The town of Ilirska Bistrica is the center of the municipality of the same name with just 5,000 inhabitants, which stretches on the northern edge of the Illyrian-Bistrica basin. It lies on the edge of a fossil landslide at the foot of Snežnik and above the outflows of the streams Bistrica, Molje and Pile into the river Reka. The vast municipality (480 km2, just over 14,000 inhabitants) includes the forested Snežnik plateau, the Rijeka valley, the eastern part of the Brkini and part of the Karst Podgraje valley.
The town of Bistrica was first mentioned in 1300. Around 1830 it was first mentioned as Ilirska Bistrica. In the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the settlement also belonged to the region of Carniola, and the border with Istria ran along the Brkini ridge. There was a district court with a tax office in the settlement. In 1864, the National Reading Room was established in Ilirska Bistrica. It became a square in 1911, and four decades later (1952) it was officially granted city rights. In the period between the two world wars, Il. Bistrica under the rule of Italy.
Due to its location, the area of the town and municipality of Il.Bistrica was already strongly marked by history in pre-Roman and Roman times, as well as later. Numerous archeological excavations testify to this. The extremely large fossil landslide, which was only discovered and described by geologist Ladislav Placer in 2011, represents a world-class geological and geomorphological natural heritage.
Il. Bistrica also has a rich sports history, as evidenced by many sports clubs. Football and basketball have always been especially popular. It is unbelievable today that basketball players from Ilirska Bistrica played one season in the first Yugoslav basketball league in the mid-1960s. Very popular sports are also handball, bowling, clay pigeon shooting, etc. The mountain speed race on Šembije is the most famous and resounding annual event in Il. Bistrica, as it attracts viewers from all over Slovenia as well as from abroad.