Deep under the earth surface, where the dwarfs are said to enjoy in their dancing, started the centuries - long path of hardship, deeply overwhelmed by blisters and impregnated by sweat of numerous miners. Posing silently and motionlessly for a moment, you may be lucky enough to experience, in the darkness of the shaft, the sight of the of a frightful creature, the so called" bergmandelc" and you may hear the sounds of hammers and picks of the lost souls of miners, etc.
This is where the underworld of Peca opens itself to the visitors.
HISTORY OF THE LEAD MINE IN MEŽICAThe lead ore deposits between Peca and Uršlja gora reach back to the Roman age while the first written records about the lead ore exploitation date from the year 1665. This year is considered to be the actual beginning of lead mining in our Koroška region.
Long years of mining and the expansion of the lead mine put a great impact on the area and the life of the inhabitants in this part of Slovenia at the foot of the Karavanke adequately.
The owners of the mine were numerous, but at the end of 19th century an Austrian company , called Bleiberger Bergwerks Union bought all smaller mines and this was the beginning of the era of planned mining. This brought about the consequences which were mainly seen in the rise of the number of miners and consequently the influence the mine had on the prosperity of the settlements Črna na Koroškem and Mežica. The outstanding development of the mine could be noticed at the beginning of 20th century, when the complementing activities, such us: processing the ore, smeltery and hydro electric power plant in Žerjav, began to prosper.
A powerful company called “The Mine of Lead and Zinc Mežica” was established and it used to employ over 2000 workers in various units, such as: the mine, the ore processing plant, the smeltery, the battery factory, the factory of equipment, the saw mill, the joiner’s workshop and the administration department, etc.
The total amount of the of lead and zinc ore dug out in more than 800 km long tunnels in over three centuries was about 19 million.
In 1988 the law was put out which demanded the closing down of the mine.
The project how to close down the mine was finished in 1994 and this is also the year when the production of lead and zinc ore was permanently stopped. It was then that the pumps for pumping the water were stopped and the lower tunnels of the mine filled with water, so that today the tunnels of the mine up to +417 m are under water. The superfluous water flows through a tunnel and comes to the surface in Prevalje.