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Jewish Quarter


In the Middle Ages, Maribor was home to the largest Jewish community in the Slovenian territory and the cultural and economic centre for the Jews of Inner Austria. Jews first arrived to Maribor in the 13th century. They settled mainly in the southeastern corner of the city—the Jewish Quarter. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Jewish Quarter reached its highest population, and Maribor’s Jewish community blossomed with over 300 members. In the centre of the Jewish Quarter was the Jewish Street with the synagogue. Maribor Synagogue is one of the oldest preserved synagogues in Europe and one of the only two in Slovenia. Under the synagogue was a mikveh, a ritual bathing pool, which could be accessed through the Jewish Gate.

The Jewish Tower was part of Maribor’s Jewish Quarter and stands very close to the former Synagogue. The tower is located at the juncture of the southern and the eastern city wall. It marked the starting point of the newer renaissance defences that extended to the Water Tower. Nowadays, the Jewish Tower serves as an exhibition space.

The general economic crisis in the 15th century, accompanied by a spiritual and social crisis, didn’t leave Slovenian grounds untouched. The competition between Jewish and Christian merchants became tougher, and Hungarian and Ottoman invasions more frequent. The situation in Styria deteriorated in the second half of the 15th century, and Jews were forced to leave Maribor.



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