The Castle of Velenje is situated on the hill above the town of Velenje. Its core was built in the 13th century, but most of its present form was acquired three centuries later when the inner arcaded courtyard, the greater part of the picturesque walls and towers, and the powerfull circular Renaiccance defense tower were added.
CONTINENTAL CUP SKI JUMPING COMPETITION, SKI JUMPING HILL
Although you won't see the cream of ski jumping, it's an exciting and tough competiton. You'll certainly enjoy Olympic bronze medalists R. Kranjec, P. Peterka, P. Zonta & D. Fras (all Slovenia) plus other A team Slovene jumpers. Also Kazuyoshi Funaki of Japan who lives in Slovenia. The charm is not just in well-known names, but more in the fact that it's a night competition and that the hill has a wonderful location (overview of the city and the old castle).
The hill is worth visiting even with no competitions taking place. It's a K90 hill (90 meter hill). Have you any idea how high that is? Well, take a tour! You'll have much more respect for those guys not making it into top 30 (points earning places).
Following my advice and visiting coal mine in Velenje, you can also see the remains (the bones, to be more specific) of mastodont, animal, reconstructed on the picture. Picture is taken near the lake of Velenje. Too see the remains (problalby the most preserved remains of mastodont, I am not telling you to go and see one tooth!) visit Velenje castle - you will learn in museum, placed in the small, nice castle, all about mining history here and you can also see collection of items, collected in Africa.
The coal of lower quality is found near Velenje. 3,85 million tons of lignite annually are planned to be produced by Rudnik lignita Velenje (Velenje Lignite Mine). We have hard working miners, but the mine itslef wont last much longer (maybe a decade or two). But here is a chance for you to get some adrenaline. There is a simulation of a mine placed ON the earth, but I suggest you try (bigger group with friends in Velenje and connections has a better chance) to go UNDER the earth surface. Its a great experience! Although you have to put your eye contact lenses out. And even your glasses will get dirty. You will be given all the equipment you need, including helmet and a lamp - and a guide, of course. Try to take the route, shown on the picture. Its an underground lift. Those things, that are attached to it and coalminers sitting on them, are VERY heavy, so you will need some help lifting and attaching them (this is done individually). But ist a great ride! Be prepared to clean your ears and nasal cavities for a week or more. This coalmine has very high safety procedures - it cannot be compared now to what it was two decades ago. The coalmine made a huge progress but unfortunatelly coal itself is not as good as it should be.
Mighty Velenje Castle has commanded the town below it for centuries. Fully restored, it is today one of the most beautiful buildings in Slovenia.
We have one of the most impressive plastic ski jumps. When flying, the jumpers have beautiful view over Velenje. If that counts.