Museums & Culture in Graz
From contemporary to Medieval: Graz has it all.
It began with the city of Graz's need for a contemporary art exhibition space, suitable for a future European Cultural Capital. The right bank of the river Mur, then a neglected part of town, seemed a good location, and the old cast-iron Eisernes Haus an ideal starting point.
British architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier proceeded to create something nobody could've imagined: a wild, biomorphic structure that somehow contrasts and mirrors the gabled houses all around. Locals dubbed it the "friendly alien," thanks to its unusual shape and the 1,066 acrylic glass elements that form its skin.
To get the most out of a visit to Eggenberg castle in Graz, a guided tour of the state rooms is a must. You’ll soon find out that the castle contains many intriguing secrets that are not immediately obvious: such as the fact that the building includes remnants of Medieval structures, or that the entire layout of the castle is based on astronomical symbolism taken from the – at that point in history – brand new Gregorian calendar.
You’ll find that the castle features exactly 365 windows, 31 rooms on each floor, 24 state rooms with 52 doors and 4 corner towers, all alluding to time, the seasons, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. Even the wall paintings in the stately Planetensaal (Planet Hall) are part of this intricate concept.
When in Graz, don’t miss the Zeughaus (armoury), which is the only original historic armoury left in the world. Built back in 1642, it contains about 32,000 arms and military equipment dating from the late 15th to the early 18th century, enough weapons to equip an army of 5000 men. At the time the Zeughaus was built, Graz was the centre of defense against frequent attacks from neighbouring territories, forcing the Styrian lords to organize massive armies in a very short time. What makes the armoury unique today is that all items are still organized and stored the way they were 400 years ago.