Untimely Death

With the publication of The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola the creative part of Valvasor’s life is ended. Some books were not printed because of financial problems.

It is worth mentioning The Book of Coat-of-Arms (it was published at the 300th anniversary of the publication of The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola as a facsimile edition), The Light of Nature (Lumen naturae) which included Valvasor’s experiments; some added by other authors. There are six volumes dealing with glass, paint, cosmetics, medicine. The next unpublished work is The Physical-Mathematical Flower (Flos physico – mathematicus) in 3 large volumes, organized by Francisci and assembled by Valvasor. It was to be published in German with many pictures and writings about Valvasor’s experiments, inventions and debates about mathematical matters. Many manuscripts were not preserved and the preparations for the great project – the publication of the great map of the Duchy of Carniola, were not carried out.

Great expenses, lack of understanding on the part of the state authorities for Valvasor’s great plans, the commitments since 1672 and unpaid purchases for the castles, and expenses for the nine published books led to the end of Valvasor’s publishing activities after 1689. A solution for these financial problems was the sale of his property and work. In the Name Book we can see that at the beginning of the year 1689 he sold the Črni Potok estate to the Baroness Ana Moscon for 6,400 florins, 100 florins for the builder and together with his creditors, settled his debts from 1672. Then he had to give up his library and his graphical collection, which he offered to the State of Carniola. In 1690 after the intervention of Valvasor’s friend Pavel Vitezovič, it was bought by Zagreb Bishop Aleksander Ignacij Mikulič. The books were sent to the Metropolitan Library in Zagreb, where they form an important part of the library’s collection today.

The next sale was in the year 1691 when he sold a part of the tithes of his 30 farms in the Temenica Valley to the Stična Monastery. And at last on 2nd October 1692 he sold the Lichtenberg and the Bogenšperk Castles to Janez Andrej Gandin zum Lilienstein and two months later on 10th December 1692 he sold his house in Ljubljana to his wife’s relative.

The rest of the payment of his commitments and debts he used in the beginning of the next year (1693) as he bought the patrician house in Krško. There he spent the last days of his life and for a short period of time his life was happy again due to the birth of his youngest son Franc Engelbert.

Valvasor died on 19th September 1693, away from his colleagues and friends and probably buried in the Valvasor family vault in Medija where his five children and his first wife had been laid to rest.

According to records about his property; the house with a garden and a new building were valued up to 800 goldinars after his death. There was some cash left, some silver, two horses, some personal objects and a letter of credit for 3,000 goldinars for the children of his first marriage.

Valvasor’s intellectual wealth and determination created an Invaluable legacy. If the time when Valvasor lived was not so kind to him, the importance of his monumental work of the life of a people is recognized as a significant source in the study of history and ethnographic studies in Slovenia.