A short drive from Ljubljana, halfway between Vrhnika and Borovnica on the edge of Ljubljana marshes, you will find a village called Bistra and its Technical Museum. Known for its collection of old cars owned by former Yougoslavian president Tito, Bistra is also a former Cartusian monastery and a popular venue for weddings. Very educational visit and I recommend it also for children.
Bistra monastery was built in 13th century by the Speinheims as one of three Carthusian monasteries on Slovene territory (beside Žiče, Jurklošter and Pleterje). After a strong earthquake in 17th and a huge fire in 18th century destroyed almost the entire building, the monastery was rebuilt but the Carthusians were dissolved in 1782. In 1826 Bistra was bought by a businessman and industrialist who gave it an image of a mansion and created a beautiful park by the pond that we can still admire today.
After the 2nd World War the mansion became general public property and a seat of the state forest administration. As a seat of the Forestry Institute of Slovenia it housed the first signs of forestry, woodworking and hunting collections. Technical Museum was officially establisehd in 1951.
Museum most famous collection consists of several automobiles that were given to Tito as presents by the Soviet president Nikita Hruscov and supposedly also by the British Queen Elisabeth II. We can also find there a collection of old cars, motorcycles and bycles, old Ljubljana tram, exhibition of motor vehicles fuel supply and much more.
Other departments of the museum
Bistra Technical Musem surprised me with its rich of collections of hunting, fishing, woodworking as well as electrical engineering, textile, printing and agricultural department. A complete display of wild animals on Slovene territory, an overview of the development of textile, printing and carpentry machines will impress also families with children.
Museum is open until 4 pm during the week, until 5 pm on Saturdays and until 6 pm on Sundays and public holidays. Visit of the entire museum will cost you 4 € per person or 12 € for a family ticket. All descriptions in museum are in Slovene and English language.