|Traditional region||Inner Carniola|
|Statistical region||Central Slovenia|
|• Total||18.9 km2 (7.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||293.1 m (961.6 ft)|
Vrhnika as it exists today started to develop in the High Middle Ages. The first written reference to the town was under the German name Ober Laibach or Ober Laybach (literally "Upper Ljubljana") in the year 1300.
Vrhnika became a market town and was among the wealthiest towns in Carniola up to the early 18th century, when it started to lose importance. Nevertheless, it remained one of main transportation junctions in Inner Austria because of its strategic location on the crossroads between the trade routes from Trieste to Vienna and from Rijeka to Klagenfurt. The development of the town was strongly impaired by the construction of the Austrian Southern Railway in the 1840s, which bypassed it. From then on, it started losing importance, becoming a satellite town of Ljubljana, which has remained up to this day.
Vrhnika is the site of a mass grave from the period immediately after the Second World War. The Pikec Valley Mass Grave (Slovene: Grobišče pri Pikčevi dolini) is located at the bottom of a sinkhole southwest of the town, on Sveč Hill near the Vojc house. It contains the remains of six German prisoners of war that were murdered in May 1945.
Notable people that were born or lived in Vrhnika include:
- Ivan Cankar (1876–1918), writer. The house where he was born is now a museum.
- Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
- Leksikon občin kraljestev in dežel zastopanih v državnem zboru, vol. 6: Kranjsko. 1906. Vienna: C. Kr. Dvorna in Državna Tiskarna, p. 120.
- Curk I. et al. (1993). In the footsteps of Roman soldiers in Slovenia. Ljubljana: Zavod Republike Slovenije za varstvo naravne in kulturne dediščine Slovenije. COBISS 35642624
- Orožen Adamič M., Perko D., Kladnik D. (1995). Krajevni leksikon Slovenije. Ljubljana: DZS. ISBN 86-341-1141-5 COBISS 36607233 (Slovene)
- Johann Weikhard von Valvasor: The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, published 1689, translated extracts published 1984 by Mladinska knjiga, pp. 240, 241.
- Pikec Valley Mass Grave on Geopedia (Slovene)
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