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Plague Column


In 1681, the residents of Maribor erected the Plague Column on Glavni trg square to mark the end of the plague that had killed about one third of the city’s population. On top of the column is a statue of Virgin Mary, with a crown of twelve stars. She is surrounded by six other saints to whom the townspeople used to pray for help. The version you can see today was made in the 18th century by Jožef Straub and replaced the earlier depiction of Mary. The monument is considered to be one of Straub’s best works and an excellent example of Slovenian baroque—the composition is lively, the figures expressive, their gestures emotional, almost as if they were frozen in a moment.

The monument standing on Glavni trg today is a copy. The original had to be removed because it was getting too damaged by the sun, cold, and other weather phenomena. You can see the original statue of the Virgin Mary in the Maribor Regional Museum. The rest of the statues are kept by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.

The Plague Column is considered very important culturally and historically, not least because it was one of the few public monuments that weren’t harmed during, or after, the Second World War.

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