Subscribe to e-news

Social networks


This project is funded by the European Commission. The content is the responsibility of the author and in no way represents the views of the European Commission.


* 28. 10. 1684, Kalce near Zagorje on Karst, Slovenia
† 7. 2. 1765, Ljubljana, Slovenia

polytechnician, naturalist, civil engineer

As a son of wealthy parents, S. went to school in Cerknica, Ljubljana and Vienna, travelled in Germany and Italy before entering public service. Between 1712-14, he dealt with issues of forests, rivers and roads in the Karst region and near the Adriatic Sea. In 1718 he took over the supervision of roads to Gorizia, Trieste and Rijeka.
In the mapping of these territories he was assisted by Gregor Maček, who was later to become a renowned Slovenian architect. Their map of 1720 is one of the first specialised thematic maps of the Slovene territory. Three years later, he designed a general programme of road construction and maintenance, which remained in use for a long time, not only in Austria but beyond its borders. In addition to road infrastructure works, S. also studied river navigation, and with a boat and a plumb bob in his hands, navigated for several months along the larger Carniolan and Styrian rivers. In 1723 he draw a map of these rivers, and later was entrusted with the planning of navigation routes on the rivers Sava, Drava and Mura, although these proved impossible due to unsuitable conditions.
In 1724 he was appointed manager of the mercury mine in Idrija and immediately started its systematic reorganisation. By 1827 he had made measurments and drawings that allowed him to create a complete ground plan and vertical section of all galleries and shafts as well as mining machinery. After over 250 years of operation, this was the first professionally accurate and complete topographic depiction of the mine and S. dedicated this work to Emperor Charles IV. When the Emperor was travelling along the river Ljbljanica towards Trieste, he reached the town of Vrhnika, where the mercury was transferred from packhorses onto boats, and the miners from Idrija welcomed the Emperor with burning torches, whilst S. presented him with a detailed model of the mine. At that time, S. was already familiar with the complex structure and operation of the mine and was very able to engage in its long-term management.
Several new shafts were opened, the largest of which was named after Maria Theresa, and a new ore washing plant was introduced. The real results of S's expert endeavours were shown by the end of 18th century when the production of mercury significantly increased. Among the personnel who – thanks to him – acquired excellent knowledge and skills was the local man, Jožef → Mrak.
After his retirement in 1747, S. moved to Ljubljana and dedicated his studies to the intermittent lake at Cerknica, which had already stirred the interest of the Carniolan polymath J. V. → Valvasor in the second half of the 17th century.

24. 05. 2011 - Opening of CESA in Košice

On 25th May, 2011 we will open the Central European Science Adventure in Slovak Technical Museum in Košice. The game will be accessible for school groups till 30th June. For more info ...

More >>

20. 04. 2011 - Opening of CESA in Budapest

On 4th May, 2011 we will open the Central European Science Adventure in Magyar Műszaki és Közlekedési Múzeum in Budapest. The game will be accessible for school groups ...

More >>

Izdelava spletnih strani:  Positiva