History

The Maribor area was populated with smaller settlements in the late Bronze Age, the late Iron Age, and the Roman period. In the Roman period, two roads ran across the area from Celeia (Celje) and Poetovio (Ptuj) to Flavio Solva (Lipnica) and Carinthia. Maribor was mentioned for the first time in documents from the 12th century as Marchpurch castle (its Slovene name ÒMariborÓ came into use in 1836), in 1182 it was mentioned as the center of a provostship, and in 1189 as the seat of a parish. Maribor acquired city status before 1254 when the city walls were built to form a complete city organism and the first streets developed within the walls. The large Jewish population helped make Maribor a center of commerce and banking, and the expulsion of the Jews in 1497 was a major blow to the economic power of the city. The city was often devastated by fire, Turkish raids, and plague epidemics. In the 18th century, the Vienna - Trieste road was improved, and the increase in heavier transit traffic decisively influenced the commercial and industrial situation in the city. The railway from Vienna completed in 1846 made wider links possible with the region of the eastern Alps. In this period the medieval city wall was pulled down, and the suburbs became more closely connected with the city center. The first major investments were made by Austrian industrialists, and numerous important buildings and institutions were erected in the city.