An Ionian seaside town, Avola is a mix of old and new. The town focuses heavily on the sea, with its history as a tuna fishing port. Today, the remains of the Vecchia Tonnara at the wharf are a stone backdrop to the sandy beaches. Avola dates back to a pre-Greek people called the Sicani.…
Maribor is the second most important centre and the second largest city of Slovenia. With its 115 000 inhabitants who live on the surrounded wine growing hills and Mariborsko Pohorje mountain. The city is located near the Slovenian border with Austria, beside the Drava river and it is the capital of Štajerska (slov. Styria).
I visited the city as my brother studies here. I was impressed with the student atmosphere and how the city itself is adjusted to students and their needs.
So my brother as being my guide started the tour with the city center.
The city was named after german Marburg an der Drau, which means the Fortress Mar at Drava river. The translation of the german term was given by Slovenian-Croatian poet and bearer of Ilyrianism (lyrical movement of gathering Southern Slavs) Stanko Vraz together with Croatian Ljudevit Gaj in 1836.
Maribor was first mentioned as a market near the castle in 13 century, and received town privileges. It began to grow rapidly under the Habsburg dynasty.
Maribor withstood sieges by Matthias Corvinus (hungarian – croatian king) in 15 century and by the Ottoman Empire in 16 century. Thereby it was surrounded with citywalls and towers.
Most of the todays cityscape of Maribor is constructed in 18 and 19 century in late baroque or neo-classical epoche.
Just above the city, on the Pyramida hill one can enjoy ruins of 12 century Marchburch castle. From there one can get a beautiful view on the city and Pohorje hills.
By 19 century, the city was mostly inhabited by Austrian Germans (including German-speaking Jews) and only 6,151 ethnic Slovenes. The Jew society builded beautiful vila houses which are still part of Maribor’s cityscape.
Maribor has as well the Cathedral from 12 century. The romanesque building, today in gothic style has a famous church tower from 14 century.
The city can brag with the oldest vine plant in the world. Next to the plant, there is a vine bar with traditional Slovenian food. The vine plant is about 450 years old; certified by Guinness book of records.