Ptuj isn’t old. It’s ancient! Located on the strategically important trade route over the Drava River between the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic, Ptuj holds many secrets and is historically immensely important. The town is first mentioned in 69 AD, when Vespasian was Emperor of Rome. Back then it was a base for Roman legions and was called Poetovium. It was a proper city with 40,000 inhabitants. Right up until it was plundered by the Huns in the year 450.
Throughout history, Ptuj saw various empires form and dissolve and was influenced by cultures from all corners of Europe and beyond. From the Archbishopric of Salzburg and the Habsburg Monarchy, to Austria-Hungary and the Duchy of Styria when it was called Pettau. It was plundered and burnt during the Ottoman Wars.
Today, Ptuj is a cultural centre of Slovenian folklore and hosts a carnival in spring. It’s an old Slavic pagan rite of fertility, famous for the kurenti masks. Among Ptuj’s prominent landmarks and places to visit are its 12th century castle overlooking the quaint Old Town and St. George's Church. The picturesque squares and winding streets make for a superb day trip, or you can station yourself in this wonderful place and explore the beautiful surrounding region.
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