Important historical figures
Jože Karlovšek was born in Šmarjeta. He was Dr Josip Karlovšek’s nephew and a researcher of old Slovene folk art, writer of technical books and textbooks, and an innovator. He worked professionally in the field of construction, but deep inside he was an artist. He was interested in the old Slovene folk architecture and the old Slovene ornaments which he also made himself. He patented the technique of painting on wood, wrote several books and articles and after World War 2 began writing textbooks. He received numerous awards for his work, one of which was also the Prešeren award.
His birth house stands opposite to the church of St. Margaret in Šmarjeta. Where there used to be a big partly built up storied farm house, the father of Jože Karlovšek, Janez Karlovšek, built a big modern house that can be seen today. The house was built in Baroque style and included an inn, a shop and accommodations for guests. Today it’s an inn and Karlovšek's commemoration room. A cycling path around Šmarjeta is also named after him.
Janez Zalokar, a priest, a writer, a clever farmer, a conscious Slovene and a homoeopath, was born in Vinica at Šmarjeta in 1792. He was very intelligent and educated. He spoke German, Latin and even French, so no wonder he spent a lot of time with the Klevevž nobleman Jombart. He also personally knew Vodnik, Bleiweis, Prešeren and other great men of that time. Through his sermons he wanted to contribute to greater literacy and a better moral life of the parishioners. He took care of his parishioners’ growth by educating them spiritually, as well as sharing his general knowledge about the world, hygiene, raising children and taking care of the soil. His most important work was Clever farming and management, he also published his own model of genealogy which is still until present day called the Zalokar genealogy. He was also an excellent homoeopath.
His birth house has been remodelled into a museum of old farmer tools and accessories. At the 100th anniversary of his birth they also unveiled the commemorative plaque.
Academician prof. Dr Franc Zwitter belongs to the very top of Slovene historians. He was born and buried in Bela Cerkev, where his father from Koroška region met his future wife. Zwitter got a lot of education abroad. He was the first teacher of history of the Early Modern Period at the University of Ljubljana. During war he participated a lot in politics. Consequently his science career was temporarily put to a halt. He was an expert for national issues in former Austrian empire and in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. He dealt a lot with the Slovene history, development and border issues. Despite his international career he wasn’t ashamed of his origin. He fought for Slovene rights but was at the same time politically independent. He preferred walking through the landscape since he enjoyed its full beauty and he always spoke in Novo mesto dialect to his fellow countrymen. Zwitter was an excellent academician and a conscious Slovene who never forgot about his birth village.
Janez Volčič thoroughly reviewed the history of Šmarjeta. He wrote religious hymns and worked as a priest in Šmarjeta. In 1887, just before he died, he was finishing the manuscript of the book called The history of the Šmarjeta parish. With his passing Šmarjeta lost a wise man and a counsellor, the diocese lost its eager priest and Slovenia lost its tireless writer. He wrote 36 units with over 8000 pages. Some books have been reprinted even seven times. When he was a parish priest in Šmarjeta he published 16 books. He contributed a lot to church arrangement in the area of Šmarjeta parish. The fruits of his labour can still be admired to this day at the Church of St. Margaret, where you can also see the commemorative plaque that was set by the parishioners for their benefactor.