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Gornja Radgona (German: Oberradkersburg, Prekmurian: Gorenja Radgonja) is one of the municipalities and a town in Sloveniamarker. Once it was a defensive stronghold for today's regional centre and its twin city, Bad Radkersburgmarker, on the other side of the river Mura in Austriamarker. The towns were split in 1919 when the state of Styriamarker was divided between Austria and Slovenia. After that they developed separately, and Gornja Radgona grew into a new town centre.

History

Traces of Neolithic settlement on Castle Hill attest to settlement during the Urnfield culture. Later finds indicate that there may have been a small Roman settlement here. The Parish of Gornja Radgona belonged to the Diocese of Salzburg and was founded under the Spanheims in the first half of the 12th century. The Parish Church in Gornja Radgona is dedicated to Saint Peter and was built in 1813 and extended in 1890.

The history of Gornja Radgona itself reaches back to the 12th century, when a settlement was established beneath Ratigoj Castle. King Albert I of Habsburg founded today‚Äôs Radkersburgmarker on an island in the Mura River, and it was mentioned as a market in 1265 and as a town in 1299. Eventually the old settlement turned into a suburb of the town. Gornja Radgona was built on the slope of Castle Hill (265 m) and the tip of the Slovenske Gorice hills that separates the Apańće Basin from the Mura Basin.

Because of its important location on the Mura River, in the 12th and 13th centuries Gornja Radgona and Radkersburg suffered multiple attacks by the Hungarians and, in the 15th and 16th centuries, attacks by the Ottoman Turks. In the early 18th century, peasant rebellions were a major problem.

In 1605 the Mura flooded, causing great damage to Gornja Radgona and Radkersberg, and nearly every generation experienced the plague. The worst outbreak was in 1680, and left many houses without occupants.

Gornja Radgona received market rights in 1907, and town status after World War II. Prior to 1918 it was administratively connected with Radkersburg. In February 1929, exceptionally cold weather caused ice to accumulate against the old wooden bridge between Gornja Radona and Radkersburg, destroying it. A new wooden bridge was not built until 1932. The favorable geographical location and economic contacts (including joint cooperation in preventing flood and fires, and important transport links) resulted in the joint construction of a new bridge. The bridge was ceremoniously opened on 12 October 1968 by Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito and Austrian President Franz Jonas.

During the Ten-Day War for Slovenia’s independence in 1991, major fighting occurred at the Gornja Radgona border crossing.

References

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