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Builders with the name Maček



Slovenian art historical literature has, for many years, suggested that a certain Gregor Maček (1682–1745) was one of the leading Baroque architects in Slovenia. However, a more exhaustive investigation into archival materials has shown that there were actually two masters of that name in Ljubljana: Gregor Maček senior (1664–1725) and Gregor Maček junior (1701–1745). This discovery entails, of course, a complete revision of Mačeks' output.

To make the matter even more complicated, there was a third Maček. He was an architect from the Poljanska dolina valley and is known in local tradition as well as documented in archives (unfortunately only with his surname). His works have also been confused with those of either Gregor Maček.

Gregor Maček senior, who built a number of important buildings in the early 18th century, was just a master builder – he was not able to read or write. His son was originally an innkeeper, but he later became a respected building enterpriser. Like his father, he worked from designs made by others, and the buildings that might possibly have been designed by him are merely crude and uninventive copies of earlier architecture.

Of the three Mačeks, the one from Poljanska dolina seems to be the most appealing. He is known to have been active from shortly before 1714, when the parish church in Cerkno was completed, until around 1730, when the construction of the parish church at Šmartin near Kranj, documented to be by him, was begun. He built the parish church in Poljane in the early 1720s and is also documented as the architect of the subsidiary church in Labinje (1723). All the already identified examples of his architecture are marked with imaginative formal language and with expressed individuality. According to tradition he was born in Žabja vas in Poljanska dolina. Since Štefan Maček (1711–1793), another documented builder, lived in in this village, it is very plausible to suppose that the legendary architect was his father, Matija Maček (ca. 1657–1737).