In addition to the main Church, the Castle  is Maribor's chief architecturral monument. It was built in 1478 by Emperor Friedrich III, in the northeastern part of town, in order to fortify the corner of the town wall. After the Turkish seige of Maribor in 1532, they erected in the place of the corner tower a brick building (bastille) under the supervision of the celebrated fortifications master-builder Domenico dell' Allio (1556-1562). Later, the Castle was inhabited by a rich nobleman. In 1655 a Laurentine chapel was added at the south side of the Castle. This addition made the facade more dynamic. In 1661 a triangular front was added. The owners, the Counts Khisli, added land to the Castle. The coffee house Astoria and movie theatre Partizan were once the Castle outhouses and the Castle courtyard. In the eighteenth century, the new Castle owners, the Counts Brandis, rebuilt its western side. From 1741-1750 on, they added the grand staircase, which was richly adorned with sculptures. In this way the entire building took on a Rococo ambience. Above the Castle entrance stands the coat of arms of the noble families Brandis and Trauttmannsdorf. The focal point of the Castle is the Festival Hall (usually named The Knights' Hall, though the name is anachronistic), with its lavish interior design. It was furnished by the artists from the Quadri family and by Lorenz Laurigo. At the top of the oval ceiling there is an imposing painting of the mounted battle between the Christian and the Turkish armies. It was painted in 1763 by the Graz artist J.M. Gebler. In the nineteenth century, the Castle began to lose its original design. Its three steeples were removed. The one that was left is adjacent to the chapel. At its southeastern comer, its stone "Castle Gate" was removed. In 1871, when they were erecting a secondary school building (the present-day secondary humanistic school in Trg generala Maistra), they built Grajska ulica through the Castle courtyard. In 1933 the building that was falling into disrepair was bought by the town of Maribor; during 1937-1941, the building was renovated; in 1938 Pokrajinski muzej (the Regional Museum) took it over, and it has remained here until the present day. Several dignitaries had visited the Castle, or stayed there for short periods of time, among them the Emperors Leopold I and Karel VI, the Empress Maria Theresia; the Russian heir to the throne Tsar Pavel I, and Pope Pius VI. In 1846, the great pianist Franz Liszt gave a concert in Festival Hall. In 1941 Adolf Hitler spoke here, advocating ethnocide: " Make me this country German again!". The western wall of the administrative section of the Museum bears an oval memorial plaque to Professor Franjo Bas (1899-1967), founder of the present-day Museum and for many years its innovative director.
At the northwestern corner of the Castle complex stands the statue of Josip Jurcic (1844-1881). a Slovene novelist who edited the political paper "Slovenski narod" ("Slovene Nation") in Maribor. The statue is the work of the sculptor Lojze Kogovsek.
To the south the Castle opens into Grajski
trg (Castle Square), which narrows sharply as it leads into Vetrinjska
ulica. Opposite the Castle Florian's
Monument is situated. Almost after a century (1970) it again occupies
its former position, where once the town well stood. The location of the
monument adds to the balance and symmetry of the entire Square. The Orel
Hotel ("The Eagle') is a favourite local eating and drinking place.
In earlier times, it was the inn Pri crnem orlu ("At the Black Eagle")
and was much frequented by wagon drivers passing through town. The present
facade of the Orel Hotel, as it faces the Square and Slovenska ulica, dates
back to 1929.