Top Historic Sights in Maribor, Slovenia

Explore the historic highlights of Maribor

Maribor Cathedral

First built in 1248 as a Romanesque basilica with a nave and two aisles, the cathedral gained its current appearance in the 15th century as a Gothic structure, though the Baroque chapels date from the 16th and 18th centuries. Inside, one is treated to the sight of a lavishly adorned altar, which lights up the place all on its own. The 57 metre high classicist designed bell tower dates back to the end of the 18th century ...
Founded: 1248 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Basilica of Our Mother of Mercy

Originally a monastery dating from the 12th century, the red-bricked cathedral dedicated to St Mary Mother of Mercy was built in its place with a two-towered, three nave basilica between 1892 and 1900, according to a design by Viennese architect Richard Jordan. However, the old monastery was constructed in rather more heroic circumstances with local woman carrying the bricks for its construction all the way from nearby Me ...
Founded: 1892-1900 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Maribor Castle

Maribor castle, which boasts several constructional and style periods, was built by Emperor Friderik III between the years 1478 and 1483 for the purpose of fortifying the north eastern part of the town wall. The castle was in the course of time changed into a rich feudal residence. The main room in the castle is the Festive Hall. The hall has rich interior furnishings with pictures of the artistic Quadri family and Laure ...
Founded: 1478-1483 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Water Tower

The Maribor Water Tower is a late-Renaissance tower dating from 1555. It is of pentagonal form and consists of massive stone blocks interspersed with embrasures. It was built to secure the southeast part of the Maribor city walls from the direction of the river. At present, the Water Tower houses a wine shop which specializes in top-quality Slovenian wines. It is Slovenia"s oldest wine cellar, and is situated in wha ...
Founded: 1555 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Judgement Tower

The Judgement Tower is a fortified medieval tower in Maribor. An original tower built on the site in the early 14th century secured the southwestern corner of the city walls. It was completely rebuilt in 1540, with the addition of a conical roof which burned down in the 17th century. The tower has seen several additions; the renaissance structure extends to the tops of the second-floor windows, and is followed an early 1 ...
Founded: 1540 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Betnava Mansion

Betnava estate was first mentioned in 1319, under the name Wintenaw. By the 16th century, it had grown into a fortified and moated renaissance manor. It passed through the hands of numerous owners, including the noble families of Herberstein, Khiessl, Auersperg, Ursini-Rosenberg, Szekely, Brandis in von der Dur. During their tenure, the counts Herberstein transformed it into a Protestant way-station, complete with chapel ...
Founded: 1784 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.