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Graz

The Styrian capital Graz, whose roots date back to the Roman age, lies on both sides of the River Mur, and is well-known for its medieval city center and modern architectural highlights.
Graz, with a population of 250,000, has a great number of interesting sights ranging from old and time-honored to dynamic and modern.

Here is a list of some of Graz' must sees:
Graz is dominated by the Schlossberg, a forested mountain which rises over the medieval town center and is crisscrossed with walks from all sides. At the top is a bell tower which formed part of the now demolished castle and once was the emblem of the city. Graz’s new landmark, the Kunsthaus was constructed right next to the River Mur in 2003 where it floats like a giant, bluish bubble.

Part of your ticket to the Kunsthaus is the entrance to Eggenberg castle with its amazing park. The architecture of Schloss Eggenberg is based on the Gregorian calendar: 365 exterior windows, one for each day of the year. Of these, 52 are on the 24 rooms of the piano nobile representing the weeks of one year. The second story contains 24 state rooms in a ring-shaped arrangement and symbolize the hours in a day. Every floor in the building bares exactly 31 rooms counting the maximum number of days in a calendar month. The 52 windows of the piano nobile with the 8 windows of the Planetary Room make a total of 60, representing both the number of seconds in a minute and the minutes in an hour.

The late-gothic cathedral is reminiscent of the times when Graz was still an imperial seat. The baroque Mausoleum of Emperor Kaiser Ferdinand II next door is an impressive sight. The 5-story Landeszeughaus (Styrian armory) houses an incredible 32,000 historic armor and weapons. The Landhaus with its Renaissance arcaded courtyard almost looks like a Venetian palazzo.

Joanneum, donated by prince Johann at the beginning of the 19th century, is Austria’s largest provincial museum and highlights nature, culture and arts in Styria. The Murinsel - Island in the river Mur - is an artificial floating platform in the middle of the Mur. It was constructed by New York artist and designer Vito Acconci on the occasion of Graz becoming the 2003 European Capital of Culture.

Special events include the "Styriarte", a music festival dedicated mainly to early music, the “Steirischer Herbst” (Styrian Fall), a festival focused on contemporary theater, fine arts, literature & music, and the Eggenberg Palace Concerts. Kunsthaus, Stadthalle, the Opera, the theater and forum stadtpark host great cultural activities throughout the year.

Impressions of Graz

  • Kunsthaus Graz, also known as 'the friendly alien' © Österreich Werbung, Viennaslide Kunsthaus Graz, also known as 'the friendly alien' © Österreich Werbung, Viennaslide
  • Birdseye view of the Kunsthaus Graz also called the friendly alien © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver Birdseye view of the Kunsthaus Graz also called the friendly alien © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver
  • The armory in Graz © Graz Tourismus, Harry Schiffer The armory in Graz © Graz Tourismus, Harry Schiffer
  • City museum Graz © GrazMuseum, Andreas Vormayr City museum Graz © GrazMuseum, Andreas Vormayr
  • Enjoy mediterranean flair at Mehlplatz in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Werner Krug Enjoy mediterranean flair at Mehlplatz in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Werner Krug

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