An amalgam of different collections, many quite idiosyncratic. Coins, mammoth's tusks, archeological remains are rich here, including pots from the Slavic period (8th century AD) with wavy lines, Celtic grave finds with soldiers' weapons purposefully bent to desist from looters, reconstructions of ROman villas with underfloor heating and Slavic huts with no chimneys, reed roofing and sunken floors (against the wind), Turkish military banners (or rather noise raisers for intimidating the enemy), a historical pharmacy in the cellar, a Rococo palace on the upper floor where Adolf Hitler was once gratefully received.
There is a military storeroom (Graz's Zeughaus is fifty times bigger), exhibits charting city fires and plagues, the flooding of the city moats which saved the city from the Turks in 1532.
A public proclamation about a shooting and a farewell letter.
The bronze monument is the work of Slavko Tihec dating from 1975. It stands in Trg Svobode, adjacent to the castle.
In the monument there are graphical copies of public proclamations about the shootings of hostages and rebels, who during World War II were condemned to death (667 killed). There is also a farewell letter by Jože Fluks, a man who was condemned to death.
The monument is 7-8 metres high.
The castle, from 1478, rebuilt 1556 - 62, contains the Maribor Regional Museum which is said to host one of the richest collections in Slovenia. On the ground floor are archaeological and ethnographic exhibits together with beehive panels and a lot about wine. Upstairs there are exhibits on Maribor's guilds and crafts as well as Greek and Roman statues, and Jewish gravestones.
Working hours: 09.00 - 13.00, and 16.00 - 20.00 daily.
No entrance fee.S*
Glavni Trg was Maribor's marketplace in the medieval times. The Town Hall was built in here 1565 by Venetians living in the area.
On the bank of river Drava (along Usnjarska ulica), the first Slovene wine shop specialised in Slovene wines is situated in the former Water Tower, nowadays known as the Wine Museum or Wine Tower. Here can you taste up to 300 Slovenian wines!!
Opened May - Sept: M - F 15 - 21, Sat 9 - 15
Oct - April: M - F 12 - 18, Sat 10 - 16.
The renaissance pentagonal bastille dates from 1555.
In the middle of Glavni Trg can we find an extraordinary Plague Pillar, designed by Jozef Straub and erected in 1743 in remembrance of the severe plague in 1680 which had hit Maribor very hard, killing one third of the inhabitants.
The worlds absoloutely oldest producing vine is to be found in Maribor. There is evidence that it is more than 400 years old. Every year it gives from 35 to 55 kilos of grapes which gives circa 25 litres of red, nearly black wine. It is bottled on special 2 dl bottles designed for this wine, the Black Velvet (Zametna Crnina). You can not buy the wine, it is given as gifts to the more needing persons like visiting kings, presidents and Prime Ministers who could not afford the wine if they wouldn't get it for free.
I put the telefon number and e-mail address to the Tourist Information Centre further down.
The main information centre forEuropean Capital of Culture (ECOC) is located in a red and black box, a little by the side on new Leon Stukelj square. Go there if you need information on program as well as Maribor and its partners in the project. Go there also to see rotating exhibitions in a basement, some stuff there is (will be/was) the work of some of world's famous artists in their field.
'The box' also sells souvenirs related to ECOC project, the staff is helpful and tells you all you need to know about what's going on somewhere around town.
Menwhile, if I haven't yet, I suggest a reading these sites:
and especially for those who're visiting Maribor only virtually:
There are treasures to find in texts published on above site!
Few months before official beginning of European Capital of Culture project, Maribor got new urban living room in 2011 - large square devoted to legendary Olympic medal winner Leon Stukelj who was one of town's most renowned residents. It was built on former segmented squares and busy roads between Vecer, City mall and NKBM buildings, along the main pedestrian flow between bus station and city.
This now becomes traffic free zone, with several rows of trees, paved by local stone from Pohorje hills and from time to time, public shows are taking place on the open air here; it is the lights position above that make for one of most unique components of the place - with its ambiental qualities, they make for the real impression of being in a living room at dusk.
The square connects newer part of town with its ancient core, as it just extends out of former, nowsadays nonexisting city walls towards business district: at this place, and in vicinity, most banks are concentrated, and City mall was once biggest mall, yet... how predictable, only quite shortly after it was built, the Europark succeded it.
Lets see how life will evolve around the square... after all, it's just one new open space in town, that has yet to show its qualities.
It borders to city centre and it is the biggest park in Maribor - the city park, also known as park by three ponds: three small and middle sized fishponds lay at its remotest edges, below Kalvarija and Piramida hills and surrounded by forest. These (the ponds) are of newer date, built in 1981 - though the park is at least one hundred years older - its first plants were grown in 1871.
Since its establishement it has normally evolved through content and design: areas for relaxing and play and for social gatherings were added, paths were constructed and connected remote wilderness with city. It subsequently adopts sculptures, fountains, pavillions, children playground, kiosks. It serves social functions well: people come together, stroll, take dogs to walk, listen to occasional concerts in pavilion (used to be on Sundays), have sport - yoga, running, nordic walk, feed birds, come for glass of wine or tea... or for lunch in its restaurant, one of Maribor's most famous ones which hosted a rainbow of guests since its first days. Some prefer loneliness and exclusion: for them are quiet areas with bench in remote corners and pleasantly shaded, too. Go and have a book or journal with you, why not.
Students from nearby campus will gather there, sometimes in drinking sessions, sometimes, lone ones, for studying for exams and all other ones doing activites between both extremes. Highschool kids make it there mostly on weekends, on friday and saturday evenings turning into night (and well into early mornings). Pensioners prefer it on mornings, working class on afternoons. Parts of Lent festival execute workshops in summer, for free - and for local as well as foreigner. With such a diverse population in city, everyone has its favourite time to spend in park, doing what she or he likes. Why not to visit it then, to see that green heart of the city?
Another sight the guide books mention is the Maribor castle. However, it is closed for the public since it's being renovated. I suppose to clean it up for the events next year, when Maribor is the European Capital of Culture .We were not able to go inside and we couldn't visit the museum there.
In front of the castle there is a large statue, looking like a huge ball. This is a memorial dedicated to 667 people murdered by the Nazis in World War II. Their names are inscribed in the memorial. It was built by the artist Slavko Tihec.
My daughter was asked if she had seen Kojak, as this is the name it's referred to in Maribor. Kojak because it looks a bit like a the head of a bald man.I don't know if it has any official name, I suppose so.
There is another memorial , across from the train station, dedicated to the partisans of World War II.
This was my second favourite in Maribor: The beautiful city park - Mestni Park.
It is a large park with old trees, ponds with turtles and good opportunities for bird watching. We also saw squirrels running up and down the trees.
In the background there were the vineyards with the good Maribor wines. There were lots of people in the park even in November, I can imagine how busy it is in summer.
Interesting as all the main sights were, my favourite in Maribor was walking along the Drava.
There is a path on both sides of the river and it's an easy walk along the water. There are several benches and it was warm enough to sit and just enjoy the scenery. In the background we could see the mountains and the old towers of Maribor.
A word of warning if you go there with small children:
The banks were quite steep, so children need to be watched there, especially when feeding the ducks. We saw a grandmother with her grandson and she was holding him very close.
We were also surprised to see some open staircases, maybe from an old water work or something similar, or an old tunnel, which looked enough dangerous and dark to be interesting for children. I admit I would have loved to go exploring as a child. And I also admit today I would strictly forbid any child to do just that.
The guidebooks all mentioned the old towers in Maribor, but gave them different names, especially the judgemant tower and the water tower were mixed up. I think I found out which tower is which, if not, please let me know.
There are some parts left of the old defense systems from the second part of the 16th century. Close to the Drava there is the old water tower and the round judgement tower. Probably because both are right next to the river bank, the judgement tower is sometimes called the water tower.
From what I read on the sign next to the round tower, this is in fact called the judgement tower, named so because there were (witch) trials held there.
Next to the Jewish tower there is the old synagogue. I don't know if it is still
used as a synagogue , probably not as it seems there is foto gallery in it now.
The second sight all text books mention is the pestilence pillar.
After one third of the inhabitants of Maribor had died of the plague , a pestilence pillar was erected with a statue of the virgin Mary on top. The pillar we see today was made by the artist Josef Straub. It is surrounded by six saints who are praying to help people against the disease.
It reminded me of plague memorials I saw in Austria, but since this part of Slovenia was actually part of Austria once I shouldn't have been surprised.
The pillar is lit at night and actually I thought it looked even better then.
It is in the centre of the Glavni square, which is also the square where the city hall is standing. There are several other beautiful old buildings at the square, painted and decorated with ornaments.
I later read about some of these houses, what they used to be, but I haven't been able to find out exactly which building was which, so I cannot tell you anything about them.