HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

It was during holidays in 1930, when prof. Dolenec came from Sopotnica to visit colleague Blaznik, Tine Debeljak and Planina. He expressed the desire to meet someday again and attract also other comrades. Designated three therefore invited all professors from Škofja Loka district. Already in time of those holidays a meeting took place, which was attended by the following comrades: dr. Pavle Blaznik, Franc Koblar, dr. Lovro Sušnik, Ivan Dolenec, dr. Martin Gorjanec, Franc Planina, Franc Košir, Ivan Molinaro, Tine Debeljak, Jakob Šolar and Maks Miklavčič.

These words are taken from; now already yellowed notebook entitled Kronika sestankov loških profesorjev (tr. Chronicle of meetings of professors from Škofja Loka). The idea of annual meetings of professors guild, as they said in joke, was accepted with enthusiasm and the tradition had been continued all the way until the Second World War.

That was the beginning. The seed was sown which sprout and bear fruit of seventy years long lasting acting of Muzejsko društvo Škofja Loka – the Museum Society Škofja Loka – and co-creation of Škofja Loka’s cultural and social life.

Already in 1936 after a successful industry craft exhibition, it was suggested that Škofja Loka needs museum collection, where the rich heritage of local guild artisans and other cultural heritage would be displayed for public. This was also one of the reasons for the meeting that was held on 23rd July 1937, where they founded the general assembly of the Museum Society Škofja Loka (MSŠL). Its main mission was to promote the knowledge of homeland and respect for the territory of the former Freising dominion.

The next two years brought a great engagement of committee members who collected items of historical value in Škofja Loka and the surrounding areas. They went around, asking for antiques and art works, spent holidays browsing through old attics, taking away everything they found interesting. Lots of things were brought also by the individuals themselves.

Due to the powerful enthusiasm of its members and the support of the county, on 27th August 1939 The MSŠL opened door to the first museum collection in Rotovž – the old Town Hall building in the main  town square. 915 items were exhibited, which still nowadays constitute the core collections of Škofja Loka Museum, which was led by the MSŠL even quite long time after the Second World War.

This is far from the only activity within the MSŠL. Among members, the idea of written word about local history collected in one place matured for a long time. Consequently in 1954 first issue of Loški razgledi (tr.  The Journal Loški razgledi)  was published. Due to its long-standing and quality of published articles it somehow presents Škofja Loka’s encyclopaedia.

At 1000th anniversary of first mention of Škofja Loka’s territory, the MSŠL organized an assemblage of Historical Society for Slovenia that was held in Škofja Loka. The topic of discussion was entirely devoted to Škofja Loka’s territory.

Significant achievements and mission of the association is also evident from many received awards.

The MSŠL was always actively involved in cultural and social life in Škofja Loka. Due to proposal by member Alojzij Pavel Florjančič, in 1999 Škofja Loka’s municipality started setting the Aleja znamenitih Ločanov (tr. Avenue of notable Škofja Loka’s personalities) at Šolska ulica.

At the end of eighties, the MSŠL again started organizing thematic events and debates, which were named Blaznikovi večeri (tr. The Blaznik evenings), after the co-founder and long-time president historian Pavle Blaznik. At these events parts of Loka’s history, interesting personalities and special research achievement of Loka’s inhabitants are being presented. Blaznikovi večeri are the continuation of Loški večeri, which were organized during the initial operation of the MSŠL.

Society’s trips were very popular among the members, which led them to many Slovenian cities, as well as outside the Slovenian border. Besides sightseeing, friendly ties grew stronger which contributed to further improve the functioning of the Society.

At its 60th anniversary the MSŠL got a new look and its logo was then the stylized portal of the Old Town Hall, where the first Loka’s museum was.

In 2003, after 200 years passed by since secularization of Freising and Brixen property in Slovenia, an international scientific symposium was organized in collaboration with Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts. It was held in Škofja Loka and the results of it is Blaznikov zbornik (tr. Blaznik collection), which covers the entire 800-year period of Freising and Brixen presence on Slovenian teritory.

Presidents of the Museum Society Škofja Loka:

Pavel Blaznik, Ph. D.:             from 1937 to 1974
Zdravko Krvina:                       from 1974 to 1979
Branko Berčič, Ph. D.:               from 1979 to 1993
France Leben, Ph. D:.                from 1993 to 1997
France Štukl, Ph. D.:                  from 1997 to 1999
Alojzij Pavel Florjančič:            from 1999 to 2006
Peter Hawlina:                           from 2006 to 2007
Aleksander Igličar, M.Sc-:       from 2008

Today the Museum Society Škofja Loka unites about 400 members, who with respect for rich tradition continue to care about cultural and natural heritage of Škofja Loka and its surrounding areas. Its mission comes true by publishing local history publications, organizing lectures, symposiums, exhibitions, and trips.