Ilirska Bistrica

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Ilirska Bistrica
A bridge over the Reka River on the outskirts of Ilirska Bistrica
A bridge over the Reka River on the outskirts of Ilirska Bistrica
Ilirska Bistrica is located in Slovenia
Ilirska Bistrica
Ilirska Bistrica
Location in Slovenia
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Country Flag of Slovenia.svg Slovenia
Traditional region Inner Carniola
Statistical region Littoral–Inner Carniola
Municipality Ilirska Bistrica
 • Total 34.8 km2 (13.4 sq mi)
Elevation 421.2 m (1,381.9 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 4,539

Ilirska Bistrica (Template:IPA-sl; Italian: Villa del Nevoso (before 1927 Bisterza), German: Illyrisch Feistritz) is a town in Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Ilirska Bistrica. It belongs to the traditional region of Inner Carniola.


The name Ilirska Bistrica has its origin during the times of the Austrian Empire, in which the adjective Ilirska (in German: Illyrisch) was added to the old name Bistrica (German: Feistritz) to differentiate it from other towns in the empire that had the same name, such as Banská Bystrica in modern-day Slovakia. The name Ilirska Bistrica thus means 'Illyrian Bistrica', referring to the Kingdom of Illyria, an administrative unit of the Austrian Empire between 1816 and 1849.

Coat of arms

The town's coat of arms represents the history of the region, recalling the pre-Slavic Ilyrian people that once populated the area, along with their shipbuilding past. The town's current coat of arms was adopted in the mid-19th century and is only a slight modification of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Illyria.


The town's history has been primarily shaped by the nations that have occupied it. Within the last 100 years, it has been under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Slovenia. Remnants of this can still be seen in numerous monuments, the Ilirska Bistrica railway station, and the Italian barracks from the Second World War.

Mass graves

Ilirska Bistrica is the site of two known mass graves from the Second World War. The Stražica Mass Grave (Slovene: Grobišče pod Stražico), also known as the Black Fields Mass Grave (Grobišče Črne njive) is located north of the town, about 170 m north of the summit of Stražica Hill. It contained the remains of German soldiers from the 97th Corps that fell at the beginning of May 1945. The grave has been exhumed.[2] The Cemetery Mass Grave (Grobišče pod pokopališčem) is located next to the town cemetery. It contains the remains of 82 German soldiers buried in a former firing trench. An asphalt road and parking lot were laid over the grave when the cemetery was expanded.[3]


The parish church in the town is dedicated to Saint Peter and belongs to the Koper Diocese. A second church in the town is dedicated to Saint George.[4]


The town is used by tourists and trekkers as a starting point for travelling to the top of the Snežnik plateau, a day-long round trip from Ilirska Bistrica. At 1,796 m (5,892 ft), the plateau's highest peak, Big Mount Snežnik (Slovene: Veliki Snežnik), is the highest non-Alpine peak in Slovenia.



Ilirska Bistrica is the hometown of the KK Plama Pur basketball club, which competes in the Slovenian Second Basketball League.


Ilirska Bistrica is the hometown of the NK Ilirska Bistrica football club, which competes in the Slovenian Third League.

Other sports

Ilirska Bistrica also has several other clubs and associations, such as the Ilirska Bistrica Handball Club, several karate clubs, and an archery club.


External links