The Black Death, or the Plague, caused considerable devastation in Maribor during the 17th century, claiming nearly a third of its inhabitants. In response to this catastrophe, Maribor’s citizens erected the Plague Column in 1681, a monument symbolizing their gratitude for the plague’s cessation. Adorned with an image of the Virgin Mary, the column was a testament to the hope of divine intervention and protection against this merciless disease.

The 18th century saw the replacement of the original Plague Column with a monument crafted by the artist Jožef Štraub. Situated at Maribor’s main square, Glavni trg, this monument displays a statue of Mary, Mother of God, encircled by six saints revered as intercessors during the plague. Today, this monument stands as an iconic historical landmark in Maribor, serving as a constant reminder of the city’s past.

Alongside these religious responses, it’s plausible that practical strategies were employed to manage the plague’s spread. These might have encompassed quarantining the infected, imposing travel and trade restrictions, and efforts towards city-wide sanitation. However, precise details about these strategies are scarce.

It’s crucial to understand that during the time of the Plague, knowledge of disease transmission was rudimentary, and strategies deployed were based on the existing beliefs and understanding. Today, the Plague Column and similar monuments scattered across Europe stand as enduring reminders of the plague’s devastating impact and humanity’s resilience in the face of such calamities.