The 2000th anniversary of Emona is not the only important anniversary this year – 850 years have passed since Maribor Castle was mentioned in the records for the first time. Therefore, the capital of the Štajerska region, and at the same time the 2nd largest city in Slovenia, also has reason to celebrate. Maribor, which is located in the eastern part of the country, was established along the river Drava, in the embrace of the Pohorje woods and picturesque wine growing hills. Between 21 June and 26 July 2014, it is possible to join a free hour-and-a-half long guided tour to explore the city. To mark the anniversary of the castle Marchburch, the Municipality of Maribor – Pohorje Tourist Board has put together a number of events. Feel the city with world oldest vine, which was named European Capital of Culture 2012 two years ago!
One of the projects that has recently come to life is the new tourist route Maribor 850. The route encompasses the greatest attractions of the city and shows you Maribor as a treasury of cultural and natural beauty. This new hiking route begins by descending from the Pyramid. On this very hill stood the first castle, or castrum Marcburch, 850 years ago. The castle was built by the border counties of the Frankish state to protect the entrance to the Drava valley. Route Maribor 850 then leads through the City Park to the Municipality of Maribor and General Maister Square, who with his army disarmed the German militia in 1918 and joined Maribor to Slovenia. From there the tourist route leads to Freedom Square and the Castle square along the Maribor Castle up to the Franciscan church at Leon Štukelj Square, which with its 9,000 m2 is the biggest in Slovenia and was named after the famous Slovenian gymnast and Olympic medallist. Route Maribor 850 then turns to Slomškov Square with the Cathedral and the Office of the Rector of the University of Maribor. The route continues along the lively Poštna ulica street to Glavni Square, passing Rotovž Town Hall and along the Židovska ulica street to the synagogue and the renaissance Jewish Tower with interesting photographic exhibitions on the embankment of the Drava river. Here you will also find Lent, the site of the largest Slovenian outdoor festival and one of the largest in Europe. After visiting the Old Vine House with the world oldest vine, route 850 ends at Maribor Island, a unique river island and a popular recreational point for nature lovers.
Maribor is soon set to innovatively mark the path and print brochures which will contain interesting information about the sights along the route 850. Other guided tours are organized as well. The residents of Maribor are proud of the Maribor wine road, which leads to wine shops in the centre, so that visitors can taste different Styrian wines and get information on their producers. Visitors can also experience the tradition of rafting along the river Drava and attend a two-hour programme “V flosarski krčmi” (the Rafters` Inn), which revives old customs of flosars or rafters. Through the Prism of art in the 20th and 21st centuries you can discover a completely different Maribor. Visitors are also enthusiastic about the great new KuleBike programme, leading visitors of biking around the city and surrounding areas, combining local providers and their cuisine with organic mobility, sports, and culture. These bikes are operated by electric motors. It is also interesting for the visitors of Maribor to experience the Organic Urban Garden, which is located by the slopes of Pohorje and which helps shape the urban image of the city. Experience the colourful Maribor that combines the green hinterland of the easternmost piece of the Alps, the rugged Slovenske gorice, and the Drava plain.