(Vienna, June 21, 1804 – Vienna, July 18, 1875)
Author of the Austrian imperial anthem
Austrian writer, archaeologist, historian, ethnographer and scholar Johann Gabriel Seidl was born in Vienna as the son of an attorney. He attended all schools in the Austrian capital. During his high school years (1813–1819), he developed his poetic talent under the tutelage of Anton Rössler. He studied philosophy from 1819 to 1822 and made many friends among the literary artists. In 1822, he also began studying law, but he did not graduate. It was here that he met Slovenia's greatest poet France Prešeren. After his father's death in 1823, he worked as a home tutor to support his mother and aunt.
In 1851, he was inaugurated as a full member of the Viennese Academy of Science; in 1856, he became the court treasurer; in 1867, he was appointed government councillor. He retired in 1871 and died for years later in Vienna.
He came to Celje as an accomplished writer and poet as he had been publishing his poems and novellas since the age of 16, initially in newspapers, magazines, and almanacs, and later in poetry and prose collections. Many of his successful lyric works, some specially commissioned, were set to music by the likes of Müller, Schubert and Schumann. His first poetry collection "Dichtungen" was published in three volumes (1826–28). From 1828 he published and edited the highly popular Biedermeier almanac Aurora, founded is 1824, which featured works by the greatest literary figures of the time. His work also included forays into drama, short stories, and topographic mapping of Vienna's surroundings.
In Celje, he pursued his literary efforts further. He wrote in German and occasionally in Latin; he certainly spoke Slovenian. In his "Celje period", he benefited from a perfect creative environment: a teaching position at the Gymnasium, wonderful nature, freedom of artistic creation, and an enjoyable family life with his bride "dear Theresa" and his mother. In 1853, he wrote his arguably most famous song – the lyrics for the Austrian imperial anthem, translated to Slovenian by Luka Jeran as "Cesarska pesem" – "The Imperial Song."
Notable Celje natives in Europe:
- Roman Senator Titus Varius Clemens
- Count Herman II of Celje
- Barbara of Celje, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia
- Briccius Preprost
- Tomaž Prelokar
- Janez Žiga Valentin Popovič
Notable Europeans in Celje: