Trbovlje is a mining town in the heart of Slovenia. The archetypal East European mining town, Trbovlje's grim coal mines are best known for giving birth to Laibach, the Slovenian icon of industrial music. Still, the setting by the lovely Sava River makes it considerably less grim than you might expect, although the giant Lafarge cement mill doesn't exactly improve the view.
Trbovlje is just 50 minutes (€4) from Ljubljana by train, along the line to Zidani Most and Zagreb. Commuter services run hourly. The train station is about 5 km south of the center, but buses meet all incoming trains (310 SIT).
Trbovlje is rather stretched out along a north-south axis, the main road being called Trg revolucije to the south and Trg svobode to the north. You can either hike on foot or hop on the next bus that comes along (no signposted schedules, but they run every 30 min or so).
- Mining Museum (Zasavski muzej), Ulica 1. junija. A provincial museum devoted to Trbovlje's raison d'etre, coal mining. The first floor showcases (mostly bad) art by local miners, the second has exhibits on Trbovlje's history and development (explanations only in Slovene, alas), and the third has some rather interesting mining-themed sculptures and etchings by Stojan Matič. Open M F 08:00-13:00, Tu-Th 08:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-12:00. Free entry.
- 1 Trbovlje Chimney (Trboveljski dimnik) (2 km east of the station). Trbovlje's main claim to statistical fame, at 360 m this is the tallest chimney in Europe (for comparison, the Eiffel Tower is 300 m). Operated by Trbovlje's coal-fired power plant, it serves to disperse the plant's pollution over a wider area and to make sure the flue gasses are evacuated from the narrow deep valley under all weather conditions. Since 2014 the plant has been put on reserve to meet carbon emission goals, and the chimney has been fitted as the tallest man-made bouldering wall in the world. The difficulty level is extreme however so few can handle the challenge, but even just watching the climbers is a view to behold.
- Restavracija Dimnik, Obrtniška cesta 1. Local restaurant that serves up pizzas and horsemeat dishes. Closed Sundays.
- Bar Vagonček, at the train station. Basic drinks and plastic-wrapped sandwiches to munch on while you wait for your train.