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Ptuj ( ; ) is a city and one of 11 urban municipalities in Sloveniamarker. It is situated in Lower Styria (northeastern Slovenia), and has about 23,000 inhabitants.

It is a colorful city with a diverse nightlife. There are many parks and public spaces inside and outside of the city. The nearest airports are Ptuj Sport Airfield (Moškanjci), which is seven kilometers away, and Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airportmarker, which is eighteen kilometers away.


Ptuj is the oldest city in Slovenia. It dates back to the Stone Age and was settled by Celts by the Late Iron Age. By the 1st century BC, the settlement was controlled by Ancient Rome. In 69 AD, Vespasian was elected Roman Emperor by his legions in Ptuj, and the first written mention of the town of Ptuj is from the same year. The city of Poetovio was the base-camp of Legio XIII Gemina in Pannonia. The name originated in the times of Emperor Trajan, who granted the settlement city status and named it Colonia Ulpia Traiana Poetovio in 103. The city had 40,000 inhabitants until it was plundered by the Huns in 450.

In 570 the city was occupied by Eurasian Avars and Slavic tribes. Ptuj became part of the Frankish Empire after the fall of Avar state at the end of 8th century. Between 840 and 874 it belonged to the Slavic Balaton Principality of Pribina and Kocelj. Between 874 and 890 Ptuj gradually came under the influence of the Archbishopric of Salzburg; town privileges passed in 1376 began an economic upswing for the settlement. As Pettau, it was incorporated into the Duchy of Styria in 1555.

Ptuj as seen from the castle.

Pettau was a battleground during the Ottoman wars in Europe and suffered from fires in 1684, 1705, 1710, and 1744. Its population and importance began to decline in the 19th century, however, after the completion of the Viennamarker-Triestemarker route of the Austrian Southern Railway, as the line went through Marburg marker instead.

According to the 1910 Austro-Hungarian census, 86% of the population of Pettau's Old Town was German-speaking, while the population of the surrounding villages predominantly spoke Slovenian. After the collapse of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I, Pettau was included in the short-lived Republic of German Austriamarker, but after the military intervention of the Slovenian general Rudolf Maister, the entire territory of Lower Styria was included into the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbsmarker (Yugoslavia). During the interwar period, the number and the percentage of those identifying as Germans in the town, which was renamed Ptuj, decreased rapidly, although a relatively strong ethnic German minority remained.

After the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Ptuj was occupied by Nazi Germany. From 1941 to 1944 the town's Slovenian population was dispossessed and deported. Their homes were taken over by German speakers from the province of Bolzano-Bozen and the Gottschee County, who had themselves been evicted according to an agreement between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. These German immigrants, along with the native German Pettauer, were expelled to Austriamarker in 1945; many later settled in North America.

Since 1945 Ptuj has been populated almost completely by Slovenians.

City neighborhoods

Ptuj Tower.
Neighborhood Population
Center 3681
Breg-Turnišče 3743
Ljudski Vrtmarker 5903
Jezero 1581
Panorama 2072
Rogoznica 3867
Grajenamarker 2390
Spuhljamarker 872


Ptuj Town Hall

The Kurent or Korant Carnival

Kurenti in Ptuj
Ptuj is the center place of a ten-day long carnival in the spring, an ancient Slavic pagan rite of spring and fertility, called Kurentovanje or Korantovanje. Kurent is believed to be the name of an ancient god of hedonism --the Slavic counterpart of the Greek Priapos, possibly linked to "kurva", the local word for "whore".

Kurenti or Koranti (singular: Kurent or Korant) are figures dressed in sheep skin who go about the town wearing masks, a long red tongue, cow bells, and on the head multi-colored ribbons. The Kurenti from Ptuj and the adjoining villages also wear feathers, while those from the Haloze and Lancova vasmarker wear horns. Organized in groups, Kurents go through town, from house to house, making noise with their bells and wooden sticks, to symbolically scare off evil spirits and the winter.


International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ptuj is twinned with:

Ptuj is twinned with:

Towns and villages in Ptuj municipality


Image:Ptuj Castle inside.JPG|Ptuj CastleImage:Ptuj2.jpg|The footbridge on the Drava, in PtujImage:Ptuj3.jpg|A street in the center of Ptuj


  1. Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif. Date: Jul 31, 2005
  2. " The History of Ptuj". Accessed November 8 2006.

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