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Graz

Worth visiting

Added on 26 Aug 2020,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 26 Aug 2020

Nearby cycle routes and tours

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Mur cycle way

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Type of sights

Old town / World heritage site

 
 

Name and address

Graz

AT-8010 Graz

Geodetic coordinates

47.071000 15.438000

Communication

Graz is the capital of Styria (Steiermark) and the second largest city of Austria with a population of just below 300,000 - about 40,000 of which are students of its six universities. It has been a vital urban centre for both Styria, Austria and Slovenia.

Graz maintains a balance between its illustrious past and modern present and features spectacular architecture from all periods, while the warm and sunny climate influenced by the closeness to the Mediterranean makes it a very nice city to visit.

Understand

The roots of Graz can be traced back to Roman times, when a small fort was built where the city centre is today; Slovenians later built a larger fortress in the same place. The name "Graz" is derived from the Slovenian word gradec, which means small castle. Graz was first mentioned with its German name in 1128 when the dukes of Babenberg turned the place into a commercial centre. During 15th century Graz became the capital of Inner Austria (referring to Styria, Carinthia and Carniola) under the Habsburgs.

Due to its importance as a strategic position, Graz was often assaulted by Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. The fortress located on the Schlossberg (the picture to the right shows the clock tower, which is located on top of the hill) never fell to the Turks (the only place in this region).

During World War II, Graz was part of Nazi Germany (along with the rest of Austria). At the end of the war, Graz was surrendered to Soviet troops largely intact; the historic old town was not seriously hit during Allied bombing raids on the city. In 2003 Graz was the Cultural Capital of Europe.

Some 40,000 of the city's population is made up of students, as Graz is home to no less than six universities (four "standard" universities and two dedicated solely to applied sciences), and is associated with names as illustrious as Johannes Kepler, Erwin Schrödinger and Nikola Tesla. The first university was founded in 1585 (Karl-Franzens-Universität).

Graz is also known for the Magna Steyr (formerly called Steyr-Daimler-Puch) automobile and truck manufacturing plant located there.

The City of Graz, Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg, is a world heritage site.

See

  • The historic old town. It has been designated a World Heritage site.
  • The Schlossberg (Schloßberg). the castle perched upon a hill in the middle of the city around which Graz sprang up. The funicular (Schloßbergbahn) (10 day and tourist tram/bus ticket covers the ride), and elevator (Schloßberglift) (€1,20) will take the effort out of the walk to the top, although to use them would be to miss the wooded paths and some spectacular views. 
  • Clock Tower (Uhrturm). on the top of the Schloßberg, the symbol of Graz. 
  • Glockenspiel. which comes to life with song and rotating dance figures every day at precisely 11:00, 15:00 and 18:00. 
  • Eggenberg Palace (Schloss Eggenberg) (Tram 1 direction Eggenberg/UKH), +43 316 5832640. 10:00-17:00. Guided Tours: Tu-Su and public holidays at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00. Early Baroque architecture with lavish state rooms. There is a €2 fee for entering the park surrounding the castle, which they likely will not charge if you say you intend to take the castle tour. The castle guided tour is highly recommended though, as it contains dramatic wall and ceiling paintings, elaborate ceramic stoves, and inlaid wood floors. Eggenberg Castle is closed from 1 January till 23 of March. €13, free entry to the museum with Steiermark-Card or GenussCard. Wikipedia Icon (updated Feb 2018)
  • Don't miss the double spiral staircase in the Burg, a castle complex built between 1438 and 1453 by Emperor Frederick III which is today inhabited by the government of Styria.
Churches
  • The mannerist-Baroque Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II, with impressive interior decor by famous Styrian artist Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. Its elliptical dome is the oldest of its kind outside Italy. Next to the Mausoleum is the Cathedral of Graz with an exceptional exterior fresco, the so-called Gottesplagenbild (picture of plagues), which is the oldest remained painting depicting Graz.
  • There are some more remarkable churches in Graz: The oldest one is the Romanesque Leechkirche with its tympanon Madonna. The highest building of Graz is the Herz-Jesu-Kirche, designed down into the last detail by architect Georg Hauberrisser in Gothic Revival style. Except the altar area, which had to be re-modeled after the liturgical renewals of the Second Vatican Council, everything still retains the original conception. On the other side of Mur river there are some beautiful Baroque churches like Mariahilf or Welsche Kirche. In St. Andrä, Baroque and modern elements combine, whereas St. Lukas, situated at one of the largest traffic routes of Graz, is a great example of contemporary sacred art.
Museums
  • Kunsthaus. Is Graz's newest exhibition place. It's worth a visit, even if you only look at its design from the outside. It's right across the river from Hauptplatz at the Suedtirolerplatz (Tram 1,3,6,7,14 direction Hauptbahnhof). (You will definitely notice the blue bubble) (€3 with euro)
  • Murinsel. Originally a temporary project during 2003 for the Cultural Capital of Europe (Graz 2003) celebrations, people liked it enough so it stayed. Designed by the New York artist Vito Acconci, this accessible artificial island in the river, contains a stage for performances and a coffeehouse. Wikipedia Icon 
  • Joanneum Museum of Styria (Steiermärkische Landesmuseum Joanneum), +43 316 80179716. Raubergasse 10. (cheaper with euro)
  • Armory Zeughaus, in the Herrengasse Tel: 8017 9810, [5]. Open April 1 - October 31: daily 10:00-18:00; November 1 - March 31: M-Sa 10:00-15:00, Su 10:00-16:00; adults €8, groups €5.50, Students €3. Contains an amazing collection of arms and armor, from large two-handed swords and maces to the more modern pistols. Originally the local armory was built to readily equip the people in the event of an attack, and so the weapons you'll see here were made for use, not show. English tours are available; inquire early in the day to see what time one will be offered. If you are incredibly enthusiastic about weapons and ask nicely, your guide might treat you to further description of the use and care of the weapons after your tour is completed. Pictures are not allowed, but postcards with pictures of the main pieces can be bought in the gift shop. Be warned, this building gets extremely warm in the summer (especially on the upper floors). Weapons enthusiasts may wish to go early in the day, or you may find your interest waning rapidly as the puddles form around your feet. Note without a guide it is just row upon row of armour with no information at all on any items in any language.

Do

  • Simply walk around the centre of the town and explore the many courtyards and narrow streets discovering many interesting shops, restaurants and cafés as well as the impressive architecture.
  • Walk or climb up the Schloßberg and have a meal in the open-air at the top whilst admiring the views. The easiest way is to walk up the Sporgasse from the Hauptplatz to the "Karmeliterplatz" where you walk under an archway on the left where a road meanders up the gentler eastern side of the Schloßberg. From the west and north you have a choice of zig-zag paths or to climb the steps from "Schlossbergplatz". There is also a lift going up inside the mountain at Schlossbergplatz. You also might see some of the tame red squirrels (Eichkätzchen) at the top. Use the Schloßbergbahn, a cable car which you'll find at the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Kai, to go up or down if you don't feel like walking.
  • Take bus number 40 to the terminus and walk up (very steep) to the ruins of Gösting castle and enjoy the view over the city.
  • A nice trip for a lovely day leads to the Austrian Sculpturepark. Remarkable pices of art from numerous national and international artists in a pretty park. You can entrer for free, but you better bring something to drink and a Snack. Reachable by a free shuttlebus in summer to Schwarzlsee or with regionalbus 630 from Jakominiplatz. You can also go by bike, it's a nice ride passing by the Airport.

Sleep

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Information about copyright

Rights characteristic / license

by-sa: CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-ShareAlike

Link to the description of the license

creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Input taken over from:

Wikivoyage contributors, 'Graz', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 25 August 2020, 07:38 UTC, https://en.wikivoyage.org/w/index.php?title=Graz&oldid=4054159 [accessed 26 August 2020]

taken over / edited on

26 Aug 2020

taken over / edited by

biroto-Redaktion

Nearby cycle routes and tours

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Mur cycle way

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EuroVelo: Waters of Central Europe

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River Mur Cycling Path

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River Mur Cycling Path R2

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Added on 26 Aug 2020,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 26 Aug 2020