TIC Šentjur

Ulica skladateljev Ipavcev 17

3230 Šentjur


+386 3 749 25 23
+ 386 41 660 091





opening hours:

mondayfriday: 9.0016.00

The Ipavec family

When the door of the Ipavec family house opens, many stories burst out which reveal various aspects of the Ipavec family – doctors, great patriots, and a dynasty of musicians who have left the Slovenian nation rich musical creations that to this day receive a lot of attention. The stories and the music – both are worth giving an ear to!


The Ipavec generation in Šentjur (once referred to as Sv. Jurij or St. George in English) began in 1805 with the arrival of Franc Ipavec to the market town of Sv. Jurij pod Rifnikom (St. George under Rifnik) where he started a medical practice. In 1814 he married Katarina Schweighofer – a girl from an eminent family, born and raised in Vienna. Katarina had an exceptional musical talent and played the harp and piano. Their marriage produced three sons and six daughters. Franc worked his way into high society with additional training in Vienna, where he learned how to perform cataract surgery. For the first time in his practice music appeared as pain relief therapy; he also paid a lot of attention to personal hygiene and encouraged his patients to keep their body and living spaces clean which was, at that time of raging infectious diseases of extreme importance. 


The firstborn Alojz, had the best musical ear among Ipavec’s sons. He chose the same profession as his father; he studied medicine in Vienna and became an army doctor. His artistic level was very high and it is reflected in his waltzes. Unfortunately, he fell ill with typhoid fever and died at the young age of 34.

Like their older brother Alojz, Benjamin and Gustav also became doctors, devoted their free time to music and always cherished patriotism. Both graduated from the medical-surgical school in Graz. In Vienna they obtained a doctoral degree which ensured them a carefree life.  The brothers finished medical school in the last months of their father’s life.


After graduating Benjamin started to work in the children's hospital in Graz. He is referred to as one of the central composers in the Romantic Period. Although he lacked a formal musical education his compositions and conducting skills were reputable. He set to music some striking reveilles, ex., Zdravljica’ (“A toast”) by Prešeren, ‘Ilirija oživljena’ (“Illyria reborn”) by Vodnik and ‘Domovini’ (“To the homeland”) by Razlag. Some of his works have become well-known and valued abroad; however his patriotism was a major influence and he mostly composed patriotic music. Well-known are also his opera, ‘Teharski plemiči’ (“The Noblemen of Theharje”), the first Slovenian operetta, ‘Tičnik ‘(The Aviary) and numerous solos. He married Ana Wokaunova. However, they could not have children. In his old age he often visited Šentjur. He was strongly affected by Gustav's death in 1908 and the same year he died too.


After finishing his study Gustav joined his father’s practice in Sv. Jurij. He married Karolina Amon from Laško. Their marriage produced ten children of whom many were musically talented. Gustav built a new villa opposite his father's house and opened his medical practice there. In 1869 he became mayor of the municipality of Sv. Jurij and held this position until the end of the 19th century. In 1883 the town of St. Jurij was honoured by the visit of the emperor Franz Joseph. In Gustav’s dynamic life music was always present. He mainly composed verses for Slovenian poets and engaged a quality choir which was at his disposal in Sv. Jurij to sing them. His famous poems that were set to music are: ‘Vse mine’ (“Everything passes”), ‘O mraku’ (“At Nightfall”), and ‘Slovenec sem’ (“I am a Slovenian”).  He strove to establish an agricultural school in Šentjur and in 1910, two years after his death his efforts bore fruit.


Gustav’s most talented son Josip was born in 1873. He studied medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in Graz and while he was a student he composed, the first Slovenian ballet, ‘Možiček’ (“A little man”) which received numerous compliments, and music for solos. Also well-known is his ‘Imel sem ljubi dve’ (“I had two loved ones”) for four voices. Josip wasn’t a romanticist like his uncle Benjamin because he was more inspired by modern direction. He also wrote the opera, ‘Princesa Vrtoglavka’ (“The dizzy princess”). Josip took over his father’s practice in Sv. Jurij. He married Albertina Novoszad and they had two children - Jože and Teodor. He died in 1921.


The Ipavec lineage ended with Josip but their story is far from over. Generations of Ipavec family live on in many ways. The town of Šentjur is proud of its great men, and preserves their heritage in a house, which is full of memories and whispers so many stories that it would be a sin if we didn’t listen.




The town of the Ipavec family warmly invites you to visit the Ipavec House, where you will discover stories about generations of the Ipavec family. Šentjur is also a town of friendly people who will welcome you at various cultural events and other events related to the Ipavec family.


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