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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrMaribor, the second largest city in Slovenia, is pleasantly small and set in the wonderful, natural surroundings of Pohorje on one side, and wine growing hills on the other, with the Drava River wending its way through. During midwinter; the city is host to the Golden Fox Women’s Ski Championship, in summer; the Lent riverside is taken over by musicians and street performers, and in autumn; the surrounding vineyards celebrate their harvest.
One of the most exciting, contemporary developments is Pekarna, an alternative cultural center in a former military bakery and storage facility. Now publicly owned, but still independently operated, Pekarna comprises of several clubs, a large secondhand bookshop, a hostel, and Gustaf Hall, which host philosophical discussions and around 150 music performances a year.
Pedestrianized central streets buzz with cafés and student life as well as the riverside Lent district all host a major summer arts festival. The Old Town, with well-preserved clusters of colored Baroque façades and steep terracotta tile roofs, is definitely worth exploring. The pride of the city is a plant – the oldest vine in the world according to the Guinness World Records, which has been producing grapes for 450 years. The plant, along with a small museum and wine bar, can be found here.
There are numerous small parks dotted around the city, giving it an open and spacious feel. The main city park with its ponds, swans and ducks is a tranquil and beautiful oasis of serenity in Maribor.
If you’re up for an evening out, there are many bars to choose from. Several wine roads start in the outskirts of Maribor, providing visitors with excellent opportunities for wine tasting and discovering Slovenia's countryside heritage.
The city is also a popular winter destination. Ski terrains of Mariborsko Pohorje start on the verge of Maribor. With 50 miles of slopes, 22 miles of cross-country runs and 20 ski lifts, this is Slovenia’s largest ski area. There are also a number of excellent spa and wellness centers in the region.
Maribor CastleBuilt between 1478 and 1483 by Emperor Frederik III, Maribor Castle is one of the city's most important landmarks. The castle's highlights include an elaborate Baroque stairway and the Knight's Hall, which is the castle's main room that features a ceiling painted by Jozef Gebler. The Regional Museum Maribor is located within the castle.
Regional Museum MariborInside the 15th century Maribor Castle you will find the Regional Museum Maribor where you can explore its ethnological and archaeological collections. The museum does a wonderful job of explaining local history and culture. It exhibits traditional costumes, gemstones, apothecary and religious artifacts.
Grajski TrgThe Grajski Trg is graced with the 17th century Column of St Florian, dedicated to the patron saint of firefighters and home to Maribor's 15th century castle, maintains its reputation as the most happening place in the entire city. The square offers numerous cafés and restaurants and is the perfect place to indulge in a spot of people-watching.
Glavni TrgThe main landmark of Maribor Main Square (Glavni Trg) is the Town Hall, which was built in 1515 and got its present look in 1565. It is marked by a Venetian-Renaissance front with a typical balcony and a coat of arms in the year 1565. The building also hosts the Maribor Art Gallery. On the south side of the Main square is the former Jesuit complex, which was transformed into a military warehouse after the Jesuit Order was abolished. In the center of the Main Square is the Plague Column, commemorating all the Maribor inhabitants that died as a result of the plague.
Cathedral of St John the BaptistThe Maribor Cathedral, built in the 12th century, is located on Slomškov trg square. The cathedral was originally constructed in Romanesques style and gained its Ghotic appearance in the 14th and 15th centuries. The remains of Anton Martin Slomšek, the first Slovenian saint, are buried in the Chapel of the Cross. Make sure you climb the 187 feet high cathedral's bell tower, the panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside are amazing.
LentLent is the oldest part of town with many restaurants, wine bars and coffeehouses overlooking the water. Lent is also home to the oldest wine grape vine in the world. Today, the main landmark of Lent is the Judiciary Tower, which was built in 1310. Opposite the Judiciary Tower are the Synagogue and the Jewish Tower, which hosts one of the best photography galleries in the country.
The biggest open-air festival in the region is undoubtedly the excellent annual Lent Festival held in late June - early July, when the riverside Lent quarter is taken over by musicians, ballet dancers and street performers from all over the world. All major venues are in easy walking distance of each other and if you do get tired you can always stop at one of the pleasant cafes.
Water TowerThe beautifully restored Water Tower, located at the eastern part of Lent, was originally built in 1555 to monitor the level of the river Drava. The picturesque Renaissance tower with witch's hat red-tiled roof has been converted in to a wine cellar where a variety of Slovene wines can be sampled and purchased.
National Liberation MuseumThe National Liberation Museum is located in the city center, on the corner of Mladinska ulica and Ulica Heroja Tomšiča. The tiny but interesting museum is housed in a 19th century mansion and boast an excellent display covering the complex of Maribor region during the World War II.
Maribor Art GalleryThe Maribor Art Gallery, located southwest of Slomškov trg square, is one of the main institutions for modern and contemporary art in Slovenia. The gallery houses an interesting collection of more than 3,000 modern art works by Slovenian artists; from paintings, sculptures to video art and interactive art projects.
Piramida HillFor stunning views over the city and the surrounding Mariborsko Pohorje mountains climb the 1,266 feet high Priramida Hill, located just north of the city. You can reach the top of the hill using well maintained path from the Maribor city park. On the top you will find an interesting tiny white chapel.
Bentava MansionThe Bentava Mansion, located on the southern outskirt of the city, was originally built in the Renaissance style. After a fire in the late 17th century, it was restored in Baroque style. Explore the permanent exhibition named Bentava historia Lavantina and learn all about the history of the city's Catholic diocese. The west wing boast a chapel dedicated to the Holly Cross, while other notable displays include a carved staircase leading to the main hall and a late-baroque ceiling frescoes painted by an unknown artist.
Mariborsko PohorjeThe Mariborsko Pohorje consist of petty forested terrain rather than dramatic mountainous scenery. It is in easy reach of the city and has plenty of activities on offer in winter and summer; from skiing and hiking to horse riding, paragliding, summer sledging and mountain biking. With its location on the edge of the city, Mariborsko Pohorje also makes a pleasant base if you love skiing or hiking as it is still easy to get into the city by bus or taxi.
Food & DrinkMaribor is packed with a diverse choice of restaurants offering a delicious variety of international cuisine, as well as many traditional Slovene dishes. Local specialties include mushroom soup with buckwheat mush, tripe, sour soup, sausages with sauerkraut and cheese dumplings. Wash it all down with a pint of locally brewed Union or Laško.
If you are a wine lower visit the city during fall. The grape harvest concludes with the blessing of the season's young wine on St.Martin's Day in early November. Make sure you visit the Old Wine House, site of the world's oldest wine and exhibition about wine culture.
For those willing to travel beyond the center of town, there are quite a few good family-run places to be found scattered throughout the surrounding countryside, which not only serve up tasty traditional cuisine and local wine, but also provide a memorable experience. When you are in Maribor, satisfying your sweet tooth with 'prekmurska gibanica' is a must.
ShoppingIn general, souvenir shops are of the specialist variety, with dedicated stores for wine, honey, chocolate, and ceramics among others, and there are also some great outdoor markets that are worth visiting, even if you're not interested in actually buying anything. The liveliest market is Mestna Tržnica, located at Vodnikov trg square, offering fresh fruit, vegetables, farmer produce from the countryside and handcrafts. Just across the river from the city center, Europark is the region's largest shopping center with over 120 shops.
Getting AroundThe best way of getting around the city, and the old town is on foot. The city and its surroundings are well served by local buses. They depart from the stands south of the train station. Bicycles are also a good way to get around the Maribor, and can be hired from the tourist office located on Partizanska cesta.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Apr 11, 2015