Commemorative room of Blaž Kocen

The cartographer Blaž Kocen was born in 1821 in the village of Hotunje. He finished high school and lyceum in Graz and studied theology in Klagenfurt. He was an active chaplain in many areas of Lower Styria until 1850 when he started to teach, first in Celje and later on in Ljubljana, Gorizia and at the very end in Olomouc in Moravia. He engaged in didactics of geography and wrote several school books, but he gained fame for his atlases. His first atlas from 1861 is his most famous work. This atlas remains available for purchase to this day; it has completely changed, but still retains the original name (“Neuer Kozenn Atlas” – in German). Several million copies of this atlas have already been published; there are nearly 300 editions and reprints in numerous languages. Kocen also produced many wall maps and other smaller maps, but only few of them have been preserved. These maps were published in German, Hungarian, Czech, Polish and other languages. His works were of good quality and were used several decades after his death, despite the progress in technology.

 

Blaž Kocen was a very important person for Slovenia. There is a memorial at his place of birth in Hotunje near Ponikva; it was built in 1972 by the Association of Slovene Geographers. In 1975 the primary school in Ponikva was named after him. Of late, interest in him and his work have risen. In 2007, the institution Slovenska matica organized an international symposium on Blaž Kocen and published a collection of scientific papers. In the same year, the Municipality of Šentjur published a booklet about him, which was authored by Professor Rožle Bratec Mrvar. The Debelak Family built a small wooden house on the site of the house in Hotunje where Kocen was born. In 2009 an exhibition, prepared by the tourist association of Ponikva, on the life and work of Blaž Kocen was opened.

 

Access:

  • By car: turn left into the village approximately 1 km before the level crossing in Hotunje. After 1 km a marked path will lead you to a straw-covered wooden house where the commemorative room is located.
  • By train/by walk: from the railway station in Ponikva walk along the marked, “Path of three famous men from Ponikva” towards Hotunje. The commemorative room is about 20 minutes walk away.

 

Openning hours:

Saturday and Sunday and by prior arrangement

 

 

Information:

  • TOD Ponikva, Ponikva 50,  phone: +386 35 79 20 65, 031-704-980; e-mail: tod.ponikva@gmail.com
  • Family Debelak, phone: +386 35 79 21 43

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