Maribor is Slovenia’s second city and is situated 270 meters above sea level beside the Drava River at the intersection of the Drava River Valley and the Maribor and Drava plains. The Municipality of Maribor is small and has a population of just 133,000. The city is surrounded by forests, open plains and vineyards.
There are numerous small parks dotted around the city, giving it an open and spacious feeling. The main city park with its ponds, swans and ducks is a tranqui oasis of calm in the very centre of the city. In the center of Maribor there are numerous shop, boutiques, restaurants and bars. While distinctly Slovenian, the city has a cosmopolitan atmosphere reflecting the growing number of tourists who come to visit and use the city as a base to explore the surrounding areas.
Maribor’s original castle stood on Piramid Hill and was first mentioned in 1164; but demolished in 1784. The present castle, which now houses the Regional Museum, was built between 1478 and 1780. Among the oldest buildings is the parochial church of St. John the Baptist which was built in the second half of the 12th century. as a simple Romanesque building. A special site worth seeing is the old Jewish quarter squeezed around Zidovski stolp (“Jewish Tower”) and the synagogue that was built in the 14th century. Lent, the redeveloped center of the old town which nestles along the Drava River, boasts what is probably Maribor’s greatest attraction, a vine more than four hundred years old that is reputed to be the oldest in the world.
One of most important buildings is the Renaissance City Hall or Rotovz, built in 1515; the city’s coat of arm is displayed on the balcony.
In front of City Hall stands a plague monument pillar which remembers those who perished in the devastation caused by the 1680 -1681 plague which wiped out approximately one fifth of Maribor’s population.
Numerous art galleries are dotted around the city, and the Maribor Theatre has spread Maribor’s name throughout Slovenia and overseas and. Maribor has hosted the Borstnik Festival every October, a major gathering of Slovene and foreign theatres and theatre ensembles.
Maribor has attractions in its own right but a great place to explore Slovenia and neighboring countries and Maribor is located at the intersection of five natural geographical regions:
- The hills of Slovenske gorice,
- The Kozjak mountains.
- The Drava Valley.
- The Pohorje mountain range.
- The Drava plain.
Maribor closest airport is Graz International (Austria), 40 km to the Northwest of the city. (Maribor has its own international airport with regular servicesfrom London Stansted with Ryanair, but also Graz International (Austria), 40 km Northwest of the city.
There are other air services via Ljubljana International Airport (Brnik), 100 km west of Maribor, Klagenfurt (Austria) 90 km north of Maribor and Zagreb (Croatia) 100 km Southeast of Maribor.
It has a great location for exploring not only Slovenia but other countries for example, Maribor lies just 10 miles from the Austrian border.
It is located at the juncture of roads and railways from Vienna to Trieste and Zagreb and through the Drava Valley toward Lendava, Ptuj, and Klagenfurt.