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Janez Vajkard Valvasor: Wikis


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Janez Vajkard Valvasor
Johann Weikhard Valvasor
Janez Vajkard Valvasor in 1689
Valvasor in 1689
Born May 28, 1641(1641-05-28)
probably Ljubljana, Carniola
Died September 19, 1693 (aged 52)
Krško, Carniola
Known for Nobleman, Scholar, Polymath
Title Member of the Royal Society
Spouse(s) Anna Rosina Valvasor née Grafenweger
Parents Jernej /Bartholomäus Valvasor
Ana Marija Ravbar/Anna Maria Valvasor née Rauber

Baron Janez Vajkard Valvasor or Johann Weikhard Freiherr von Valvasor
(or Valvasour[1]), Freiherr zu Gallenegg und Neudorff, Herr zu Wagensperg und Liechtenberg (baptized on May 28, 1641 - September 19, 1693) was a Slovenian nobleman of Austrian nationality, a scholar and polymath, and a Fellow of The Royal Society, which gives "soldier" as his profession.[2]

Neither the exact day nor the actual place of his birth are known, but from the fact that his baptism was registered at St. Nicholas Church in Ljubljana it appears very likely that he was also born in Ljubljana, Carniola (present-day Slovenia) in May 1641 as the twelfth child to father Jernej (German: Bartholomäus) and mother Ana Marija b. Ravbar (Anna Maria Freiin von Rauber), who did not only live at their family castle Medija/Gallenegg in Izlake but also had a town residence in Ljubljana at "Alter Markt", today No. 4 Stari trg. His godparents were Freiherr (Baron) Konrad Ruess von Ruessenstein from Strmol/Stermol and Regina Dorothea Rasp from Krumperk/Kreutberg.

Valvasor's father died when he was ten years old. At the time he was already attending the Jesuit school in Ljubljana. Graduating in 1658 at the age of seventeen, he did not choose to continue his studies at a university but decided to broaden his horizons by meeting learned men on a journey across Europe. This journey lasted fourteen years and it even took him to northern Africa. During this period, he joined the army in the Austrian-Turkish War, where he became closely acquainted with the conditions in the Military Frontier in Croatia.

Shortly after marrying Anna Rosina Grafenweger in 1672, Valvasor acquired the castle of Bogenšperk/Wagensberg near Litija (Littai), where he arranged a writing, drawing and printing workshop. Valvasor spent a fortune on the publishing of his books; towards the end of his life, his debts forced him to sell Bogenšperk Castle, his vast library and his collection of prints. In 1690, Aleksandar Ignacije Mikulić, the Bishop of Zagreb, bought his library, along with some 7300 graphics, and moved it to Croatia, where the collection became part of the Metropolitana, the library of the Zagreb Archbishopric, now part of the Croatian State Archives.[3]

Valvasor was a pioneer of study of karst phenomena. Upon the proposal of Edmond Halley, who was not only an astronmer but also a geophycsist, his extensive treatise on the hydrology of the intermittent Lake Cerknica won him a Fellowship of The Royal Society in London. The date of his election according to Bulloch's Roll[4] was the 14th day of December 1687. This is how The Royal Society describes his "career":

Took part in the Turkish campaign (1663-1664); travelled in France, Italy and Africa; collected books, prints, coins and instruments; started up a copper engraving studio (1678); fought against the Turks (1685). [5]

His most important work remains the monumental The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (original title: Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Crain, Slava vojvodine Kranjske in Slovenian), published 1689 in 15 tomes, totalling 3532 pages and including 528 illustrations and 24 appendices, which provides a vivid description of the Slovenian lands of the time.

Valvasor died in September 1693 in Krško (German: Gurkfeld), and is buried in the family tomb in Izlake.


  • Dominicae passionis icones, 1679, reprint 1970 (COBISS)
  • Topographia arcium Lambergianarum id est arces, castella et dominia in Carniolia habita possident comites a Lamberg; Bagenspergi (Bogenšperg), 1679 (COBISS), reprint 1995 (COBISS)
  • Topographia Archiducatus Carinthiae modernae: das ist Controfee aller Stätt, Märckht, Clöster, undt Schlösser, wie sie anietzo stehen in dem Ertzhertzogthumb Khärnten; Wagensperg in Crain (Bogenšperg), 1681 (COBISS); Nürnberg, 1688 (COBISS)
  • Carniolia, Karstia, Histria et Windorum Marchia, Labaci (Ljubljana) 1681 (COBISS)
  • Theatrum mortis humanae tripartitum: figuris aeneis illustratum : das ist: Schau-Bühne des menschlichen Todts in drey Theil : mit schönen Kupffer-Stichen geziehrt vnd an Tag gegeben; Laybach, Saltzburg (Ljubljana, Salzburg); 1682 (COBISS)
  • Topographia Archiducatus Carinthiae antiquae & modernae completa: Das ist Vollkommene und gründliche Land - Beschreibung des berühmten Erz - Herzogthums Kärndten; Nürnberg 1688, (COBISS)
  • Opus insignium armorumque ... ;(1687-1688) (COBISS)
  • Die Ehre dess Hertzogthums Crain: das ist, Wahre, gründliche, und recht eigendliche Belegen- und Beschaffenheit dieses Römisch-Keyserlichen herrlichen Erblandes; Laybach (Ljubljana) 1689 (COBISS)

External links


  1. ^ see:Fellows of The Royal Society
  2. ^ :Fellows of The Royal Society
  3. ^ Croatian State Archives, Division of the Zagreb Archbishopy, retrieved 2009-04-03 (Croatian)
  4. ^ Bulloch's Roll is a series of 11 handwritten volumes, arranged chronologically by date of election to The Royal Society 1663-1940, of biographical details of Fellows and Foreign Members gleaned from various sources.
  5. ^ Fellows of the Royal Society


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