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Hallerstein a cultural heritage, performing arts and media new technologies project a two year project, 2008-2009

Historical background: Hallerstein (Liu Songling)

Who is Liu Songling, who is Hallerstein? Although we can state that he is the pride of Slovenians and the pride of China, 99% of the Slovenians and 99,9% of the Chinese probably never heard of him. Even fewer people are aware of the fact that these are one and the same person.

He was a man from Carniola, a Jesuit from Mengeš, and is better known in scientific circles around Europe than in his homeland or in China, where he spent 31 years as a head of the Imperial Astronomical Bureau and Board of Mathematics. In Europe he is well known all the way from London, Paris and St. Petersburg, he was a member of the respective academies of science; to Germany and Austria where he published his scientific essays, to Rome (advisers: Pater Danieluk, The Archive of the Jesuit’s Curia in Rome and Dr. Ivan Rebernik, Slovenian Embassy in the Vatican) and to Lisbon, where his correspondence has been found; and even to Budapest where translations of his letters were published as early as the end of the 18th century. In Slovenia, only lately the details of his life are becoming clearer. In recent years he has attracted the attention of Chinese historians as the creator of the most intriguing astronomic instrument at the old Beijing observatory, the spherical astrolabe, a “celestial globe”.

Augustin Ferdinand Von Hallerstein (1703- 1774) researched themselves fields of astronomy, geography and mathematics. He was a missionary and devout Jesuit, honered by the court of the Emporer of China with the title “Mandarin”. A. Hallerstein lived at the Manchurian imperial court from 1739 until 1774.