Maribor is the second-largest city in Slovenia and the largest city of the traditional region of Lower Styria. It is also the seat of the City Municipality of Maribor, the seat of the Drava statistical region and the Eastern Slovenia region. Maribor is also the economic, administrative, educational, and cultural centre of eastern Slovenia.
Maribor was first mentioned as a castle in 1164, as a settlement in 1209, and as a city in 1254. Like most Slovene ethnic territory, Maribor was under Habsburg rule until 1918, when Rudolf Maister and his men secured the city for the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which then joined the Kingdom of Serbia to form the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1991 Maribor became part of independent Slovenia.
Maribor, along with the Portuguese city of Guimarães, was selected the European Capital of Culture for 2012.
|• Mayor||Saša Arsenovič|
|• Total||147.5 km (57.0 sq mi)|
|Population (July 1, 2018)|
|• Density||750/km (1,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02 (CEST)|
On the Drava River lies Maribor Island (Mariborski otok). The oldest public bath, still important and often visited place in Maribor, is located on the island.
There are two hills in Maribor: Calvary Hill and Pyramid Hill, both surrounded by vineyards. The latter dominates the northern border of the city. Ruins of the first Maribor castle from the 11th century and a chapel from the 19th century also stand there. The hill offers an easily accessible scenic overlook of Maribor and the countryside to the south over the Drava River.
The city of Maribor is divided into 11 districts (Slovene: mestne četrti) of the City Municipality of Maribor. The Drava River separates the districts of Center, Koroška Vrata, and Ivan Cankar to the north from other districts south of it. The various city districts are connected by four road bridges, a rail bridge, and a pedestrian bridge.
Maribor has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfb), bordering on oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb). Average temperatures hover around zero degrees Celsius during the winter. Summers are generally warm. Average temperatures during the city’s warmest month (July) exceed 20 degrees Celsius, which is one of the main reasons for the Maribor wine tradition. The city sees on average roughly 900 mm (35.4 in) of precipitation annually and it’s one of the sunniest Slovene cities, with an average of 266 sunny days throughout the course of the year. The most recent temperature heatwave record for August is 40.6 °C, measured at the Maribor–Tabor weather station by the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) on 8 August 2013.
Maribor Town Hall
Many historical structures stand in Maribor. Of the remains of city walls surrounding the old downtown, the most prominent are the Judgement Tower, the Water Tower, and the Jewish Tower. Maribor Cathedral was built in the Gothic style in the 13th century. Maribor Synagogue was built in the 14th century, and is the second oldest synagogue of Europe. Today it serves as a centre for cultural activities. Other prominent Medieval buildings are Maribor Castle, Betnava Castle, and the ruins of Upper Maribor Castle on Pyramid Hill. Town Hall was constructed in the Renaissance style, and the Plague Column in the Baroque style.
At the start of the 21st century, plans were made for a new modern business, residential and entertainment district, called the Drava Gate (Dravska vrata) and nicknamed the Maribor Manhattan. The project includes many new exclusive residential apartments, offices and conference halls, a green and recreational space, and other structures. It also includes a 111 m (364 ft) tall skyscraper that would be the tallest building in Slovenia. Due to lack of finances, the project has been postponed.
In 2008, the Studenci Footbridge (Studenška brv) was renovated according to the design of the Ponting company. The design was awarded that year at the 3rd International Footbridge Conference in Porto.
In 2010, Maribor organised an international architectural competition ECC Maribor 2012 – Drava 2012 to gather proposals for the design and reconstruction of the Drava banks, the construction of a new art gallery, and for a new footbridge. Its jury received about 400 proposals for the three different projects. The footbridge and the river embankments will be built in the near future, but the art gallery was replaced with a cultural center MAKS, which is currently under construction.
The construction of a new modern Faculty of Medicine started in 2011 near the Drava River. It was designed by architect Boris Podrecca and was completed in 2013.
There are plans to renovate the Maribor Public Library and Town Hall Square (Rotovški trg). In addition, the renovation of Maribor Island (Mariborski otok) in the Drava River has been planned.
Parks and other green spaces
The main park of the city is Maribor City Park, with the City Aquarium and Terrarium, and a wide promenade leading to the Three Ponds (Trije ribniki), containing over 100 local and foreign species of deciduous and coniferous trees.
The city hosts the University of Maribor, established in 1975, and many other schools.
Every June, the two-week Lent Festival (named after the waterfront district called Lent) is held, with hundreds of musical, theatrical and other events. Every year the festival attracts theatre, opera, ballet performers, classical, modern, and jazz musicians and dancers from all over the world, and of course many visitors. There is also mime, magic shows are being held and acrobats perform during the festival.
Maribor is known for wine and culinary specialities of international and Slovene cuisine (mushroom soup with buckwheat mush, tripe, sour soup, sausages with Sauerkraut, cheese dumplings, apple strudel, special cheese cake called gibanica). There are also many popular restaurants with Serbian cuisine. The Vinag Wine Cellar (Vinagova vinska klet), with the area of 20.000 m2 (215.28 sq ft) and the length of 2 km (1 mi), keeps 5,5 millions litres of wine. The house of the oldest grapevine in the world (Hiša stare trte) at Lent grows the world’s oldest grapevine, which was in 2004 recorded in Guinness World Records. The grapevine of Žametovka is about 440 years old.
The most listened radio stations transmitting from Maribor are the commercial radio stations Radio City and Radio Net FM. They are followed by the national non-commercial Radio Maribor.
The alternative scene of Maribor is situated in the Pekarna (Bakery; former squat) area next to Magdalena Park.
Every January the Maribor Pohorje Ski Resort, situated on the outskirts of the city on the slopes of the Pohorje mountain range, hosts the women’s slalom and giant slalom races for the Alpine Skiing World Cup known as Zlata lisica (The Golden Fox).
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