The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the Kras (Karst) limestone plateau. To the north is Austria; to the east, Hungary; to the south, Croatia; and to the west, Italy.
Slovenia became an independent state in 1991 and a member of the EU on May 1, 2004.
Maribor is the Country's second largest city and is also the economic and cultural centre of northeastern Slovenia. It is at the cross-section of traffic routes leading from Central to southeastern Europe, and from western Central Europe to the Pannonian Lowland.
Long famous as a wine-growing area, Maribor is home to the world's oldest vine - and it still produces grapes every year! Its great age - 400 years - has finally been conclusively established, and "stara trta" na Lof Maribor will appear in the next issue of the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in Europe.

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