Ptuj Festival

19. 08. - 19. 08. 2022



Festival narodno-zabavne glasbe Ptuj

Osojnikova cesta 3 SI-2250, Ptuj

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Ptuj Festival was established in 1969 and was set up as an embellishment of the 1900th anniversary of the first recorded mention of the city of Ptuj. Organised by Radio Ptuj – who still handles it today – it was the first folk-pop music festival in Slovenia, coming into being merely a decade and a half after the genre itself was “created” by the Avsenik brothers. Their “classic quintet” still resounds in how the competition categories of the festivals are divided, the first for quintet formations with an accordion, trumpet, clarinet, guitar and bass, and the second for all the others.

This competition format, with the winners usually chosen by a combination of an expert jury and public votes, was later adopted by numerous other similar festivals. Nowadays, there are awards for the best songs in each category (including one for the best song according to the audience) and also for the best lyrics and best vocal performance.

The festival has in recent years settled at the yard of the Minorite Monastery in Ptuj. With both audio and video recorded by Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenia), the competing songs are later released by the Discography Unit, RTV Slovenia. There is also live streaming of the festival by Radio Maribor and Radio Ptuj.


Days of Poetry and Wine Festival

22. 08. - 27. 08. 2022



Dnevi poezije in vina

Vrazov trg 1 SI-2250 , Ptuj

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The Days of Poetry and Wine Festival is a festival that hosts the younger generation of poets from all over the world. Up to 2009 it took place in Medana (a village in Goriška Brda next to the Italian border) during the last week in August, basically turning the village into the poetry capital of Europe for a week. In 2010 the 14th edition of the festival moves to Ptuj, a historical town of Roman origin in eastern Slovenia, one of regional partner cities of Maribor, European Capital of Culture 2012. Since then the festival takes place in Ptuj. It is run by Beletrina Publishing Institute.

Background and programme

The festival was initiated in 1995 by the Študentska založba Publishing House, Ljubljana. It has since expanded to offer more than just poetry and wine: it features numerous concerts, a selection of recent Slovene films, contemporary dance performances, street theatre, visual and spatial interventions, a programme for children … Among its goals are to examine intersections between poetry and other art forms and to provide an opportunity for discussions between authors and local and international publishers on different topics.


The festival has also seen some notable guests, actually modern poetry classics: Lars Gustafsson from Sweden and Paul Muldoon from Ireland, were followed by Rumen Leonidov from Bulgaria and Durs Grünbein from Germany in 2009. Since 2011 guests of honor were: French poet and mathematician Jacques Roubaud and Rumanian author Nora Iuga along with Slovene modern classic Tomaž Šalamun, Dutch poet and author of books for children Toon Tellegen, Polish poet Andrzej Sosnowski and Slovene poet Milan Jesih, in 2014 Tomas Veclova, a Lithuanian poet, Elke Erb, a translator, literary critic and a wilful poet from Germany joined by Svetlana Makarovič. Študentska založba sometimes took this opportunity to publish collections of their poetry.

In 2014 the festival featured 20 poets from 12 countries selected by Ilya Kaminsky, an American poet of Russian origin, and Lucija Stupica Enbohm. The festival focused on contemporary Swedish poetry and its translation.

In 2017, Days of Poetry and Wine, one of the most prominent Central European poetry festivals, launched the Open Letter to Europe project in collaboration with Berlin-based Allianz Kulturstiftung. The letters from the project are addressed to Europe, or, perhaps, to the whole world, and aim to bring the language of art, thought-out, precise and rigorous, back to public discourse. Each year, the art director of the festival, with their team and in collaboration with Allianz Kulturstiftung, selects a preeminent poet or thinker and gives them the unique opportunity of addressing Europe and presenting the problems they consider the most pressing.


Before the official start of each year’s festival that since 2010 takes place at Ptuj, the participating poets take part in an event named Evenings before Days and present their work in other towns all over Slovenia. In 2012 poetry readings were held in Ljubljana, Vrba, Volče, Krško, Ormož and Kortina at Krkavče.

At Ptuj a genuine contact is established between the locals and their guests, as part of the program called private readings takes place at gardens and homes of the locals. Full board and lodging is provided for all guest poets of the festival, along with the expenses relating to the program (the invited participants are expected to cover only travel expenses to Ljubljana).

Poetry volumes and

The bilingual booklets have been published with the poetry of each guest in the original and Slovene language. Thus visitors can make their own compilation of their favorite poets.

The poems are presented also on the portal ( in Slovenian). The portal has become the largest Slovene poetry database complemented by the poetry of all the poets who visited the festival. The poems are published in the original language, Slovenian and English.

International cooperation

In 2010 the festival moved from Medana to Ptuj, whose location between Graz and Zagreb makes it ideal for international cooperation when it comes to both poetry and wine. The event has had many sponsors in recent years, next to the Ministry of Culture and the EU Culture program, and also cooperate with different European organizations like Allianz Kulturstiftung and EUNIC.

Outdoor Venues


19. 02. - 1. 03. 2022




Mestni trg 1 SI-2250, Ptuj

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The masked rite of spring known as Kurentovanje is held since 1961, every February for 10 days up to Shrove Tuesday and is the most popular Mardi Gras celebration in Slovenia; most of the festivities are centred in and around Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest town, which has hosted Kurentovanje for around five decades. The Carnival was admitted into the European Federation of Carnival Cities (EFCC-FECC) in 1991. In 2017 the Door-to-door rounds of the Kurent were inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of the humanity.

Groups from Austria, Croatia and Bulgaria usually participate in the event, assisting local people to build up the Land of the Kurent. The rite itself is accompanied by a full agenda of concerts, activities and other attractions, ensuring that the event is attended by more than 150,000 visitors every year.


The name comes from the festival’s central figure, the Kurent, who in earlier times was believed to have the power to chase away winter and usher in spring. The origins of the Kurent and Kurentovanje festivities are obscure, and may have come from earlier Slavic, Celtic or Illyrian customs. Similar traditions are found throughout the region, in parts of Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and elsewhere. The costume is simple: a sheepskin hat and outfit, cow bells hanging from a chain belt, red or green wool socks and black boots. However, the creation of the Kurent mask is a major folk art in Slovenia, although there are now only two masters of Kurent masks left – Master Klinc from Spuhlja and Master Zelenik from Markovci. The mask is made of leather, with two holes cut out for the eyes and a hole cut out for the mouth. The holes are surrounded with red paint. A trunk-like nose is attached along with whiskers made of twigs and teeth made of white beans. The final touch is a long, red tongue.

Studies of the Kurent tradition have been conducted at Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum and BISTRA Scientific Research Centre, Ptuj.

European Capital of Culture 2012

Kurentovanje Festival has been included in the programme of the Maribor, European Capital of Culture 2012, Ptuj being one of its partner cities. The aim is to turn the festival in the largest ethno carnival in Europe. The ethnological guidelines were developed by Janez Bogataj and Aleš Gačnik, two scientists who acknowledge the constant metamorphoses and transformations of this tangible heritage.

New media art

Art Stays, International Festival of Contemporary Art

8. 07. - 18. 09. 2021



Art Stays mednarodni festival sodobne umetnosti

Jadranska ulica 4 SI-2250 , Ptuj

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Established in 2003, the Art Stays, International Festival of Contemporary Art is the main summer event of visual arts in the Ptuj region. Since 2009 it is one of the two branches of the Art Ptuj Festival, consisting also of the music part of the festival named Arsana.

The Art Stays Festival consists traditionally of a week long, condensed festival days, and a longer exhibition featured on several locations in Ptuj including the partner institutions: Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum, Mihelič Gallery, Ptuj, and Salon of Art, Ptuj.

Some recent editions

The 2010 edition transformed the colony character of the festival’s past events into an academy: emerging artists participated in a 10-day festival workshop led by international guest professors such as Gary Cass (University of Western Australia), S. Chandrasekaran (Head of the Department of Fine Arts at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore), and Raphael Di Luzio (New Media Programme, University of Maine, USA). Artists from 12 countries on 4 continents participated, including those from Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Australia, Finland, and Ireland. Beti Bricelj, BridA (Tom Kerševan, Sendi Mango, Jurij Pavlica), Dušan Fišer, and Tanja Špenko represented Slovenia.

The 2015 edition adopted the concept of a Wunderkammer and featured numerous workshops, performances and screenings as well as nine group exhibitions or individual artistic interventions that remain open throughout the summer. The artists invited by Jernej Forbici and Marika Vicari include Fernando Prats, Hannah Collins, Ann & Patrick Poirier, Perino & Vele, Dragoljub Raša Todosijević, Zoran Todorović, Hongbo Li, Zhang Qiushi, Lei Wang, Tina Dobrajc, Goran Bertok, Boštjan Novak, Tomaž Plavec, and others.Pavlica), Dušan Fišer, and Tanja Špenko represented Slovenia.

The 2015 edition adopted the concept of a Wunderkammer and featured numerous workshops, performances and screenings as well as nine group exhibitions or individual artistic interventions that remain open throughout the summer. The artists invited by Jernej Forbici and Marika Vicari include Fernando Prats, Hannah Collins, Ann & Patrick Poirier, Perino & Vele, Dragoljub Raša Todosijević, Zoran Todorović, Hongbo Li, Zhang Qiushi, Lei Wang, Tina Dobrajc, Goran Bertok, Boštjan Novak, Tomaž Plavec, and others.


Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum



Pokrajinski muzej Ptuj - Ormož

Muzejski trg 1 2250 , Ptuj

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Housed since 1926 first in the Dominican Monastery at Ptuj and later at the Ptuj Castle, the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum is a public institution that looks after the cultural heritage of the Lower Drava area, of the Štajerska region. It comprises archaeological, ethnological, cultural, educational, restoration and history sections, a library, and additional units in the Ormož and Velika Nedelja castles.


The first museum in Ptuj was the open-air Povoden Museum, created in 1830 by curator Simon Povoden. However, the origins of Ptuj Regional Museum can be traced back to the Museum Society, established in 1893 by members of the Tourist Society of Ptuj with the aim of preventing the transfer of valuable excavated archaeological material from Ptuj to Graz or Vienna. The Museum Society’s first collection, stored in the premises of the grammar school in Ptuj’s present-day Prešernova Street, originally comprised only archaeological objects, but in 1895 Professor Franz Ferk donated his extensive private collection, consisting of museum objects of various types. As a result of this valuable donation, the museum was renamed the Municipal Ferk Museum. The museum’s collections were cramped in the grammar school, so in 1926 the Municipality of Ptuj bought the former Dominican Monastery which had been dissolved by Joseph II’s reforms of 1786. The premises were renovated and two years later they were occupied by the museum’s collections.

In 1945 the museum was entrusted with the management of the Ptuj Castle complex of buildings, in which the furnishings of the castle’s last owners – the Herbersteins – had been preserved almost completely. The library and archives became independent institutions in 1954 and 1955 respectively, while the museum extended the geographical scope of its activities and was renamed the Regional Museum Ptuj in 1963. Today the museum covers the wider area of Ptuj and Ormož and is officially known as the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum.

European Capital of Culture 2012

As the partner city of Maribor, European Capital of Culture, the museum opened the renovated former castle horse stables as a new venue for its rich collection of the Shrovetide carnival masks from the Ptuj region, and hosted the fourth International Congress of the International Lychnological Association Ex Oriente Lux in cooperation with the Gorenjska Museum and the Municipality of Ptuj.

Programme and activities

The Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum preserves and displays various archaeological, historical, cultural and ethnological collections and other services. Permanent collections can be seen in Ptuj and Ormož and their nearby surroundings.

In the scope of the main unit, there are three workshops which protect and restore items belonging to the cultural heritage, as well as survey climatic conditions in the museum. The Textile Workshop has long been the only workshop of its kind in Slovenia, capable of mending fragile fabrics. In the 1980s, the Textile Workshop started to work on precious tapestries kept in the museum. The Metal Workshop takes care of archaeological evidence, artefacts, weapons and armours, while another workshop deals with wooden furniture, artefacts and works of art made of wood. Priority is given to the local museum items, although from time to time the workshops work on items belonging to private or other public institutions collections.


The permanent collection installed at Ptuj Castle and the adjacent former horse stables incorporates exhibitions on feudal dwelling culture, arms, musical instruments, glass paintings, the Shrovetide masks and the France Mihelič graphics collection. Works of international significance displayed here include the world-famous statues of St Barbara and St Katarina (1410) from Velika Nedelja Castle, which belong to the group of sculptural works from the ‘Ptujska gora workshop’, which created several masterpieces in the International Gothic style; the Brussels (scenes from the Odyssey) and French (Verdure) tapestries of the early and late 17th century respectively; and the famous Turqueries paintings commissioned by Johann Josef Herberstein after his return from a diplomatic mission to Constantinople in 1666. The museum holds also the biggest musical instruments collection in Slovenia.

The Old Prisons building was renovated in the 2000s and hosts the Ptuj and its Surroundings in the 20th Century permanent exhibition.

In 1899 and 1914, the sites of Mithras Shrine I in Spodnja Hajdina and Mithras Shrine III in Zgornji Breg, respectively, were arranged for presentation. By 1987 archaeologists had discovered evidence of five Mithras Shrines; however Mithras Shrines I and III are still the favourites with visitors.

Venues and branches

The Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum also manages two galleries – Mihelič Gallery and Salon of Art, as well as numerous cultural heritage sites, including the Ptuj Castle (in which the museum is located), the Povoden Museum, Ptuj, the Old Prisons, Mithras Shrine I in Spodnja Hajdina, Mithras Shrine III in Zgornji Breg, and the Roman Brickworks Kiln, Ptuj. The other related monuments in the region are: Orpheus Monument, Ptuj and Velika Nedelja Castle.


Historical Archives Ptuj



Zgodovinski arhiv Ptuj (ZAP)

Vičava 5 2250, Ptuj

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Located at the Dominican Monastery at Ptuj and established in 1955, the Historical Archives Ptuj collect and keep records of the archives of organisations and institutions of local and regional interest. A lecture room for 25 people and a space for occasional exhibitions are available in the main location. In 2008 the resounding exhibition National Consciousness was Awakened in Ptuj in 1908 took place. In Spring 2012 the archives moved to a new location


The huge complex of buildings – a former Dominican monastery with more than 2,000 square metres on the ground floor and as many in the upper floor and in the basement – is now the premises of the Historical Archives of Ptuj (located in the western part of the monastery), the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum, and housing. The monastery has a very rich history. It was built from 1230 to 1231 by the Dominicans, who owned the place until the reforms of Emperor Joseph II in 1785. The complex was assigned to various purposes until the 1920s when the museum society gradually moved in. One year before the founding of the present archives in 1955 it already functioned as an independent institution within the museum. In 1966 the archives became a member of the Archival Association of Slovenia (AAS). Today the Historical Archives of Ptuj occupy an area of 887 square metres of storehouses and office premises.

Archival records

The archives perform expert tasks related to public and private documents and archives. The archives consist of the material issued by state bodies, local self-governing communities, and bearers of public authority and public services. Its remit includes the state administrative units (territorial divisions other than municipalities used in state governance) of Ormož and Ptuj.

The Historical Archives Ptuj house around 2,800 linear metres of archival and documentary material. The archives consist of: documents dating from 1338 to 1867; manuscripts dating from 1440 to 1965; the Museum Society Collection dating from 1605 to 1961; records of the Lords of Ptuj Castle since 1431; records of the Minorite Monastery in Ptuj dating from the 14th century; records of the Municipalities of Ptuj and Ormož and of their predecessors dating from the 14th century to 1945; records of the District Board of Ptuj and the District Courts of Ptuj and Ormož since the 19th century; records of schools since the second half of the 19th century, of savings and loan banks since 1900, and of societies since 1918; records of the district people’s committees and various town, local, and municipal people’s committees, political organisations, and some businesses from the period since 1945.


Published guides include A Guide to Records and Collections, Historical Archives in Ptuj [Vodnik po fondih in zbirkah, Zgodovinski arhiv Ptuj] (1985). The most recent issue of the guide was published in 2009.

Published inventories of records include Town Committee of the Liberation Front of Ptuj 1945–1983 [Mestni odbor Osvobodilne fronte Ptuj 1945–1983] by Nada Jurkovič; The District Coal Mines of Ptuj 1947–1959 [Okrajni premogovniki Ptuj 1947–1959] (1983) by Branko Oblak; Varia 1634–1983 (1984) by Nada Jurkovič; and Loan Co-operatives of the Ormo Area 1906–1948 [Kreditne zadruge ormoškega področja 1906–1948] (1986) by Branko Oblak.

Next to guides and inventories of records, the Historical Archives Ptuj also publishes exhibition catalogues. Articles on archival work are published in the local newspaper in order to encourage potential visitors.


Among the exhibitions organised during the last two decades were Vine and Wine Through Time [Vino in trta skozi čas] (1991) and First among equals! The function of the judge and mayor of the city through the centuries [Prvi med enakimi! Funkcija mestnega sodnika in župana skozi stoletja] (2006).

The 2008 exhibition National Consciousness was Awakened in Ptuj in 1908 revealed the background of the September 1908 events in Ptuj and presented the determination and will of the Slovenian Society of St. Cyril and Method’s members to fight for the rights of Slovene people, detested and oppressed by Germanisers. Events in Ptuj activated the entire nation of Slovenia, which further accentuates their importance.

In 2011 the exhibition on the history of primary schools in Ptuj presented the numerous defunct schools from the 17th century till today.

International cooperation

The recent exhibition was prepared for the Historical Archives in Požarevac (Serbia) on the traditional masks from the Ptuj region (2011). An exhibition on Janez Puh was organised in cooperation with Austrian archives, while research is also conducted regularly in the archives of Graz and Vienna (Austria), and Varaždin (Croatia).

In the late 1990s the Historical Archives Ptuj organised an International Colloquia on the Working Community of Middle European Archival Societies and an International Symposium on Municipal Documents from the 14th and 16th centuries.


The Historical Archives Ptuj organise staff training of civil servants who work with documentary materials. In the process of professional training, participants obtain knowledge in the fields of legislation, the management of documentary materials in physical and digital form, informatics, and archival science.


Arsana International Music Festival

3. 07. - 29. 07. 2021



Mednarodni glasbeni festival Arsana

Jadranska 4 SI-2250 , Ptuj

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Since 2008 the Arsana Music Art Association organises the Arsana International Music Festival, which – together with the Art Stays, International Festival of Contemporary Art – represents the music part of the Art Ptuj Festival. Each year the Arsana International Music Festival brings many locally known as well as world renowned musicians of diverse musical backgrounds including folk, jazz and classical, to the many different music venues of Ptuj.


Among the musicians who have performed at this music festival are: violinist Stefan Milenković, pianist Chris Jarrett, and guitarist Miran Tadić, who, together with actor Rade Šerbedžija, presented songs from their new album Nine New Ones and Barbara [Devet novih in Barbara]. Each year the festival presents popular Slovene musicians and singers such as Mia Žnidarič and Maja Keuc and bands such as Terrafolk and Vox Arsana, as well as musicians from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to collaborate.