Maribor information system

One can reach the town limits of Maribor without difficulty. Strolls through the Town Park are quite enjoyable. On its northeastern edge there is a path leading up to Piramida Hill; it can be climbed in ten minutes or so. At one time there was a castle, which gave the city its name, at the top of Piramida Hill. Now only a memorial chapel remains, built on the site of the former pyramid and constructed out of the castle's ruins. Following the promenade through the park, one comes to the restaurant Pri treh ribnikih (At the Three Ponds). The area is attractively landscaped.

Pekerska gorca From there one can stroll towards Ribnisko selo, or take a 20 minute walk to Kalvarija (Calvary Hill). At the top is the Chapel of St. Barbara, built in 1681 by Maribor citizens, to commemorate the lifting of the plague that had devastated the town a year before. Going down from Calvary Hill one passes several small, memorial chapels on the road back to the Town Park.

It is a very pleasant walk along the river bank, close to the renovated shops and restaurants. One reaches the river bank either by descending the stone staircase at the old bridge or walking through one of the many narrow little streets leading to the Drava from Glavni trg (Main Square) or Koroska cesta.

Along the river, the path winds from Lent to Mariborski otok (Maribor Island), with its swimming facilities. The road then leads up to the village of Kamnica, where the walker can set off north to St. Urban, a small village with a local church (595 m). Maribor is in the immediate vicinity of the Pohorje range. From the valley in Zgornje Radvanje there is a brisk climb of about an hour and a half to Hotel Bellevue or one can take the cable lift, a ride of some fifteen minutes. The upper station of the cable lift provides a pleasant stroll along the road or through forest paths to the lookout tower (1148 m), which affords a panoramic view of Maribor, the Drava valley, Kozjak, the Slovenske gorice vineyard hills, and the Drava Field up to Donacka gora (the Donacka Mountain) The surrounding areas have many holiday resorts (called "pocitniski dom") and mountain cottages ("koca"): Zeleznicarski dom (1046 m); Postarski dom (890 m); Planinski dom Glazuta (1080 m); Pajkov dom (1110 m); Dom Planika (890 m); Ruska koca (1250 m); Zarja (1200 m); Pocitniski dom Jelka (958 m); Dom na Peckah (720 m); Dom Milosa Zidanska (1030 m); Pocitniski dom Gradis (1000 m); and Mariborska koca (1080m). All these resorts and cottages are accessible by automobile. The Pohorje Mountain range is spanned by a number of scenic forest roads, leading to Hoce, Slovenska Bistrica, Ruse, and Podvelka. The northern Slovene arterial road runs through Maribor. Through the picturesque Drava valley, extending to Crna (89 km), the road links the city with Carinthia; to the east, with Lendava (92 km), which is almost on the Slovenian-Hungarian border. Interesting stopping off places would be the wine growing Prlekija region (Ormoz, Ljutomer, Jeruzalem, Kapela); the spas, Slatina Radenci and Banovci; and the thermal springs in Moravci, across the Mura River. In autumn, these areas offer good hunting in addition to the many other tourist attractions. Following the road to Zagreb one can also take a rewarding drive to Ptuj (25 km), which is in itself a veritable museum and, in fact, has been officially so designated. It is rich in historical and cultural treasures. It also has a spa. Going south, one heads towards Celje (61 km) and Ljubljana (136 km). After passing Slovenska Bistrica, the road through Poljcane leads to the world famous spa Rogaska Slatina (47 km).

In the immediate vicinity of Maribor there are two points of interest that perhaps are not well known even to local residents. The first is the sconce Postela. In prehistoric times there was an Illyric - and later on Celtic - settlement, surrounded by a protective rampart. The latter is well preserved to this day and shows evidence that it once enclosed a 315 m-long and 240 m-wide settlement, with enough space for 60 homes, or about 300 inhabitants. Also of much interest is a deep cistern cut into the rock ("crna mlaka", "The Black Puddle"). The contours of the former fortified settlement are most noticeable in late autumn, when the trees have shed their leaves. Immediately below Postela is Lepa ravna, a former Postela burial ground, with mound graves still visible. Postela can be reached on foot following the Slovene mountain transversal trail. Beginning at Spodnje Radvanje (take local bus number 6), at the "Monument to the Dead Hostages" the trail ascends across Postela. From Razvanje one can also drive to Postela. The road leads to the settlement Pri Habakuku; from there we can stroll to the Postela sconce.

kmetija The second place of interest is Princev vrh, or Meranovo, a country mansion in Vrhov dol 14. It can be reached on foot from Limbus (5 km from Maribor towards Ruse on the right bank of the Drava), or by car along the 3 km road going south. The mansion stands in the midst of vineyards under the northern slope of the eastern Pohorje Mountain. In 1822 it was bought by the Hapsburg Archduke Johann (Erzherzog Johann), brother of the Austrian King Franz I. Archduke Johann spent a long period of time there with his wife Ana Plochl, daughter of the postmaster. His marriage to a woman his social inferior was not taken kindly by the court. Their son Franz was given the title Meran Count (after the town Meran, in South Tyrolia); hence also the name of the estate. The Archduke Johann, who was instrumental in fostering progress in agriculture, industry, transportation, and the sciences in Styria, had planted a successful vineyard next to the mansion, thus demonstrating that grapevines can also productively grow at higher altitudes. He developed the excellent Rhenan Riesling, and was celebrated for the advance of wine-growing in these parts. Emperor Franz I, with the Empress, visited his brother at his mansion in 1830, on his way from Ljubljana. There is a plaque on the front of the mansion to commemorate the event. The mansion, situated among excellent vineyards, is now being renovated into a resort for tourists.