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MARIBOR, SLOVENIA

Like every places in Slovenia I travelled to Maribor from Ljubljana because I establish there my place to sleep, because every cities were close and so I don’t have to be worried about my backpack or anything. So I’m so sorry but I can’t recommend you any place to sleep in other cities in Slovenia except in Ljubljana.














Maribor is a city in Slovenia and the seat of the Maribor urban municipality. With a population of 108,000 as of 2002, it is the second-largest city in the country. Maribor lies on the river Drava at the meeting point of the Pohorje mountain, the Drava Valley, the Drava Plain, and the Kozjak and Slovenske gorice hill ranges. It is the center of the Slovenian region of Lower Styria and its largest city. The nearest larger urban center is Graz in Austria which is about 50 km (30 miles) away. Maribor's coat of arms features a white pigeon flying downwards above a white castle with two towers and a portcullis on a red shield.















In 1164 a castle known as the Marchburch (Middle High German for "March Castle") was documented in the Styria. Maribor was first mentioned as a market near the castle in 1204, and received town privileges in 1254. It began to grow rapidly after the victory of Rudolf I of Habsburg over Otakar II of Bohemia in 1278. Maribor withstood sieges by the Ottoman Empire in 1532 and 1683, and the city remained under the control of the Habsburg Monarchy for centuries.

Maribor, previously in the Catholic Diocese of Graz-Seckau, became part of the Diocese of Lavant on 1 June 1859, and the seat of its Prince-Bishop. The name of the diocese was changed to the Diocese of Maribor on March 5, 1962. It was elevated to an archdiocese by Pope Benedict XVI on April 7, 2006.

















Before World War I, the city had a population of 80% Germans and 20% Slovenes, and most of the city's capital and public life was in German hands. According to the last Austro-Hungarian census in 1910, Maribor and the suburbs Studenci (Brunndorf), Pobrežje (Pobersch), Tezno (Thesen), Radvanje (Rothwein), Krčevina (Kartschowin), and Košaki (Leitersberg) were composed of 31,995 Germans and 6,151 Slovenes. The wider surrounding area was populated almost exclusively by Slovenes, although many Germans lived in smaller towns like Ptuj.














During World War I, many Slovenes in Carinthia and Styria were detained for allegedly being enemies of the state, which led to further conflicts between German Austrians and Slovenes. After the collapse of Austria-Hungary, Maribor was claimed by both the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and German Austria. On November 1, 1918, a meeting was held by Colonel Anton Holik in Melje's barracks, where it was determined the city would be part of German Austria. Major Rudolf Maister, who was present at the meeting, renounced the decision. He was awarded the rank of General[1] by the National Council for (Slovenian) Styria on the same day and organized Slovenian military units in Maribor to successfully take control of the city. All German soldiers and officers were demobilized and sent home in Austria. The city council held a secret meeting where a decision was taken to do whatever possible to gain Maribor for German Austria. They organized a military unit, the so-called Green Guard (Schutzwehr). The approximately 400 well-armed soldiers of this unit threatened Maister, leading the Slovenian troops to disarm them in the early morning of November 23. Thereafter there was no real threat to the authority of Maister in the city.

On 27 January 1919, a firefight broke out between Germans awaiting the American peace delegation at the city's marketplace and Slovenian troops under the command of Maister. Nine people were killed and more than eighteen were seriously wounded; who was responsible for the shooting has not been conclusively established. German sources accused Maister's troops of shooting without cause, while Slovene witnesses, such as Dr. Maks Pohar, testified that the Germans attacked Slovenian soldiers guarding city hall.

Since Maribor was firmly in the hands of the Slovenian forces and encircled with completely Slovenian territory, it was recognized as part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes without a plebiscite.

After World War I, many of Maribor's Germans emigrated to Austria, especially officials who did not originate from the region. German schools, clubs, and organisations were closed in the new state of Yugoslavia, although Germans made up more than 25% of the city's population in the 1930s. A policy of cultural assimilation was pursued in Yugoslavia against the German minority in response to the Germanization policy of Austria against its Slovene minority. However, in the 1930s this policy was abandoned and German minority's position improved significantly.


November 2006

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