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Maribor Castle


Maribor castle was built in the second half of the 15th century to protect the city from the Ottoman invasions. Today, it houses the Maribor Regional Museum,  collects, protects, preserves, explores, and promotes movable cultural heritage significant for the wide Maribor region from the aspects of archaeology, ethnology and cultural history.

It is said that Maribor had a castle within the city walls as early as the 12th century; it was mentioned in written records in 1145 as Hus ze Marchburch. Hus means a house or a castle, and Mar or March means borderland or mark. This castle is believed to have been located near the southwestern corner of the city next to the Carinthian gate. In time, it grew so dilapidated that nobody lived there anymore. Only the cellar and the granary were still in use. The castle most was likely used as the seat of regional lords, while the castle on top of Piramida served as a regional fortress.

Hungarian and Ottoman attacks in the 15th century called for stronger fortification, so Emperor Frederick III. built a new castle between 1478 and1483.

This new castle was meant to strengthen the northeastern part of the city walls. The bastion erected in the corner served as a means of defence together with the city moat.

In the following centuries, the castle was extended and modernized several times. The first significant changes date back to 1620 when the new owners began to convert the building to a residential castle. Further changes followed and turned the castle into what it is today: an elegant feudal residence that bears the mark of different art periods and architectural styles.

However, the changes also resulted in a major loss. The castle used to be much larger than it is today. When the Grajska ulica street cut the complex in half in 1871, Maribor castle lost its main and largest courtyard. Today, the castle houses the Maribor Regional Museum.

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