Maribor Photo GalleryMaribor (Slovene) PHOTO & WALLPAPERS
Maribor (German Marburg (For other uses, please see Marburg (disambiguation)); population 114,000) is the second largest city of Slovenia. It lies on the river Drave (Drava) at the meeting point of the Pohorje mountain, the Drava valley, the Drava plain and the Kozjansko and Slovenske gorice hill ranges. It is the largest city and the center of the Slovenian region of Styria. The city's coat of arms features a white pigeon flying downwards above a white castle with two towers and a portcullis on a red shield.
The city was first mentioned in the 13th century. Maribor was twice besieged by Turkish invaders, but the city remained under Habsburg control until the end of World War I, when Rudolf Maister organized a military operation which secured the city and the surrounding area for the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Before the war the city was populated by roughy equal numbers of Germans and Slovenians, but most of the city's capital and public life was in German hands. The surrounding area was populated almost exclusively by Slovenians, although many Germans lived in smaller towns like Ptuj. After the war, many Germans emigrated to Austria, but in the 1930s they still represented more than 25% of the population. In the late 1930s, German pro-nazi organizations were active in the city.
In 1941 the whole Yugoslav part of Styria was annexed by the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler visited the city and made a speech on the town house balcony, commanding his followers to "make this land German again". He was welcomed by a large mass of people, applauding his speech. The city, a major industrial center with extensive armaments industry, was systematically bombed by the Allies during the World War II.
After liberation in 1945, the city capitalized on its proximity to Austria as well as skilled workforce, and developed into a major transit, industrial and cultural center of Eastern Slovenia. After Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991, the loss of the Yugoslav market severely strained the city's economy which was based on heavy industry, resulting in record levels of unemployment of almost 25%. The situation has since improved since the mid 1990s with the development of small and medium sized businesses and industry.
Maribor hosts a university, established in 1976.
It's also home to the oldest vine tree in the world called Stara trta that is more than 400 years old.
The city also has a small international airport with scheduled flights to some European destinations.
Every January, the skiing centre of Mariborsko Pohorje, situated on the outskirts of the city on the slopes of mount Pohorje, hosts women's slalom and giant slalom races for Alpine Skiing World Cup known as Zlata lisica (The Golden Fox).
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