2012 European Capital of Culture: Maribor

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Ever been to Slovenia? If not, 2012 is a great year to make the trip, as the eastern Slovenian city of Maribor is celebrating its status as European Capital of Culture 2012.

A bit about Slovenia: this tiny central-European nation is blanketed in forests and history - making it a fascinating destination for both nature and culture-lovers. Highlights of a trip to the country include Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, with its medieval hilltop Castle, which affords incredible views of the city and countryside below. The lakeside town of Bled beckons travelers with it stunning mountain setting and picturesque island church, and don't miss the nearby, quieter, stunning Lake Bohinj, or the lovely coastal town of Piran. The historical city of Ptuj, with its compact medieval core, boasts a castle, museums, monasteries and churches. And then of course there’s Maribor.

Although it’s Slovenia’s second largest city, Maribor is less than half the size of Ljubljana, and feels more like a pleasant large town than a city. Its attractive Old Town sits along the banks of the Drava River. The city holds a number of galleries, museums and theatres that made it an appealing choice for the European Capital of Culture, which looks for rich cultural heritage and an established contemporary cultural scene.

The ECC’s mission is to “to promote different European cultures and through cultural diversity strengthen the mutual understanding and the mutual European identity.”

Maribor has pulled out all the stops as the 2012 Capital of Culture, with over 1000 unique events and projects taking place until December. Live performances of everything from classical music to new burlesque, and gallery exhibits ranging from hand-crafted traditional jewellery to modern art installations extend throughout the city and to the nearby towns of Ptuj, Slovenj Gradec, Murska Sobota, Velenje and Novo Mesto.

For more information about this year’s European Capital of Culture, you can visit the Maribor website: www.maribor2012.eu. And of course the best way to get local insight into Slovenian culture is with a Slovenian guide to accompany you! Our guides in Slovenia: Gregor, Vid, Barbara, Sabina and Rok, would all love to share their homeland with you.
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