Video section: 00:00 - CHAPTER 2: Čufer Manor
Still an imposing manor house, also known as the Mencinger House or Smuk Castle, Čufer Manor is situated at the site of the burned down Smuk Mill. The original farm building was built before the First World War.
Franc Pšenica: drawing of Smuk Mill (source: personal archives of Marica Kalan)
The Smuk water trough was located near the Smuk Mill. Avgust Mencinger, who together with his family lived in the manor house, remembers that the trough was located behind the house, but there is no record of whether that was the Smuk Trough:
“It was located behind the mansion, on the west side where our laundry was. A constant flow of water from the Ribjek stream ran into the trough. The water was drinkable and we also used it for washing clothes. But in December, on Saint Nicholas Day, girls used to be ducked in the troughs of Murova by the Krampus’.
Andrej Čufer bought the house in 1930 and transformed it into a larger mansion with the characteristic turret, and divided it into residential units for 11 families. After the Second World War, the house was nationalised, but the name Čufer Manor remained.
Andrej Čufer was born in 1876 in the village Jesenica, in the municipality of Cerkno. He came to Carniolan Jesenice as a qualified woodworker and stayed here because of love. He was a hard-working man, a prudent investor, a businessman and a shop-owner.
In 1929, when Jesenice received city status after initially only being recognised as a square, Andrej Čufer was its mayor. He described his work in the public domain (according to records from 1943):
“The official municipal premises were in the old school (Kos Manor House) ... The building was in a very poor condition and seriously neglected, and housed two craftspersons and other clients. First, I took care of the building repairs (new windows, new floors), and arranged for the craftspersons to move elsewhere so that the entire municipal office could move into the manor house, thus making it more accessible to the citizens. A decent meeting room was also arranged on the second floor. Then, the work began.”
The work included the construction of the water supply and sewerage systems, a railway underpass, Herman’s Bridge over the Sava river, the expansion of the municipal cemetery, straightening of the road from the Triglav Hotel to Horvat, the construction of pavements, etc..
Andrej Čufer died in 1944.
The well-known prof. dr. Jože Mencinger was also born in Čufer Manor, in 1941. The house is sometimes also called after his family – “Mencinger Villa” As Andrej Čufer’s grandson, Jože spent his childhood here together with his parents, brother Avgust and sister Marinka. He attended Gimnazija Jesenice (Jesenice Upper Secondary School) from where he graduated in 1960. He has held several important functions and is an established researcher, economist, international lecturer, and a former rector of the University of Ljubljana. Between 1990 and 1991, he served as the first Minister of the Economy in the Republic of Slovenia and as the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. He is also a recipient of the Honorary Badge of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia. In May 2020, he was made an honorary citizen of Ljubljana.
- »Kako so na Murovi včasih živeli?« (Jesenice Adult Education Centre, 2010),
- »Ta stare Jesenice ali Murova in Plavž« (Zdenka Torkar Tahir, Upper Sava Valley Museum Jesenice, 2010),
- Jesenice Municipal Library – estate of Ciril Praček
- Oral testimonies by locals: family Čufer., Janez Pšenica, Avgust Mencinger, Jože Mencinger, Janez Višnar Jr., Anton Ravnikar, Dušan Hafner, Marija Markeš, Zvonka Petrovič
Project: The Memories of Old Jesenice Settlement
Financed by: Municipality of Jesenice
Realisation: Upper Gorenjska Development Agency, Gornjesavski muzej Jesenice
Proofreading and translation: TellUs, Maja Davis s.p.
Photo editing: Jamaja, Maja Rostohar s.p.