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An Intro to Graz

The roots of Styria's capital date back to the Roman age. Nestled along the River Mur, Graz's cityskape offers a medieval old town and innovative modern architecture.

Graz is dominated by the Schlossberg, a forested mountain in the medieval town center. A crisscross of walking paths and a furnicular lead to the top where Graz' former landmark, a bell tower sits as a reminder of the now demolished castle. The city's new landmark, the Kunsthaus (House of Modern Art) was constructed right next to the Mur River in 2003 where it floats like a giant, blue bubble.

Part of your ticket to the Kunsthaus is the entrance to Eggenberg Palace and its manicured parks. Schloss Eggenberg's architecture is structured around the Gregorian calendar. The palace has 365 exterior windows, one for each day of the year. Of these, 52 are in the 24 state rooms representing the weeks in a year and hours in a day. Every floor in the building has exactly 31 rooms, counting the maximum number of days in a calendar month. A tour of Eggenberg is not complete without visiting the colorful peacocks that roam free in the palace garden.

Graz' late-gothic cathedral near the town center is a relic of the times when the city was still an imperial seat. The baroque Mausoleum of Emperor Kaiser Ferdinand II is just a few feet away. Graz' armory is the largest historic arsenal in the world: 32,000 pieces of armor and weaponry date back to the 15th century.

Austria’s largest provincial museum, the Joanneum, was donated by prince Johann at the beginning of the 19th century and spotlights nature, culture and arts in Styria. The Murinsel, an artificial island in the River Mur, was constructed in 2003 by New York based artist Vito Acconci. In 2017 it is slated to re-open with a new coffee and design shop.

Graz is popular with art festival goers. Highlights include the styriarte, an early music festival and the Steirischer Herbst (Styrian Fall), a contemporary art festival featuring theater, the fine arts, literature, and music. A special event for all ages is the La Strada street artist festival – international theatre groups, dancers, and performers turn the city into one large stage.

Impressions of Graz

  • Blick auf die Murinsel © Steiermark Tourismus / Ikarus Blick auf die Murinsel © Steiermark Tourismus / Ikarus
  • Rooftops of Graz Austria © Steiermark Tourismus / Harry Schiffer Rooftops of Graz Austria © Steiermark Tourismus / Harry Schiffer
  • The armory in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Harry Schiffer The armory in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Harry Schiffer
  • Eggenberg Castle in Graz, Styria © Graz Tourismus / Harry Schiffer Eggenberg Castle in Graz, Styria © Graz Tourismus / Harry Schiffer
  • The shopping street Herrengasse in Graz' Old own, © © Österreich Werbung / Diejun The shopping street Herrengasse in Graz' Old own, © © Österreich Werbung / Diejun

Take the train to Graz

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