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Graz Travel Guide, Austria

Graz is the second largest city in Austria and the capital city of the region of Styria. Graz lies on both sides of the River Mur and is famous for its medieval centre as well as its modern architecture. The old city centre has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The city can trace its roots back to Roman times and a fort once sat where the city centre is today. Its “Old Town” is one of the best-preserved city centres in Central Europe. The city took its German name in 1128 when the Dukes of Babenberg turned the place into a commercial centre, in the 15th century Graz became the capital of inner Austria under the Hapsburgs. During the 16th century the city often came under attack by the Ottoman Turks but they were unable to take the Schlossberg fortress which overlooked the medieval town centre from its f mountain position. Graz survived WW2 relatively intact and in 2003 was the Cultural Capital of Europe.

The ruins of the Schlossberg can be reached by way of a series of pathways of varying difficulty, offering some spectacular views and you may encounter some of the red squirrels who live here, or you can take the Schloßbergbahn or tram. At the top there is the Clock Tower which is a symbol of the city of Graz.Graz is home is six universities, the first university was founded in 1585.

Schloss Eggenberg

Eggenberg Castle –Schloss Eggenberg, in Graz is the most significant Baroque palace complex in Styria. With its preserved accouterments, the extensive scenic gardens as well as some additional collections from the Universalmuseum Joanneum housed in the palace and park, Schloss Eggenberg counts among the most valuable cultural assets of Austria. With its construction and accouterment history, it exhibits the vicissitude and patronage of the one-time mightiest dynasty in Styria, the House of Eggenberg.

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The Landeszeughaus, in Graz, Austria, is the largest existing original armoury in the whole world and attracts visitors from all over the world. It holds approximately 32,000 pieces of weaponry, tools, suits of armour for battle and ones for parades. The Landeszeughaus was built from 1642 – 1645 by a tyrolean architect called Antonio Solar.

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The Murinsel – Mur island, in Graz, Austria, is actually not an island at all, but an artificial floating platform in the middle of the Mur river. This landmark of Graz was designed by New York artist Vito Acconci on the occasion of Graz becoming the 2003 European Capital of Culture.

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Mariatrost Basilica

The baroque Mariatrost Basilicaon top of the Purberg hill in Graz-Mariatrost is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites of Styria, Austria. The pilgrimage church prominently stands at the top of Purberg hill in the northeast of Graz.

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Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Herz-Jesu-Kirche –Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is the largest church in Graz, Austria. It was designed down to the last detail by architect Georg Hauberrisser and constructed from 1881 to 1887. The church was designed in the Neogothic style, with a large, high nave and under-church. The tower is 109.6 meters tall, making it the third-highest church tower in Austria.

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Graz Art Museum

The Kunsthaus Graz, Grazer Kunsthaus, or Graz Art Museumwas built as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003 and has since become an architectural landmark in Graz, Austria. Its exhibition program specializes incontemporary art of the last four decades. Its unusual form differs radically from conventional exhibition contexts, many of which maintain the traditions of the modernist “White Cube”.

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Rathaus Graz

The first Town Hall was built in 1450, in the Jewish quarter, this building was soon too small and so in 1550 a new town hall was built in the Renaissance style in it’s present position on the main square. This building was kept very simple and only at the corners decorated with ornaments. At that time it also housed the main station and a prison on the third floor. In 1803 the building was demolished and a new building was built between 1805-1807 in neoclassical style replaced the former building, designed by Christoph Stadler.

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Opernhaus Graz

The Opernhaus, the principal venue for opera, ballet, and operetta performances. It is the 2nd largest opera house in Austria. Initially, today’s opera house was the municipal theatre and did not exclusively serve music. So it was opened with Schiller’s drama “Wilhelm Tell” on 16 September 1899 . At the request of the city council, the Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer, famous for their theatre projects, designed the building in the style of the Baroque master builder Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach

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Uhrturm Graz

The Grazer Uhrturm (Clock tower) is the most important symbol of Graz. Standing 28 metres high, it has stood on top of the Schlossberg hill since 1560, although there has been a tower on this spot since 13th century. The clock had only an hour hand to begin with and the minute hand was added much later. The oldest of the three bells dates back to 1382.

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Christmas in Graz

Graz – Christmas Markets in Austria

hollyAdvent is a time when the city comes alive with twinkling lights, decorated chalets and the sounds, sights and smells of the Christmas Markets, it is a wonderful time of year to visit the city and to join in the celebrations and to do a bit of Christmas shopping. Discover the dates and times of the Christmas celebrations held in the city  ‘Here’

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