Rotovž Square

Yesterday an Inn, today a library

The house No. 2 on the Rotovški trg square is one of those houses almost every Maribor resident visited at least once. During the post-war times of great shortage, rice, coffee or powdered eggs, also known as Truman’s eggs, were distributed there.

Since 1960 the house No. 2 on Rotovški trg square is a home to the Maribor Public Library. Until 2010, the Puppet Theatre Maribor was located there as well, so for hundreds of youths the house was the place where they experienced (and are still experiencing) culture for the first time. The history of the house is vivid and rich, just like the contents of the books on the library shelfs. The building at Rotovški trg 2 was formed by joining two separate houses, similarly to the Rotovž Town Hall building itself. The southern house had the number 2 and the northern one the number 3. In 1930s the houses were joined together and thoroughly rebuilt and the new building was given its current address. 

The “Pri mestu Gradcu” Inn (By the city Graz)

Until the end of the 18th century the southern house with the number 2 was owned by the Vetrinjski dvor mansion, but then it was taken into the possession of Andrej Tappeiner who later became a very successful Maribor mayor and brewer. In 1834 he sold the house to Regina Vogl who was bound by the sale-purchase agreement that prevented her from selling and serving beverages at the house as well as from renting it out. When Tappeiner sold his brewery located at the nearby Glavni trg square to Franc Čeligi in 1841 and moved to Sv. Lovrenc pri Puščavi (Lovrenc na Pohorju), where he bought a glass factory, Regina Vogel concluded that the ban on selling beverages does not apply anymore and wanted to open an inn. But Čeligi, the new owner of the brewery, insisted Regina Vogel had to abide to the conditions of the agreement and won the dispute in court after a trial that lasted two years. He must have been well aware that his persistence would pay off. Since Regina Vogel was not allowed to open an inn, the house was only a financial burden to her and only a year later she sold the house to Čeligi. During the summer months, Čeligi used the cool ground-floor room with vaulted ceiling as an inn serving beer from his brewery while in during winter the inn was closed and the basement was used as a storage room.

The inn was very popular during the summer months and it was soon too small to house all the visitors so in 1861 Čeligi bought a piece of land between the house and the Rotovž Town Hall from Janez Nos (Noss), a chemist who was the owner of the Mestna lekarna pharmacy near Orl at the Glavni Trg square No. 12. In the sale-purchase agreement Nos secured easement for the passage between Lekarniška ulica street and Rotovški trg square for him and his descendants. Franc and Marija Čeligi opened the “Pri mestu Gradcu” inn (after the World War I it was renamed into the Rotovž inn) in the rebuilt and expanded house which was known among the locals simply as the Inn. Above the Inn, on the first floor of the house was a hall with a theatrical stage. Since 1861, the premises were used by the Slovanska čitalnica reading room. In Maribor, this was a period of Slovene national revival and precisely the reading room circles deserve the most credit for strengthening Slovenianess among the population. 

Billiard tables for catholic masters

In the early 1870s Čeligi decided to offer a Coffee room above the inn to his guests, so the reading room had to move out of his premises. But the locals didn’t really take to the new coffee room and it became a “regular meeting place for municipal fathers, tired after the long municipal meeting sessions”, so the coffee room was abandoned in the 1880s. The empty room above the Inn and guesthouse was rented by Katoliško društvo rokodelskih pomočnikov (Catholic Society of Artisan Apprentices) that formed into Društvo katoliških mojstrov (Society of Catholic Masters) in 1901. For its purposes, the association immediately built a new stage in the Inn, while the owner Čeligi provided his new tenants with a billiard table which, at the time, was a rare commodity in the town.

During the World War I the premises of the inn served as a place for “presenting the recruits” by the military, but after the Maister’s revolt, the premises were once again taken over by the Catholic society that occupied it before the war. On 26 February 1924, Katarina Meglica rented the house and the Catholic masters had to leave, but 2 years later the house changed owners. The new owner, the purchasing cooperative of state officials (Nabavljalna zadruga državnih uslužbencev) tore down the house and built a new building in its place, which is a southern part of Rotovški trg square No.2 today. It was used as a grocery and wholesale shop. 

They quenched their thirst at the “Pri moki” Inn

The northern house that used to have the house number 3 was built on a part of the property of Franc and Klara Aichmeier. It is evident from the Land Register from around 1830 that this was a “residential townhouse, made of bricks and with brick roofing” which also included a public fountain.  The first owner of the house was Kajetan pl. Artner, an engineer of the district office, who sold it to Franc Gornik on 1 November 1832. The house was situated at a lively and busy location where judge Gornik successfully practiced his profession until 1869, when he sold his house to the spouses Schraml. Carl and Marija Schraml were not artisans, they were innkeepers. They rearranged the house into the “Pri moki” Inn which was competing for customers with the neighbouring “Pri mestu Gradcu” inn. It is interesting to note that Slovanska čitalnica reading room found a home at that inn, simmilary to how itdid at the neighbour's in the past.

“We rented the convenient rooms from Mr. Šrameln, a righteous and honest German, we bought furniture for the time being, adorned the place with suitable paintings of Slovenian and Slavic worthies in the fields of science, state and church affairs and last but not least we were also given a piano with a special help from the doctor Mr. Dominkuš and other unselfish patriots,” reminisced Professor Janez Majciger about the premises on the twentieth anniversary of the reading room in 1881.
 An excerpt from the Kmečke in rokodelske novice newspaper (Agricultural and Artisan News) bears witness to the fact that the premises of the reading room were a real fortress of Slovenianess/Slavism: “... look here, person from Ptuj, if you are ever interested in our cause just climb a few stairs and pass through a charming entrance to gaze upon a golden inscription “Slovanska čitavnica” (Slavic reading room). Open the door and in front of you in the spacious room you will see the commonly revered painting of Their Majesty, Our most noble Emperor and around him grand persons of Slavic lineage ...”

In the period when Slovanska čitalnica reading room was located in the “Pri moki” Inn, Slovenia’s residents started to divide politically and the initial drive and unity among the members of Slovanska čitalnica was lost. Until 1875, the premises were mainly a sanctuary for Slovenian students that visited the reading room to browse through Slovenian newspapers and magazines. Namely, their German teachers never visited the Inn that was home to Slovanska čitalnica reading room.

In 1900, the spouses Schraml sold the house to Anton Serjanec who used the house to sell wood, coal and building fixtures between 1907 and 1908, but sold the house to Helen Hawlik in 1908. Until 1913, her husband Franc used the house as a shop for mineral waters. A year later the house was bought by Maribor’s Podporna blagajna (Aushilfkassaverein, eng. Provident Fund) at an auction and immediately sold it to the regional Bolniška blagajna (Sickness Funds). The latter occupied the house until 1929 when it was bought by the Nabavljalna zadruga državnih uslužbencev (Purchasing Cooperative of State Officials), which already owned the neighbouring southern house. 


From Nabavljalna zadruga (Purchasing Cooperative) to library

The cooperative soon rebuilt the houses and joined them into a single house that we know today. After a regulation of this part of Rotovški trg square, the house was given a street number 2. The Nabavljalna zadruga državnih uslužbencev (Purchasing Cooperative of State Officials) which by 1930 had 7,000 members set up a grocery store with a modern bakery in the basement for its members. The bread and pastries were mostly baked by people from the Primorska region who were also delivering them to the members’ homes. In the house there was also a restaurant called Cankarjeva soba (Cankar’s room) where delicious local food was served and there was also a guest room on the first floor. The cooperative used the premises, which became a home to the Maribor Puppet Theatre years later, as a warehouse, and used the ground-floor premises as a textile shop. Besides the bakery, the basement was also a storage room for oil and wine, which was purchased in Dalmatia. During the German occupation of the city, Germans did not make any major changes to the building. But the food could only be bought using ration stamps and the room in the restaurant was certainly no longer named after Ivan Cankar.

For some time after the war the house was home to the shop "prodajalna s prehrambnimi predmeti" Naproza (A food items shop Neproza). Those were the post-war times of great shortage when rice, coffee or powdered eggs, known as Truman’s eggs among the locals were distributed there by ration cards. For a period of time the house was home to the Kristal glazier's shop, storage room of the Gruda company Gruda and for a while it also housed the Restaurant Dubrovnik of the Majolika restaurant company.

In the 1950s the restaurant was converted into a Red Cross canteen with the entrance from the Lekarniška ulica street. More than 400 children were daily able to obtain three hot meals at a very low price. The canteen was used by pupils of primary and secondary schools, apprentices and "commuters" from the surrounding areas, the sons and daughters of working mothers and those who resided in the city only during the workweek during schooling. The meals for the most disadvantaged children were entirely covered by the social welfare, the Slovenian Association of the Friends of Youth and the Red Cross. We should really have a similar arrangement today.




Hiša na Rotovškem trgu številka 2 je ena tistih, ki jo je obiskal skoraj vsak Mariborčan. V povojnih časih pomanjkanja so tam delili riž, kavo ali jajčni prah, bolj znan kot Trumanova jajca.

V hiši številka 2 na Rotovškem trgu od leta 1960 domuje Mariborska knjižnica. Do 2010 je bilo tam tudi Lutkovno gledališče in prav v tej hiši je na stotine mladih doživelo (in še doživlja) prvi stik s kulturo. Zgodovina hiše je pisana in bogata, kot so vsebine knjig na policah. Stavba z današnjim naslovom Rotovški trg 2 je nastala iz dveh ločenih hiš, podobno kot to velja tudi za poslopje Rotovža samega. Južna hiša je imela številko 2, severna pa 3. Šele v tridesetih letih dvajsetega stoletja so hiši združili in temeljito prezidali, novi stavbi pa dali današnji naslov. 



Do konca 18. stoletja je bila južna hiša s številko 2 v lasti Vetrinjskega dvora, ko jo je prevzel Andrej Tappeiner, kasnejši zelo uspešen mariborski župan in pivovarnar. Leta 1834 je prodal hišo Regini Vogl, ki pa se je v kupoprodajni pogodbi morala zavezati, da se tam ne bo točilo pijač in da je ne bo dajala v najem. Ko je Tappeiner leta 1841 prodal svojo pivovarno na bližnjem Glavnem trgu Francu Čeligiju in se preselil v Sv. Lovrenc pri Puščavi (Lovrenc na Pohorju), kjer je kupil steklarno, je Regina Vogl smatrala, da določilo o prepovedi točenja pijač ne velja več in je želela v hiši odpreti gostilno. A novi lastnik pivovarne Čeligi je vztrajal pri spoštovanju pogodbe in po dvoletnem pravdanju spor tudi dobil. Očitno je možakar dobro vedel, zakaj je tako vztrajal. Že leto dni kasneje je Voglova hišo, v kateri ni smela imeti gostilne in je zanjo pomenila zgolj strošek, prodala prav njemu. Čeligi je obokano in hladno pritlično sobo v poletnih mesecih uporabljal kot točilnico svojega piva, pozimi, ko je bila točilnica zaprta, pa kletne prostore za skladišče.

Pivnica je bila v poletnih mesecih dobro obiskana in so prostori kmalu postali pretesni, zato je Čeligi leta 1861 od lekarnarja Janeza Nosa (Nossa), lastnika bližnje Mestne lekarne pri Orlu na Glavnem trgu št. 12, kupil zemljišče med hišo in Rotovžem, ta pa si je v pogodbi zase in za svoje potomce izposloval služnostno pravico prehoda med Lekarniško ulico in Rotovškim trgom. V prezidani in povečani hiši sta Franc in Marija Čeligi odprla gostilno Pri mestu Gradcu (po prvi svetovni vojni se preimenuje v gostilno Rotovž), med Mariborčani pa je bila znana kot Pivnica. V prvem nadstropju hiše, nad gostilno, je bila dvorana z gledališkim odrom. Od leta 1861 je prostore uporabljala Slovanska čitalnica. V Mariboru je bilo to obdobje slovenskega narodnega preporoda in prav čitalniški krogi so najbolj zaslužni za utrjevanje slovenstva med prebivalci. 



Se pa je v začetku sedemdesetih let devetnajstega stoletja Čeligi odločil, da svojim gostom Pivnice ponudi še kavarno nad njo, zato se je morala čitalnica iz prostorov izseliti. Nova kavarna se med Mariborčani ni najbolj prijela, prostor je postal le "redno zbirališče po občinskih sejah trudnih občinskih očetov", zato je bila v osemdesetih letih opuščena. Prazen prostor nad gostilno in Pivnico je najelo Katoliško društvo rokodelskih pomočnikov; iz njega leta 1901 nastane Društvo katoliških mojstrov. V Pivnici je društvo za svoje potrebe takoj naredilo nov oder, lastnik Čeligi pa je novim najemnikom priskrbel še biljardno mizo, v tistih časih v mestu še sila redko komoditeto.

Med prvo svetovno vojno so prostori gostilne služili vojski za "prezetiranje rekrutov", po vojni in Maistrovem prevratu pa prostore spet zasede katoliško društvo, ki je v njih bilo že pred vojno. Potem pa 26. februarja 1924 vzame hišo v najem Katarina Maglica in že junija istega leta se morajo katoliški mojstri izseliti, le dve leti kasneje pa se lastništvo spet spremeni. Nova lastnica, Nabavljalna zadruga državnih uslužbencev, hišo podre in na istem mestu zgradi poslopje, ki je danes južni del Rotovškega trga št. 2. V njej uredijo špecerijsko in manufakturno trgovino. 



Severna hiša z nekdanjo številko 3 je bila postavljena na delu posesti Franca in Klare Aichmeier. V zemljiški knjigi iz okoli leta 1830 izvemo, da je šlo za "meščansko, zidano in z opeko krito stanovanjsko hišo", k njej pa je spadal tudi javni vodnjak. Prvi lastnik hiše je bil kresijski inženir Kajetan pl. Artner, 1. novembra leta 1832 jo je prodal sodarju Francu Gorniku. Lokacija hiše je bila na zelo živahni in prometni lokaciji in sodar Gornik je v njej uspešno opravljal svojo obrt vse do leta 1869, ko jo je prodal zakoncema Schraml. Carl in Marija Schraml nista bila obrtnika, ampak gostilničarja. Hišo sta preuredila v gostilno Pri moki, ki je konkurirala sosednji Pri mestu Gradcu. Zanimivo je, da je podobno kot prej pri sosedih tudi v tej gostilni svoje prostore našla Slovanska čitalnica.

"Najete so bile pripravne sobe pri gosp. Šramelnu, pravičnemu in poštenemu Nemcu, nakupilo se je za prve potrebe pohištvo, omislil se kinč primerne slike slovenskih in slovanskih veljakov na znanstvenem, državnem in cerkvenem polju in poslednjič s posebno pomočjo gosp. dr. Dominkuš in drugih požrtvovalnih rodoljubov tudi glasovir," se je prostorov ob dvajseti obletnici čitalnice leta 1881 spomnil profesor Janez Majciger. Da so bili prostori čitalnice res prava utrdba slov(e/a)nstva, priča tudi odlomek zapisa v Kmečkih in rokodelskih novicah: "... in glej ptujec, če te naša reč zanima, pri g. Šrameljnu stopaj krez nekoliko stopnic v prav mičen vhod in zagledaš zlati nadpis ‘Slovanska čitavnica‘. Duri odpri in sebi nasproti vidiš v prostorni sobi občno spoštovano sliko Njih veličanstva našega svitlega cesarja in okoli velikaše slovanskega rodu ..."

Se pa je v času, ko je čitalnica bivala v gostilni Pri moki, med slovenskim prebivalstvom že začelo politično ločevanje in med čitalničarji ni bilo več tistega prvotnega zagona in enotnosti. Tako so bili prostori do leta 1875 predvsem zatočišče slovenskih dijakov, ki so tja hodili prebirat slovenske časnike in revije. Njihovi nemški profesorji v gostilno, kjer je gostovala slovanska čitalnica, namreč niso zahajali.

Leta 1900 sta zakonca Schraml hišo prodala Antonu Serjancu, ki je v njej med letoma 1907 in 1908 prodajal les, premog in stavbno pohištvo, oktobra 1908 pa jo je prodal Heleni Hawlik. Njen mož Franc je imel v njej trgovino z mineralnimi vodami do leta 1913. Leto kasneje je hišo na dražbi kupila mariborska Podporna blagajna (Aushilfkassaverein) in jo takoj prodala okrajni bolniški blagajni. Ta je bila v njej vse do leta 1929, ko jo je kupila Nabavljalna zadruga državnih uslužbencev, že lastnica sosednje južne hiše. 



Zadruga je kmalu obe hiši prezidala in združila v eno, tako, kot jo poznamo še danes. Po regulaciji tega dela Rotovškega trga ja dobila stavna enotno hišno številko 2. Nabavljalna zadruga državnih uslužbencev je imela okoli leta 1930 že 7000 članov in na Rotovškem trgu 2 je za njih uredila špecerijo z moderno pekarno v kleti. Kruh in pecivo so pekli večinoma Primorci, svojim članom pa so ga dostavljali tudi na dom. V hiši je bila tudi restavracija s Cankarjevo sobo, stregla se je dobra domača hrana, v prvem nadstropju pa je bila še soba za goste. V prostoru, kjer je bilo kasneje dolga leta lutkovno gledališč, je imela zadruga skladišče, spodaj pa trgovino s tekstilom. Poleg pekarne je bilo v kleti tudi skladišče za olje in vina; tega so nabavljali v Dalmaciji. Tudi ko je bilo naše mesto okupirano, Nemci v stavni niso uvedli večjih sprememb. Le hrano se je dalo dobiti zgolj na živilske bone, zagotovo pa se tudi soba v restavraciji ni več imenovala po Ivanu Cankarju.

Po vojni je bila v hiši nekaj časa "prodajalna s prehrambnimi predmeti" Naproza. To so bili povojni časi pomanjkanja in na živilske nakaznice so delili riž, kavo ali jajčni prah, med Mariborčanimi bolj znan kot Trumanova jajca. Nekaj časa je imelo tam prostore tudi steklarstvo Kristal, svoja skladišča prehrambno podjetje Gruda, v hiši je bila tudi restavracija Dubrovnik gostinskega podjetja Majolika.

Sredi petdesetih let dvajsetega stoletja so restavracijo preuredili v menzo Rdečega križa z vhodom v Lekarniški ulici. V njej je dnevno več kot 400 otrok za zelo nizko ceno lahko dobilo tri tople obroke. Tam so se prehranjevali učenci osnovnih in dijaki srednjih šol, vajenci in "vozači" iz okoliških krajev, otroci zaposlenih mater in tisti, ki so v mestu bivali le med tednom za časa šolanja. Socialno najbolj ogroženim otrokom so obroke v celoti krili Socialno skrbstvo, Društvo prijateljev mladine in Rdeči križ. Ureditev, ki je vredna posnemanja tudi danes.

Tekst zbrala in uredila: Eva Mataln 

Prevod: Maja Miklavc & Miha Odar

Fotografije: Igor Unuk

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