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Ilirska Bistrica ( , ) is a town and a municipality in Sloveniamarker. It belongs to the traditional region of Inner Carniola.

The town of Ilirska Bistrica is the major economic centre of the district of the same name. Its coat of arms represents the history of the region, being part of the pre-slavic Ilyrian people that once populated the area, along with their shipbuilding past. The name Ilirska Bistrica, has its origin during the times of the Austrian Empiremarker, 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 Bystricamarker in modern-day Slovakiamarker. 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. The town's current coat of arms was also adopted at the same time; in fact, it is only a slight modification of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Illyria.

The town is used by tourists and trekkers as a starting point for travelling to the peak of Mount Snežnikmarker, a day long return trip from Ilirska Bistrica. At 1796 metres Snežnik is the highest non-Alpine peak in Slovenia.

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

The most recent conflict the region has encountered was during the short ten day Slovene Independence War, in which Yugoslav and Slovene troops met in a small engagement ending with a handful of casualties, in the village of Koseze just south of Ilirska Bistrica.

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.

Among the famous inhabitants of Ilirska Bistrica, the poet Dragotin Kette and politician Karel Lavrič are the most known.

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