village architecture – and two memorial rooms in Topolščica and in Graška Gora.
Velenje castle is one of the most preserved castles in Slovenia. It is first mentioned in 1270. First owners were Kunšper gentlemen followed by their relatives Ptuj gentlemen and the family Liechtenstein. Afterwards the castle rapidly changed owners. Family Wagen von Wagensberg entirely renovated the construction in the 16th century: the fortress was transformed in a Renaissance residence.
The most important owners in the 19th century were Karl and Bianca Adamovich. The last owner of the castle count Coronnini-Kromberg used the castle only as a summer residence until 1943 when Germans drove him out of Velenje after the Italian capitulation. After the Second World War the castle became part of general social property. Apartments were made, a lot of furniture was demolished and the building was falling into ruins.
In 1957 Velenje coalmine founded a Museum of Slovene Coalmines in the castle. Gradually, first collections were organized and at the same time an intensive renovation of the building was done.
2,50 / 1,80 EUR /// Joint museum ticket for Slovene Coalmine Museum and Velenje Museum: 9,50 / 7,00 EUR
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