Anyone who’s passed through knows that Slovenia is very much an alpine country. The connection to its mountains, both cultural and spiritual, is strong, rich, proud. Like skiing, hiking is a national pastime, second nature to most. You’re just as likely to come across four generations of a family hiking together along a trail as you are an experienced internationally-tested mountaineer. The Slovenian Alpine Museum in Mojstrana is an obvious extension and celebration of that.
Opened in August 2010 just beyond the shadow of Triglav, the country’s highest mountain, at the northern end of the Vrata Valley, the museum, designed by architects Boris Leskovec, Alja Vehovec, and Rok Kajtna, boasts a strong collection of local mountaineering artifacts, houses a research library and regularly hosts lectures, temporary exhibits and film and video screenings, focusing on both Slovenian and international mountaineering. The former is especially important; there are few mountains in the world that Slovenian climbers haven’t ascended, notable for a country of just over two million.
Co-founded by the Slovenian Mountaineering Association, it’s conveniently located in Mojstrana, just off of Slovenia’s highway 201, the main road between Jesenice (and points east) and Kranjska Gora in the country’s northwest corner.
The location is more than just convenient; it’s ideal. The base of Triglav’s northern face lies at the southern end of the Vrata Valley, just 10 kilometers away. Few mountain faces in the Julian Alps as dramatic as this one are as readily accessible. Mojstrana is less than an hour’s drive from the capital Ljubljana, about 20 minutes from both Bled and Kranjska Gora, and just 10 from the southern terminus of the Karawanken tunnel.
The site also operates as a tourist info point for Mojstrana and surrounding villages, for Triglav National Park and The Alpine Convention. The gift shop offers a good selection of books, including field guides, hiking guides and local mountain histories. Bike rental is also available.