Cultural heritage

Kurentovanje 2023

11. 02. - 21. 02. 2023



Kurentovanje 2023

Mestni trg 4 2250, Ptuj

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Lonely Planet singled out Kurentovanje as one of the ten best carnivals in the world, on par with those in Venice, Rio de Janeiro, and New Orleans. The carnival is an excellent opportunity to see not only the door-to-door rounds of Kurents that UNESCO put on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, but to also observe a number of folk and carnival parades, meet traditional and modern carnival characters, go to a masquerade and so much more. Kurentovanje features a number of parades, the carnival promenade, presentations of traditional costumes, concerts, masquerade balls, exhibitions, and so much more, divided into ArtFest, EtnoFest, and KarnevalFest.

Main Events


The traditional 63rd international Kurentovanje carnival is taking place between 11 and 21 February 2023.

Thursday, February 2
The carnival season kicks off with an especially mystical event. At midnight the Kurents first don their bells by the fire, and start chasing away the winter and evil.

Saturday, February 11
Do not miss this unique adventure and get a valuable insight into the colorful carnival traditions from near and far. Ptuj streets will be filled with traditional carnival characters, such as Kurents, spearmen, Dornava Gypsies, ploughmen, rusas, cockerels, and bears.

Ptuj is the capital of traditions, and a place to meet traditional carnival characters in an intimate setting. In the evenings, you can see them in the heart of the oldest Slovenian city.

Wednesday, February 15
During Kurentovanje, the Wednesday of each year is reserved for the Day of Kurent and Korant groups, when hundreds of horned and feathered Kurents/Korants walk through the city.

Friday, February 17
Power of the night – the carnival way! The illuminated and decorated Ptuj streets draw a motley crew of mysterious characters, who will create a fantastic play of darkness and light. We can also promise you an unforgettable fire and music show.

Saturday, February 18
It’s time to show off your mask! Become a part of this tradition, put on a mask, and join the promenade with masked townspeople. The promenade first started already in the 19th century, and now you can help us preserve this wonderful tradition.

Sunday, February 19
Do not forget to mark Kurentovanje on your calendar today. Ptuj’s streets and squares will be filled several thousands of carnival and traditional costumes, who will tell the stories of the past, future and present.

Monday, February 20
The children’s carnival parade is co-organized with the Ptuj Kindergarten. It is attended by children of the 2nd age group from entire Slovenia, which awaken the spring in the streets of the oldest Slovenian city.

Tuesday, February 21
In Ptuj, the farewell from the carnival season is especially festive. We stop working at noon, and meet at numerous parties around the city. Why don’t you join the unique urban carnival celebrations that can last until wee hours.


Summer Puppet Pier 2023

1. 08. - 31. 08. 2023



Poletni lutkovni pristan

Vojašniški trg 2 A 2000, Maribor

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Since 1990, the Maribor Puppet Theatre has been organising the Summer Puppet Pier, an annual international summer festival in the city. Every year, in August, thousands of visitors enjoy an excellent programme. Primarily, the festival offers the best foreign and domestic puppet performances for children, as well as performances for adults, workshops, exhibitions, installations, and other accompanying events. With the support of the Municipality of Maribor, Maribor puppeteers every year attract the best that the puppet world has to offer. Since the 30th Summer Puppet Pier festival, the best performance selected by the children’s jury receives the Golden Giraffe Award.

Though centred on the Likovni Salon gallery, the festival invites different generations of visual and performance artists to turn the idea of the gallery inside out, so to speak, by moving the traditionally closed gallery space out onto the streets of the Celje town centre, where it becomes both a display space, a depository of art materials and a place of random encounters and exchanges. Visitors, both unintentional and intentional, are not meant to “follow” the events of the festival in a traditional, linear way, but to discover the festival and allow it to spark reflection about the manifold ways art interacts with everyday life.

Participation in the 2023 Summer Puppet Pier Festival

Participation in the festival is open to all professional puppet theatres, independent puppet theatre groups, and individuals. In addition to the basic technical data, we also ask the applicants to submit promotional materials, photos and a recording of their performance. The organizing committe will invite to the festival those performaces chosen by the selection committee. The festival will purchase the selected performances.

Applications must be submitted by 28th February 2023 via e-mail to


Drugajanje Festival

28. 11. - 30. 11. 2022

Maribor, Nova Gorica, Ptuj


Festival Drugajanje

, Maribor, Nova Gorica, Ptuj

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Festival Drugajanje was established in 2002 in collaboration between the II. gimnazija Maribor secondary school and the Bunker Institute. The name of the festival is derived from the name of the school, but at the same time it refers to otherness; to another theatre, to another dance, to other formats, to another audience… But it also implies action, festivity, and, although we didn’t know it – or even suspect it – at the time, also duration!

Drugajanje has undergone some changes, but has always remained faithfully connected to young audiences, to international and local contemporary performing arts, and to Maribor. After twenty editions, the 21st Drugajanje is expanding from Maribor to Nova Gorica and Ptuj. The hubs in the two “new” cities are also secondary schools, and in the coming years, our goal is to expand the successful format throughout Slovenia.

The 21st festival Drugajanje brings contemporary performances to Maribor, Nova Gorica and Ptuj – fresh formats, current content, and this year, also a series of workshops, which appeal mainly to students of secondary art schools and seek to offer them short joint artistic processes.

Welcome to Drugajanje – it was conceived in different times, but it is different and intended for different people every year – each time for new generations and at the same time, for all generations!

Alma R. Selimović


Minoriti Open Air Cinema

9. 07. - 20. 08. 2022



Letni kino Minoriti

Vojašniški trg 2A SI-2000 , Maribor

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The Minoriti Open Air Cinema is an annual summer film event, established in 2017, focusing on the best films of the year in the field of art cinema, documentaries, Slovenian film, film premieres and short films. It takes place at the open air auditorium of the Maribor Puppet Theatre in Maribor during July and August, usually every Saturday and Wednesday evening. The event instantly became popular and is attracting around 4,000 visitors every year. Half of the programme is usually screened with English subtitles or in English language.


The Minoriti Open Air Cinema is a successor of the Udarnik na prostem open air cinema, which was organised between 2010 and 2014 at Vetrinjski dvor by the team that ran Kino Udarnik at the time.

After Kino Udarnik, the last old city cinema in the centre of Maribor, had to close because of the lack of financial support, the team around the Association for Film Culture Development, Maribor continued the initiative in order to show the best films of the year to the inhabitants and visitors of Maribor at least during summer. It joined forces with the public institution Maribor Puppet Theatre, which provides the wonderful venue of the Minoriti auditorium, and the private company Projektor, d.o.o., which provides the screening and ticketing technology, to organise a two-month film event. The trio was joined by a local gastronomy provider and music events organiser Kooperativa Peron to care for the bar and additional events.


From the beginning of July till the end of August, the best films of the year are screened each Saturday and Wednesday evening. The programme includes international festival award winners, the best Slovenian films of the year, the most notable documentaries and animation features and premieres of the most expected films of the summer.

Accompanying programme

The long feature film programme is accompanied by short films provided by international film festivals in the region, such as Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival, DOKUDOC International Documentary Film Festival, Enimation, International Children and Youth Film Festival, Stoptrik International Film Festival and FeKK Ljubljana Short Film Festival. The screenings of Slovenian films are usually visited by authors, with talks and discussions organised after the films. The film programme is also accompanied by music events and exhibitions at a nearby Minorite Church venue.


Translation Pranger Festival

5. 07. - 9. 07. 2022



Prevodni Pranger

Ulica heroja Tomšiča 9 A SI-2000, Maribor

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The first edition of the Translation Pranger Festival, the festival of world literature translations and humanities took place in Maribor in 2019. KUD Pranger Cultural Association established Translation Pranger Festival in accordance with the already established Pranger format.

Festival consists of analysis and evaluation public talks on translations of novels, short stories, children’s and youth literature, essays, dramatics, theory and poetry, which is complemented by the sale of interesting books and the recording and transcription of talks. Conversations is followed by relaxed socializing and discussion among participants.

Talks are held at the Maribor Puppet Theater. The first edition of the festival was prepared on the day of the death of St. Hieronymus, the translator best known for the Latin translation of the Bible.


Face to face (Iz oči v oči)

The management of the festival chooses one foreign language and a selector who will conduct the interview concerning two books or a magazine / radio publication of the translator in the focus of the evening. The choice of the selector is on its own discretion, but must take into account the manageability of the material in scope (especially for the audience who desires to read the material before the event). The choice and argumentation of translation solutions is commented upon by the invited discussant. The selector and discussant explain “face-to-face” their opinions to the translator of the translation, who has the opportunity to explain and reveal at his translation workshop less known facts or textual solutions that the discussant and selector may have interpreted in their own way.


Ptuj City Theatre



Mestno gledališče Ptuj

Slovenski trg 13 SI-2250, Ptuj

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Ptuj City Theatre was reestablished in 1995 on the initiative of Samo Strelec and Theatre Zato. Based in a 230-seat hall within a recently renewed and modernised 19th-century historical building, it launched its first repertory season in Autumn 1995. Since that time the seven-member permanent team and over 200 guest actors produce around 6 performances annually, staging communicative plays of different genres. Ptuj City Theatre organises 2 theatre festivals, namely the biennial Festival of Monodrama, Ptuj and the annual Slovene Festival of Chamber Theatre (SKUP).

Programme and co-productions

The annual programme is based on new or contemporary relevant drama texts, often first stagings of individual drama texts in Slovenia. Past productions include Baltimore Waltz [Baltimorski valček] (2003) by Paula Vogel, George’s Marvellous Medicine [Gregorjevo čudežno zdravilo] by Roald Dahl, Kvetch [Jamr] by Steven Berkoff, Art by Yasmina Reza, Ay, Carmela! by José Sanchis Sinisterra, Neville’s Island [Nevilov otok] by Tim Firth, Norway-Today by Igor Bauersima, Sleuth [Vohljač] by Anthony Shaffer, Grönholm Method [Grönholmova metoda] by Jordi Galcerán, Two Character Play [Igra za dve osebi] by Tennessee Williams, and various domestic authors. Ptuj City Theatre has collaborated with directors, such as Rene Maurin, Tomi Janežič, Ivana Djilas, Nenni Delmestre, Zvone Šedlbauer, Sebastijan Horvat, Matjaž Latin, and others.

The theatre also enters co-productions with other Slovene theatre producers, such as the 2007 Ragged People/Pupils and Teachers [Raztrganci/učenci in učitelji], directed by Sebastijan Horvat, which was co-produced by Cankarjev dom and EPI Centre; and the 2010 production Custom-Made Kitchen [Kuhinja po meri], directed by Igor Samobor and co-produced by Glej Theatre, etc.


The theatre appears at Slovene theatre festivals, such as Days of Comedy, Slovene Drama Week, Borštnik Theatre Festival, etc., where its productions and actors are also often awarded. For example, Gregor Strniša’s play Frogs [Žabe], directed by Jernej Lorenci, was awarded by the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia at the 2010 edition of the Borštnik Theatre Festival. rokgre’s text Garbage on the Moon [Smeti na Luni], which received the 2008 Grum Award at the Slovene Drama Week, had its first staging later the same year at Ptuj City Theatre, directed by Nick Upper, while the theatre’s production Grönholm Method [Grönholmova metoda], directed by Nenni Delmestre, received the audience and grand jury award at the 2008 edition of Slovene Festival of Chamber Theatre (SKUP). The theatre’s production Micka was also awarded at the 2007 Days of Satire in Zagreb, Croatia.

Additional programme

In addition to its main subscription repertory series, Ptuj City Theatre also hosts guest performances from all Slovene professional theatre houses and international guests. Puppetry subscription series for children features guest performances by several Slovene puppetry ensembles.

The theatre also organises practical theatre workshops for the youth (“Theatre Studio”), led by the actress Dunja Zupanec and the director and pedagogue Branka Bezeljak.

Cultural heritage

Ptuj Castle



Ptujski grad

Na gradu 1 SI-2250, Ptuj

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Ptuj Castle hosts the Ptuj branch of the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum and is one of the major tourist attractions in Slovenia. The castle houses the collections of the regional museum, including its Musical Instruments Collection, the famous Turqueries, the paintings with Turkish motifs from the 17th century and the Shrovetide carnival masks and folk costumes collection.


The site of Ptuj Castle was settled in prehistoric and Roman times and by at least the 9th century, a fortification is known to have been here. Work on the mediaeval fortress began in the first half of the 12th century under Archbishop Konrad of Salzburg, the then-feudal lord of Ptuj, whose imposing residence (today’s Leslies’ wing) still survives today. The Archbishops subsequently rented the castle to the lords of Ptuj, nobles who had won fame fighting the Hungarians. During the 300 years that they lived in Ptuj, the lords also left their mark as founders of Minorite and Dominican monasteries, and as builders of the pilgrimage church at Ptujska Gora. The tombstone of the last lord of Ptuj, Friedrich IX, was built into the castle’s ground floor. Major reconstructions in the Renaissance and Baroque periods left a strong stamp on the castle.

From 1656 to 1802 the castle was inhabited by the Leslies. The last owners, the Counts of Herberstein, occupied the castle from 1873 until 1945; the Herbersteins thoroughly renovated the castle in 1912, supported archaeological excavations in the castle precinct, and maintained their own archaeological collection. Following the nationalisation of the castle in 1945 the building, together with its rich furniture and fittings, was incorporated into the Ptuj Museum.


On the ground floor visitors can inspect musical instruments used in the past by wealthy Ptuj noblemen and citizens. The instruments reflect various faces of the musical past, and recordings of the music once played on them enliven the exhibit. The most beautiful castle chambers are on the first floor.

Displays of period furniture, tapestries, paintings, and small everyday objects present household furnishings from the second half of the 16th century to the second half of the 19th century. The Festival Hall houses the collection of Turqueries. These are paintings with Turkish motifs all dating back to the 17th century. They depict renowned Turkish and European military commanders and dignitaries, ladies from the Ottoman empire, and inhabitants of distant nations. The collection gives evidence of the growing interest educated Europeans started to show for foreign cultures, and is the biggest such collection in Europe.

The castle art gallery boasts some of the most beautiful examples of Gothic and Baroque art in Slovenia. In 2012 a new permanent collection of Shrovetide carnival masks from the Ptuj region (Ptujsko polje, Dravsko polje, Haloze, and Slovenske Gorice) was set up in the renovated castle horse stables.

Museum of Madness

Zgornja Velka


Muzej norosti

Trate 14c SI-2213, Zgornja Velka

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Activities of the informal association Madness on the border / Wahnsinn an der Grenze, established in 2013, resulted in the foundation of the Museum of Madness in 2014 as a private institute in Trate (northeastern Slovenia). The project was spurred by the sinister presence of the Cmurek Castle, which functioned as an institution for mentally disabled from 1956 till 2004. Nine years after its abandonment the castle became the nexus for a local Slovenian-Austrian initiative focused on a somewhat provocative re-evaluation of madness. The museum’s cultural and communal activities deal with the de-tabooisation and promote de-institutionalisation. With a substantial amount of voluntary work and the support from both neighbouring municipalities (Šentilj from the Slovenian and Mureck from the Austrian side), the institute has turned the castle into a unique venue.


The founders of the Museum of Madness have developed an innovative project connecting the Slovenian and Austrian communities, based on the local natural and cultural heritage (the Mura river biodiversity, the Cmurek and New Kinek castles as well as the defunct Hanson’s electric mill, built in 1912–1914). The museum collection and exhibition on the history of madness and deviation are under construction.

The Museum of Madness’ ambition is to become an international interdisciplinary centre “for cooperation and coordination of all agents whose work and lives are crossing the field of madness”.


The versatile bilingual programme has, among others, featured the production of Inside. The Last Noblemen of Trate documentary on the life and work in the Trate institution for mentally disabled and its final closing down, directed by Lukas Miheljak (AGRFT, 2014) that was screened at the Politization of Friendship exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM), in the framework of the Madness in the Eighties: Anti-Psychiatry Movement in Slovenia project. The paraliterary I.D.I.O.T Group participated in the programme with a poetry workshop and public reading (2014), and a fine arts symposium Madness and Creativity?, conceived by Saša Bezjak and Anja Jerčič Jakob and curated by Petra Kapš took place in 2015. The Cmurek Castle has also become a regional venue for concerts (Seviqc Brežice Festival), book discussions, lectures, exhibitions (The Mysterious World of the Mura River), and so on.

Minorite Church, Maribor



Minoritska cerkev

Vojašniški trg 2 SI-2000 , Maribor

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The Minorite Church, Maribor is a recently established performing arts venue that opened its doors in 2015. Set on the banks of the Drava River in Maribor, in the city’s medieval quarter called Lent, the former church was given a thorough renovation between the years 2013 and 2015. Since then it is used for a variety of cultural events, from classical music and contemporary choir concerts to puppet theatre plays, dance performances, lectures and various exhibitions.

The venue is managed by the Maribor Puppet Theatre, which is since 2010 located in the adjacent former Minorite Convent (also recently reconstructed). Allowing for an audience of approximately 300, the refurbishment of the church as well as the convent has been designed by ATELIERarhitekti.


During the reconstruction, the archaeologists discovered that the church was actually quite a bit older (ca. 300 hundred years) than previously presumed. It is now dated to be built sometime in the 12th century on the site that furthermore boasts a far longer history. Some of its Romanesque era foundations (from the time when it was the biggest church in the region) can still be seen, as can its later Gothic permutation that featured the oldest known Gothic portal in Slovenia.

Since then, the church has gone through a series of further changes and “baroquitizations” up until 1784, when it was – under the Josephine reforms – claimed by the army as its barracks and warehouse space. In the 20th century, the building got nationalised and used for storage until left unoccupied in 1990. It remained empty right until its remodelling into an art venue.

The KleT exhibition grounds

As the renovation unearthed a number of artefacts and old tombs beneath the church grounds were discovered, an additional basement floor was added. One can enter it through the convent and there witness the three main layers of the church’s architectural history – its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features. The crypts and some other remains are also exhibited.

Performing arts venue

Even before 2015, the place served as an occasional venue for alternative scene stage performances during the period when the SNG Maribor was led by Tomaž Pandur, e.g., a vanguard interpretation of the Wedekind’s Lulu directed by Eduard Miler in 1990. Additionally, it was occasionally used for various other occasions such as the Lent Festival, which immediately started to use it again.

The grand opening of the Minorite Church was organised under the auspices of the Festival Maribor in September 2015, with the Egyptian oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros giving the new venue’s baptismal performance. The festival is still running a part of its programme here, with the cellist Nicolas Altstaedt hosted in 2016. The church is also used by the contemporary choral music festival Janus Festival, the Contemporary dance Platform festival, the Maribor Music and Ballet Secondary Conservatory, the famed choir Carmina Slovenica and naturally also the Maribor Puppet Theatre. The latter, for example, utilised it for its site-specific puppet show Pirat in luna, a shadow puppet play by Tin Grabnar. Nevertheless, the core of events shall remain of a more musical nature.





Kolodvorska 9 SI-2270, Ormož

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Based in Ormož, a border town in the eastern Slovenian region of Prlekija, Unterhund is one of the oldest still running rock institutions in Slovenia. It first opened its doors in 1990, when the local youngsters cleaned up the long unused 400 m2 big basement of the Ormož Castle and claimed it as a local rock club and hangout place. It has been given the name Unterhund, a wordplay on the words untergrund (“underground”) and hound. Nowadays, it is sometimes also lovingly called Pes (“Dog”).

Since its humble start, the venue has hosted about 250 bands from over 20 countries and has become the synonym for alternative culture in the region – including the neighbouring Croatian areas, from where sizeable communities of music lovers have been venturing since the start.

Unlike other local clubs on the periphery, Unterhund is primarily a concert venue and only occasionally presents various exhibitions, lectures, theatre plays and dance performances. Instead, numerous local bands like Pridigarji (who have played a crucial role in running the club since its beginning), Wasserdicht, GRB, Noise Order, Kristuši, Golazen, Eden, Crastavci, ŠZB, Polis Korps, Anaeroba and Sarcofuck have developed and rehearsed here.

Music programme

The programme is nothing but consistent – Unterhund mostly stages punk, HC, ska, metal and other similarly oriented concerts. Occasional disruptions like techno nights or hip hop performances do happen, but the general rule is that the hosted musicians growl rather than sing. Just in recent few years, legends like The Vibrators (UK), GBH (UK), Extreme Noise Terror (UK), Anti Nowhere League (UK), Poison Idea (USA) and Impaled Nazarene (FIN) have visited this basement.

Other guests include Elektrićni Orgazam (HR), Linterno (IT), Eksodus (HR), Retard (US),Cast Iron Jaw (UK), Damir Avdić (BA), Pannonia allstars ska orchestra (HU), Muškat Hamburg, Štefan Kovač Marko Banda, Noctiferia, Demolition Group and KvinTon.