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Today, the pond and its surroundings provide a piece of unspoiled nature in a bustling city. The area is known for its diverse range of amphibians and dragonflies. Its trails also provide a haven for people in search of peace and quiet. In the winter, the pond becomes a skating rink for local families. Foto: BoBo

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An Industrialist’s Pond

Slovenia Revealed
1. January 2018 ob 06:43
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

The Koseze Pond in the Ljubljana neighborhood of the same name was the unintended result of an industrial project. Today, it offers the people of Ljubljana a respite from busy city life – but it also serves as a reminder of the man who created it.

The peaceful neighborhood was once the hub of industrial activity. The marshes surrounding a local stream provided a seemingly endless supply of clay, and several brickworks were built in the area. Then, in the 19th century, a German-born industrialist with Swedish roots named Gustav Tönnies built a new brickmaking plant – one of the first modern industrial facilities in the Slovenian Lands. The high capacity of the brickworks enabled Tönnies to sell his products throughout Europe.

The plant changed hands several times after Tönnies’ death; it was ultimately nationalized by the Communists after World War II. The factory was put to other uses, while a large clay pit was filled in with water, which led to the creation of the Koseze Pond.

Today, the pond and its surroundings provide a piece of unspoiled nature in a bustling city. The area is known for its diverse range of amphibians and dragonflies. Its trails also provide a haven for people in search of peace and quiet. In the winter, the pond becomes a skating rink for local families.

In 2017, an area around the pond was declared the Tönnies Memorial Park. Along with the nearby Tönnies Villa, it serves as a reminder of Ljubljana’s cosmopolitan industrialist, now largely forgotten in the city his bricks helped to build.

Jaka Bartolj
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