Maribor is the second biggest city in Slovenia and the capital of Slovenian Styria. It is situated beneath the green plateau of Pohorje and along the banks of Drava river. Known for its diverse cuisine, wine growing tradition and hospitable people, in recent years the city has become increasingly popular as a cultural, sports, festival and tourist centre of the region. The oldest vine in the world, more than 400 years old, mentioned also in the Guinness Book of Records, is growing in the old city centre.
Short history of Maribor
Settled already in the late Bronze and Iron Age, Maribor’s original name of Marchpurg, the Castle of the March, was first mentioned in historical sources in 12th century. In 1846 Maribor was one of the first in Europe to be part of the significant Vienna – Trieste railway line. Two great men were important for Maribor’s history: Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek, who moved the seat of the Lavantine Diocese to Maribor and general Rudolf Maister who protected the city and Slovenia’s Northern frontier after the 1st WW and successfully joined that part of Slovenia to the new state of Slovenians, Croates and Serbs.
Tour of Maribor
If you drive to Maribor by car, you will most probably enter the town crossing the Tito bridge (Titov most). I suggest you park your car somewhere close to the second roundabout (after the bridge) where you will also find Maribor main tourist office.
Continue walking down Partizanska cesta, and you will pass by the Franciscan church and the City Castle at the Castle Square (Grajski trg). Road on your left will take you to Slomškov trg with Maribor Cathedral, Slovenian National Theatre and the main University of Maribor building.
Walking further down towards the Drava river, you will walk past the Main Square (Glavni trg) with the City Hall and Plague statue, and you will end up at the Old Wine House that hosts the oldest vine in the world. Banks of Drava with numerous coffee shops offer an enjoyable walk by the river. Only a few steps away you can visit Maribor Synagogue and the Jewish Tower. Maribor Synagogue is one of the rearest synagogues in Slovenia, today a museum, but it used to be an important religious, spiritual and cultural centre of the former Maribor Jewish Community.
Capital of Culture
Maribor is hosting every year numerous important cultural events. In 2012 Maribor was named the European Capital of Culture, every year Lent summer festival is organised on Drava river banks, there is also Borštnik Theatre Festival, the Maribor Festival etc. Contemporary youth culture can be found in Udarnik, Kibla and Pekarna.
City of Sport
Maribor is known as a city for active holidays makers. Its reputation is owed especially to the annual women alpine skiing competition for World Cup, the Golden Fox event at the Pohorje slopes. Famous for alpine skiing in winter, its MTB park is known to extremest cyclists from the region, but also to the hikers and more moderate cyclists.
Local Wine and Cuisine
Wine roads, its wine cellars, local inns and tourist farms are welcoming all visitors with local home grown and home made specialities such as pumpkin oil, bread with minced lard, home made meat products accompanied with local white wines. If you come to the region, visit one of numerous wine cellars for wine tasting.
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