Maribor in Slovenija is a beautiful town not far away from the Austrian border. It lies at the same river Drau/Drava as Villach, only about 150 km downstream. It’s one of those towns that not only nominally lie at a river, it’s one of those that really make use of that position.
You don’t see the promenade in this image, you don’t see the the restaurants and cafés along that promenade, but they are what make the difference.
Historically it’s of course understandable. Today’s rivers are regulated and relatively safe. You see the perils of building too near the river in some of those cities that are situated at the confluence of two or sometimes three rivers. The city of Steyr in Austria is regularly flooded and so is Passau in Germany.
In Maribor the main city is safe at something like 30 meters above river level. A cascade of restaurants and cafés, warehouses and workshops falls down to the river, and that’s where the most beautiful spots are.