2b Inner, 2c Lower
Styria (Slovene: Štajerska; German: Untersteiermark), also Slovenian Styria or Lower Styria, is a traditional region in northeastern Slovenia, comprising the southern third of the former Duchy of Styria. The population of Styria in its historical boundaries amounts to around 705,000 inhabitants, or 34.5% of the population of Slovenia. The largest city is Maribor.
 Use of the name
The Duchy of Styria, which existed as a distinct political-administrative entity from the 12th century to 1918, used to be divided into three traditional regions: Upper Styria, Central Styria and Lower Styria. The first two are located northward, have been German-speaking and today form the Austrian State of Styria (German: Steiermark). The third is located south of them, was predominantly Slovene-speaking and is today part of Slovenia.
According to the last Austro-Hungarian census of 1910, Lower Styria had around 498,000 inhabitants, of which around 82% were Slovene and around 18% German speakers. In 1918, after the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire following World War I, the Duchy of Styria was divided between the newly established states of German Austria and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Rudolf Maister, a Slovene major of the former Austro-Hungarian Army, occupied the town of Maribor in November 1918 and claimed it to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. After a short fight with German Austrian provisional units, the current border was established.
By December 1918, all of Lower Styria was de facto included in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later known as Yugoslavia. The border between Yugoslav and Austrian Styria mostly followed the ethnic-linguistic dividing line between Slovenes and ethnic Germans. Nevertheless, several Slovene-speaking villages around Leutschach, Spielberg, Soboth and Bad Radkersburg remained in Austria. On the other hand, several predominantly German-speaking towns remained in Yugoslavia, especially Maribor, Ptuj and Celje; in addition, the German-speaking area around the village of Apače was annexed to Yugoslavia. According to the 1921 Yugoslav census, some 22,500 ethnic Germans lived in Yugoslav Styria. They represented around 4.5% of the overall population of the region, and around 57% of all ethnic Germans in Slovenia. In 1931, this number dropped to around 12,500 or 2.3% of the regional population, and around 45% of all ethnic Germans in Slovenia.
In 1922, the County of Maribor was formed, comprising most of the territory of Slovene Styria, plus the Prekmurje and the Medjimurje regions. After the coup d'etat of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in January 1929, the counties were abolished and replaced with nine Banates (Slovene: Banovina). Following the reorganization implemeted by the Yugoslav constitution of 1931, Slovene Styria was incorporated in the newly established Drava Banovina, which was more or less identical with Slovenia, with Ljubljana as its capital city.
In April 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Slovene Styria was annexed to the Third Reich, and a policy of violent Germanization was introduced. Public use of Slovene language was prohibited, and all Slovene associations were dissolved. Members of all professional and intellectual groups, including many clergymen, were expelled. Between April 1941 and May 1942, around 80,000 Slovenes (almost 15% of the overall population) were expelled from Lower Styria, or resettled to other parts of the Reich. As a reaction, a resistance movement developed. Many areas of Lower Styria witnessed fierce fighting between German troops and Slovene partisan units.
After World War II, Yugoslav authority over the region was established and Slovene Styria became an integral part of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. An expulsion of the ethnic German population was carried out, regardless of their links to the Nazi regime.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, many areas of the region underwent rapid industrializations. Towns like Maribor, Celje and Velenje became among the most important industrial centers of Slovenia and Yugoslavia.
 Statistical division
Lower Styria has no official status as an administrative or statistical unit within Slovenia, although it is widely considered a traditional region. The bulk of Lower Styria is subdivided between the Drava statistical region (Slovene: Podravska statistična regija) with its seat in Maribor, and the Savinja statistical region (Savinjska statistična regija) with its seat in Celje. Smaller areas of Lower Styria are included in:
- The Mura statistical region (Pomurska statistična regija): the subregion called Prlekija, with the municipalities of Apače, Gornja Radgona, Križevci, Ljutomer, Radenci, Razkrižje, Sveti Jurij ob Ščavnici, and Veržej;
- The Carinthia statistical region (Koroška statistična regija): the municipalities of Mislinja, Muta, Podvelka, Radlje ob Dravi, Ribnica na Pohorju, Slovenj Gradec, and Vuzenica;
- The Lower Sava statistical region (Spodnjeposavska statistična regija): the Municipality of Bistrica ob Sotli, and the territory on the left bank of the Sava River in the municipalities of Brežice, Krško, Sevnica, and Radeče;
- The Central Sava statistical region (Zasavska statistična regija): the territory on the left bank of the Sava River in the municipalities of Hrastnik and Trbovlje.
Nowadays, many of these peripheral areas are no longer considered part of Styria. An exception is the Prlekija subregion, which is still widely considered part of Styria.
 Division into various statistical regions
In 2005 Slovenia was divided into 12 statistical regions. Most of the Styria area is now divided into the regions of Podravje (Podravska regija), and Savinjsko (Savinjska regija). An area along the Mura region with Ljutomer as center, known historically as Prlekija, has been incorporated in the Mura region (Pomurje or Pomurska regija), and a number of Lower Styrian municipalities including the town of Slovenj Gradec have been attached to Carinthia thereby doubling the latter's area. The name of Štajerska, however, has thus disappeared from official use. Nevertheless, it is still very alive in both colloquial and media language, and it is part of the established cultural and geographical terminology. It also continues to be employed in the promotion of tourism.
The cultural and economic centre of Lower Styria has always been the city of Maribor. Other major towns are Celje, Velenje, Ptuj, Brežice, and Slovenj Gradec. The latter two are no longer considered to be a part of Styria proper: Slovenj Gradec has been attached to Carinthia, forming that enlarged region's new cultural and economic centre, whereas Brežice is one of the major centers of the Posavje region which developed after World War II on both banks of the Sava river.
Styria is known for its white wine, especially the Ljutomer Riesling, after the ski resort Pohorje, after cultural festivals and after pumpkin seed oil. It is also known as a hop growing area producing Styrian Goldings, a variety of the English aroma hop Fuggles.
 Prominent people from the region
- Anton Aškerc, poet
- Aleš Čeh, football (soccer) player
- Jolanda Čeplak, athlete
- Peter Dajnko, philologist and poet
- Karel Destovnik Kajuh, poet
- Mladen Dolar, philosopher
- Vekoslav Grmič, theologian
- Drago Jančar, writer
- Edvard Kocbek, writer, poet, thinker and politician
- Anton Korošec, politician, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- Janez Menart, poet
- Fran Miklošič, linguist
- Matija Murko, linguist and ethnographer
- Janez Puch, inventor, especially in bicycle industry
- Žarko Petan, film and theatre director
- Zoran Predin, singer-songwriter
- Jože Pučnik, dissident, politician and sociologist
- Benka Pulko, author and Guinness World Record setting motorcycle traveler
- Miha Remec, author
- Anton Martin Slomšek, Roman Catholic bishop
- Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, victorious Austrian admiral
- Jože Snoj, poet
- Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, Austrian admiral
- Danilo Türk, President resident of Slovenia
- Beno Udrih, basketball player
- Josip Vošnjak, political activist
- Stanko Vraz, poet
- Windisch-Graetz, princely family
- Hugo Wolf, composer
- Zlatko Zahovič, football player
- Milan Zver, politician and political scientist
 See also
- History of Slovenia
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Maribor
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Celje
- University of Maribor
- I. High School in Celje
- Rinka Falls
- Counts of Celje
- Gregor Jenuš, Ko je Maribor postal slovenski (Maribor: znanstvenoraziskovalni inštitut dr. Franca Kovačiča, 2011), 81
- Dušan Nećak, Die "Deutschen" in Slowenien (1918-1955): kurzer Abriß (Ljubljana: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete, 1998)
- Gregor Jenuš, Ko je Maribor postal slovenski (Maribor: znanstvenoraziskovalni inštitut dr. Franca Kovačiča, 2011), 89-90
- Map of Yugoslav Banates
- :Slovenia Holidays: Stajerska, the Slovene Styria
- Map of Slovene regions by Luventicus
- Sloveniaholidays Site: Regions with their centres
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Štajerska|