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Characteristics of Maribor

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Name - Maribor

The city of Maribor was named at the time of national awakening. It was first written down in a letter to Ljudevit Gaj by Stanko Vraz in 1836. Vraz modified its German name, Marburg; it was composed of the base Mar, which means zeal, diligence, and the suffix bor (derivative of the german word “burg”), which means fight. When creating the name, he followed the Germans who derived Brandenburg from Branibor. In later years, the name was increasingly used, but the struggle for its enforcement lasted 25 years due to resistance among the Slovenes. The name was finally enforced in 1861 when the then state deputy, politician and poet, Lovro Toman, issued a poem titled Mar i Bor, attributing a meaning to the name. Mar i bor has become the Slovenian slogan of the city. It indicates in Slovene, that we care and fight for the city.

About Marbor

Maribor is the centre of Styria, the seat of the Drava Region and the second largest city in Slovenia. It is an important university town as well as the economic, financial, cultural, commercial and tourist centre of the north-eastern Slovenia. By the 18th century, Maribor was not so large and important. It gained real momentum in the second half of the 19th century when it developed into an economically dynamic city. Until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Maribor was in the shadow of Graz, capital of the Duchy of Styria. After 1861, in the constitutional era, Maribor became the political, economic and cultural centre of the Slovenes in Styria. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the city additionally flourished in the new country, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia). Many cultural and educational institutions and industries were placed there. Maribor was severely marked by World War II, as the city was largely demolished. A strong industry developed together with the reconstruction of the city. It grew up until Slovenia’s independence when Maribor lost the significant Yugoslav market, while other industries did not develop so intensely. Maribor therefore faced massive unemployment and a wave of emigration. In recent years, the economic situation somehow restored and improved.

Maribor was the European Capital of Culture in 2012 and the European Youth Capital in 2013.


Maribor lies at 274.7 m above sea level and has a very favourable position at the crossroads of major European routes. It is situated along the Drava River, between the Pohorje Mountains, Kozjak Hills and Slovenske Gorice Hills, between the Drava Valley and Drava Plain.

Holiday of the Maribor Municipality

The holiday of the Maribor Municipality is celebrated on 20 October. On this day in 1164, Maribor was first mentioned in a written document.

Commemorative days:

  • 29 April – in 1941 the first armed action was carried out by Maribor patriots in Volkmerjev Prehod;
  • 23 May – in 1991 the Yugoslav People’s Army surrounded the training centre 710 of the Slovenian Territorial Defence in Pekre (Pekre Events);
  • 4 September – in 1859 Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek transferred the seat of the diocese to Maribor;
  • 23 November – in 1918 General Rudolf Maister liberated Maribor.


Historical attractions, culture and arts

  • Lent, the oldest part of the city, with its famous towers and remains of the wall;
  • Slomškov Trg Square with the cathedral and a viewing tower;
  • Glavni Trg Square with the Town Hall, Plague Memorial and St Aloysius Church;
  • Grajski Trg Square with Maribor Castle, the Regional Museum and St Florian Column;
  • Židovski trg Square with the synagogue;
  • theaters, museums, galleries and exhibition venues. 

A little bit different Maribor - city adventures