It's no exaggeration to say that modern Velenje in large part owes its existence to its coal mine, which has been continually operating since the 19th century and still produces some four million tons of coal annually - which is used at the nearby Šoštanj power plant to produce roughly 1/3 of Slovenia's energy needs. The mine is inherently intertwined with many aspects of the city's history, culture and economy, making the mining museum a must-see on any visit to Velenje. With the aim of bringing the long and storied history of Slovenian coal mining to a wider public audience, the comprehensive tour includes a multimedia presentation, followed by a trip 160m below the earth's surface for a hands-on demonstration of what it's like to work in the mine. Afterwards take a ride on an underground railway back above ground, and finally take a look at an intriguing historical and ethnological exhibition, as well as a unique space for temporary fine arts exhibitions. Don't forget to save some time to visit the gift shop, which is stocked with all kinds of interesting items.