The Ptuj Castle

On the last slope of Slovenske Gorice hills, which extends almost as far as the river Drava, rises a mighty fortified construction - the castle of Ptuj. A strategically remarkable position from which it was possible to control the vast surrounding flatland, was the main reason why people settled there already in antiquity. Archaeological finds prove that the first settlers established themselves on the Castle Hill in the Late Stone Age or the Early Copper Age, around 2100-1750 BC. The remains of pottery and a stone axe belonging to this period are exhibited in archaeological collections in the Ptuj Regional Museum.

The Borl Castle

The beginnings of the Borl castle can be described with a poetic expression used by historians in the 19th century, which says that the castle's origins lie "deep in the darkness of the Middle Ages". The castle lies at an important point where, during the Middle Ages and even later, various borders crossed. There are a few strategic advantages to its position: a naturally formed rock prominence on which the castle is built; the river Drava with the traffic going on which had to be controlled as well as the passage across the river.

Source: Mestna občina Ptuj

The Dominican Monastery

The first beggar's monastic order to settle in the area of Ptuj and on the territory of today's Slovenia was the order of the Dominicans. In 1230, Methildis, the widow of Friedrich III, donated to the Dominican monks some land at the western part of the town and under the Castle Hill. Only a year later, the Dominicans from the town of Breže, Carinthia, came to live in the partly established monastery. The monks were involved in economy, education, preaching, and spiritual life, and they lived there until 1785, when the monastery was suppressed at the time of Josephinian reforms. In 1926 the monastery was bought by the municipality of Ptuj, and in 1928 the Town Museum was opened there.

The Minorite Monastery Monastery, like the Dominican one, was established by the Lords of Ptuj. The church was decorated with paintings already in the first period of its construction. In the 13th century, the monastic buildings were humble and encompassed only the eastern part of the today's complex. In the following centuries, the church was not subject to significant changes. In the last quarter of the 17th century the Monastery, which was lead then by Casparus Dietl, quite a few Baroque elements were added. The Baroque façade, being the first of the kind on the territory of today's Slovenia, introduced a certain dynamism in the construction. The works were supervised by Dionis Merlino from Lugano. By 1696, the cloister and the three wings of the Monastery were renovated. The most excellent places in the Monastery are undoubtedly the Summer Refectory and the Minorite Library.

Mithras Shrines

Mithraism is a Persian religion brought to Europe by Roman soldiers. Religious rites could only be attended by men who were sworn to secrecy. The god of light SOL sent Mithra to the earth with a task to lure a white bull in a cave and sacrifice it. From its blood, a new life began.

The Statue of St Florijan

The Statue is in the middle of the Town's Square. Due to the constant threat of fires, and after the town had been seriously damaged by them, the inhabitants of Ptuj turned for help to St Florian and erected a monument to him in 1745. On the top of billowing clouds stands the saint dressed in antique military attire. A flag in his left hand flutters in the wind, and the putto at the saint's feet is pouring water from a bucket onto a church in fire. The entire Baroque composition is quite dynamic. In 1761 eight figures of saints were added to the sculpture of St Florian, and literally surrounded the central figure. The monument dominated the not-too-big market place, but in 1865, while the monument was being renovated, the eight figures were removed and the saint was mounted on a new base.

The Orpheus Monument

The Orpheus monument on the Slovene square in front of the Town's Tower is almost 5 metres high and is the biggest monument of its kind unearthed in the Roman Province of the Upper Pannonia. Erected on the site where it was discovered, the monument has generated interest since the 16th century, and has thus become a symbol of the town by the river Drava. It got the name Orpheus after mythological representations carved in relief on it. Originally a tombstone, made of Pohorje marble it, was erected in the 2nd century AD to the then town's mayor - Marcus Valerius Verus, according to the Latin inscription which is now hardly legible. The carved reliefs on the monument represent faith into new life. On top in the corners lie two lions holding rams' heads in their paws. Between the lions is the representation of Serapis, Greco-Egyptian god symbolizing a hope of rebirth.

The Town's Tower Town's Tower is the most imposing town edifice which strongly marks the townscape. In 1830, the curate from Ptuj, Simon Povoden, built in the Town's Tower all collected antiquity monuments from Ptuj and the surroundings. Thus was established one of the oldest lapidaries in the open air in Slovenia, called the Povoden Museum. The majority of monuments are built in the eastern wall and in the base of a double-shouldered staircase.

The Town Hall Town Hall is the most prominent building in Mestni Trg. It was erected in 1907 on the site of Poskočil House, named after a very rich merchant of Slovene nationality, Poskočil. The Town Hall was built on the ground-plan of the former late Gothic building and according to plans of Max Ferstel, an architect from Graz, Austria. The new Town Hall, where the administration of the Town Municipality of Ptuj is still based, dominates the entire square with its dynamic architecture.

Source: Mestna občina Ptuj

The Baroque Church in Sveta Trojica village of Sveta Trojica in Slovenske Gorice attracts visitors especially because of its Baroque church and its three imposing towers. One of the stops for pilgrims, a tiny but cosy village square is often over-crowded with visitors. A settlement below the monastery was established on the crossroads of Ptuj, Maribor and Radgona, and received market rights in 1872. Transport, pilgrimage and fairs brought prosperity to the settlement, which, due to a lack of industry, could not follow the general development of the region.

Fun fact: The Dominko's homestead is, according to the experts of the Institute of Natural and Cultural Heritage Protection, the oldest house of the Pannonian style (300 years), which has been entirely preserved. The house is made of wooden beams and the roof is made of straw. The interior consists of a typical kitchen called "the black kitchen", the central part called the "house", a larder, an entrance-hall and an outhouse.

Source: Mestna občina Ptuj


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