Matija Vertovec

Matija Vertovec

Matija Vertovec was Slovenian professional writer and winegrower, who was born in January 28th 1784 in Jakuline, Šmarje in Vipava region. He died on September 2nd 1851 in Podnanos.

In Vipava parish school and at local priest he obtained his basic education, afterwards he went to gymnasium in Gorica and Lyceum Graz. In Ljubljana he finished the first year of worship, he continues his studies in Gorica. On December 21st 1807 he becomes priest’s assistant, as chaplain he works in Planina pri Ajdoviščini between years 1807 and 1913 (june-march). For relocation to Št. Vid pri Vipavi he asked after exhortation of Vipava dean, here he worked as vicar. In places, where he worked he provided to locals education, health care and economic progress. In Planina, with a help of professional literature, he taught locals about agriculture and viticulture, as well as about goat epidemic. He persuaded many parents to vaccinate their children and thus prevented many deaths. On this way he laid out foundations for school. In year 1851 he retired due to illness. At that time he moved to his nephew Filip Vertovec, where he also dies. All his property, which he obtained in his life, he left to his birth place, working places and charitable institutions.

He had a knowledge of many languages, besides Slovenian and Croatian, also Latin, Greek, German, Italian and French. That is why he read that time most important professional literature and reached success on fields of geography, history, agriculture (mostly in viticulture and cellarculture), chemistry, physics and astronomy. He perfected his knowledge during his travels in Italy, Germany, France and Hungary. He was active member of Carniola, Styria and Gorica region agriculture society, he participated in all-Austrian assemblies in Helibronn, Graz and Salzburg. His works are written in Slovenian language, except some german published in Illyrisches Blatt. He published his works in professional articles or in independent books. Works from history field are important mostly for Vipava’s local history. Obča povestnica (en. Overall history) or Zgodovine celega sveta (en. Histories of the whole world) counts for the first attempt of Slovenian overall history. He wrote it due to his agreement with Bleiweiss. From it, he published excerpt Crusader armies, History letters and Old Slovenians. The manuscript was after his death updated by Miha Verne, which was published in year 1865, under the names of both authors. That is why, he belongs among most visible Slovenian professional writers of 19th century.

As an interesting fact we can add, that he published his first essay Vinske trte hvala (en. Grapevines thanks) in Kmetijske in rokodelske novice (en. Agriculture and crafts news). The essay is an inspiration for Stanič’s poem Hvala vinske trte (en. Thanks grapevines) and partly for Prešeren’s Zdravljica (en. A Toast). Vaccination of 90 children against smallpox in Planina nad Ajdoviščna he described in Vinoreja za Slovence (en. Viticulture for Slovenians). First in Slovenian language written ode to the mountains was his speach at the holy Hieronim on Nanos. A memorial plague was placed on his birth house for 100th anniversary of his birth.


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