Slovenska Bistrica is a town and a municipality south of Maribor in eastern Slovenia. It is one of the largest municipalities in Slovenia. Traditionally the area was part of the Lower Styria region. The municipality is now included in the Drava statistical region. The town was established in the 13th century on the trade road between Maribor and Celje. It was granted market rights in 1313. It was originally called just Bistrica. The present name of Slovenska Bistrica first appears in records dating from 1565.