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Maribor is the second largest city in the country. It is, as well, the seat of Municipality of Maribor. Maribor lies on the river Drava and it is the center of the Slovenian region of Lower Styria and its largest city. It was named as an Alpine city in 2000 and chosen as European Capital of Culture in 2012.

The area of Maribor is 147.5 square kilometers. The population is up to 120,000 with the density 763.7 inhabitants per square kilometer. The metropolitan area has the population of 210,000. The city of Maribor has 12 districst, but the whole Municipality of Maribor includes six other parts.

Maribor was mentioned for the first time as a market near the Marchburch castle in 1204. It received town privileges in 1254. The city remained under the control of the Habsburg Monarchy until 1918. Before the First World War the city had a population that was 80% Austrian Germans and 20% Slovenes. These two groups became enemies during the war and after the collapse of Austria-Hungary; Maribor was claimed by the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and by German Austria. This was the stimulus for following armed conflicts between both sides. Finally, Slovenes won over Austria Germans and Maribor became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Most of the Austria Germans left the country.

In 1941, Lower Styria was annexed by Nazi Germany and mass expulsions of Slovenes to the Independent State of Croatia, Serbia, and later to the concentration and work camps in Germany began. The Nazi goal was to re-Germanize the population of Lower Styria after the war. This led to organized partisans resistance. The city was systematically bombed by the Allies in the closing years of World War II. The remaining German-speaking population, was expelled following the end of the war in 1945.

After Slovenia gained independence from Yugoslavia, Maribor’s economy which was based on heavy industry suffered a lot. The situation has improved since the mid-1990s with the development of small and medium sized businesses and industry. Nowadays, Maribor has already overcome the industry crises.

Maribor was previously part of catholic dioceses. The Diocese of Maribor was established on 5 March 1962. It was elevated to an archdiocese by Pope Bededict XVI on 7 April 2006.

Maribor is hometown of NK Maribor, Slovenian football team. Every January on the slopes, of the Pohorje mountain range situated on the outskirts of the city women's slalom and giant slalom races for the Alpine Skiing World Cup known as Zlata lisica (The Golden Fox) takes place. Every June, the two-week Festival Lent (named after the waterfront district called Lent) is held, with hundreds of musical, theatrical and other events.

There are several places that are popular with tourists in Maribor. Maribor Cathedral, built in Gothic style, the Maribor Town Hall, constructed in Renaissance style or castle that dates back to the 15th century. The city is also home to the University of Maribor. There has always been a significant Jewish community in Maribor. Its synagogue is one of the oldest preserved synagogues in Europe, and one of two only left in Slovenia. The oldest grapevine in the world, Stara trta, is more than 400 years old and it comes from Maribor.

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