The Povoden Museum and the Orpheus Monument

The Povoden Museum and the Orpheus Monument

On Slovenski Square is to be found the oldest open-air lapidary in Slovenia. It bears the name of the curate Simon Povoden who, in 1830, had made built in the town’s Tower base antique monuments found in Ptuj and its environs.

Among them are fragments from civilian and military tombstones, ash bins, sacrifical altars, dedication plates with reliefs, and square blocks. Belonging to the Povoden Museum are also sacrificial altars standing in the niches in the northern wall of the parish church of St. George.

In front of the town’s Tower stands the almost 5 m high monument, the biggest ever found in the Roman province of Upper Pannonia. Most probably it is located on the site where it was found. The hardly legible inscription says that the monument, made of Pohorje marble, was erected in the 2nd century to the then mayor Marcus Valerius Verus.

The central relief scene depicts Orpheus who plays his lyre in mourning over the loss of Eurydice, hence its popular name – the Orpheus monument. In the Middle Ages the monument was used as a pillory – »pranger«. Iron rings were attached to the monument’s lower part to tie criminals to it, and by doing so the inscription was damaged.

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