The second largest city in Slovenia, Maribor proudly hosted the European Capital of Culture last year. Maribor sits on the Drava River in the heart of the Slovenian wine growing region. And as you’d expect there are plenty of galleries and museums and an impressive Old Town. Explore Maribor Castle and of the local wine.
Maribor Castle and Castle Square
Many tourists visit Maribor Castle, which is located in the beautiful castle square. With its unique architectural style, it is a small city within itself. Inside the period decorated castle, the Regional Museum of Maribor is full of artifacts from the ancient city. Construction began in 1478, and it took approximately five years to construct this castle. It was built by Emperor Friderik III. While it was originally build to help revitalize the town’s eastern side, it was later turned into a mediaeval residence. Each section of the castle has stunning décor. From the oval ceiling with the painting of the Christian and Turkish battle, to the Festive Hall with its rich décor, this castle has always been a favourite with those visiting this city. The square was named after the castle and remains the most happening place in the entire city. With beautiful buildings, hotels a bakery and a mill, this is a very active part of the city and a must-see in Maribor.
The Old Vine-Stara
The locals are proud of holding the title to the oldest vine in the world. Planted on the rivers banks of the Drava, this vine has flourished through two world wars and various other revolutions. Planted more than 400 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2004 when Genius got word of the ancient vine and dubbed it the oldest vine ever. Located on Vojasniska Street, the town had great concern because the house that held the vine was deteriorating. After a major revitalization effort, the home has been restored to a museum. Now called the Old Vine House Museum, inside visitors can see the historic roots to wine harvesting in the area.
In the Western part of the old town is one of the most quaint areas of this Slovenian town, the Slomškov Square. Some come here to see the beautiful Maribor Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century. This stunning gothic building is dedicated to the follower of Christ, John the Baptist. Today, the square holds a statue dedicated to Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek. Beside this is a lovely pool that sits between this statue and also the smaller Korlek statue. Other famous buildings in the area include the ornate University of Maribor and the Maribor Post Office. Theatre lovers also come to see the Slovene National Theatre. There is a great deal of unique architectural buildings here and this square draws many tourists.
As one of the oldest synagogues in Europe, this church is no longer being used as a church, but rather a museum for the town. Built in the 14th century, this building is set along the original town walls. Though the building has been used as many things throughout history, in 1501 it was turned into a Catholic church. Used as a catholic church until 1811, the building was sold and split into apartment buildings at this time. Though it was used as an apartment complex well into the 1980’s it was purchased by the government and turned into a gallery. Later, the building was finally remodelled and is now used as the town’s historical museum. Those who are interested in the Jewish community of Maribor can find interesting artifacts, as well as historical information.
This area of the city holds the open marketplace where many people come to buy, sell and trade. The Plague Memorial is proudly displayed here, as well as the Maribor Town Hall, which was built in 1515. The area was once used as the home for Maribor Slovenia’s merchants, but currently is just used as the legal hub and the marketplace. The Main Square will host various special events this year to mark Maribor as the European Youth Capital 2013.
Judgment Tower, Sodni Stolp
Built in the 14th century, this medieval tower is known for its completely round shape. It was rebuilt in 1540 and then burnt during the 17th century. Despite its many remodels and reconstructions, the unique structure is highly visible with its unique shape and architecture. It is one of the few structures left that contain the original city walls within. In 1937 the tower burnt to the ground again, while the lot sat vacant for some time, it was around 1950 when the town rebuilt the structure so widely popular with the locals. The unique conical roof is one element that most find fascinating.
As a gift to Franciscans from the Perényi family, this church was constructed in 1333. The beautiful Gothic architecture and décor have always been a big hit with tourists and locals. The church served as a place to store military gear in 1556. In 1597, the Bishop of Eger stayed in this area and this church became his sanctuary. Inside, the statue of Saint Charles Borromeo can be marvelled at, as well as the resting place of Eger Benedikt Kisdy, which is under the main alter in a crypt. This historic place offers magnificent views, stunning construction and is a captivating place to visit.
Built in 1319, this house first served as residence and was named Wintenaw. It wasn’t until the 16th century that the property had grown to be the grand place that it is and it was then known as a moated renaissance mansion. The home passed through many royal families and was rebuilt in 1784 to have a more Austrian feel. The homes remodel was modelled after current fashion news coming out of Vienna. The mansion is currently owner by the archbishop of Maribor. The stunning outside décor and wonderfully elaborate paintings inside make this one of the top things to do in Maribor.