To Restore, Revive and Connect

architects Jurij Kobe, Rok Žnidaršič
project The Puppet Theatre, Maribor, Slovenija
written by Matevž Čelik


The restoration of the Minorite Monastery in Maribor for the needs of a puppet theatre is a cultural, architectural and urban achievement. After more than 200 years Maribor is slowly getting used to one of the oldest parts of the city, which has been inaccessible and neglected for a long time. Plays of the puppet theatre take place in the covered yard of the monastery and passersby stroll in the vicinity rediscovering historical shortcuts which connect the old town with the riverbank of the River Drava.


The oldest walls of the monastery, which was left to decay from the time of the reforms of Emperor Joseph II when it was turned into barracks, date from the 11th century. Today the monastery is being activated again on the mental maps of the users of the city area. The restoration has freed almost forgotten corners of the city, so the environment of the Minorite Monastery blends into an urban unity with the riverbank in the Lent area, the city centre, the city market and the Koroška Vrata (Maribor suburb). The result of reviving the complex using culture, planned more than 30 years ago, seems almost natural today. The restoration is, however, not completed and its success will greatly depend on the dynamics of further works in the environment.