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Landeszeughaus Graz

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. Styria desperately needed such a large armoury to host a massive amount of weaponry and armour for the defence of styria against the invading Ottoman Empire. There was a defensive perimeter, 100 km south of Graz in nowadays Croatia/Hungary to defend styria against the Turks.

The weapons stored in the Landeszeughaus were needed in order to equip the soldiers at this perimeter. After about 100 years in use, Austrian empress Maria Theresia wanted to close down the armoury, because she centralised the defence of Austria. She wanted to bring all the weapons and armour to Vienna. Nevertheless the Styrian Estates managed to plead for the ongoing existence of the Styrian Armoury and if not for active use at least as a symbol for their struggle against the Turks and also for their achievements in defending not only Styria but Austria alike. Also World War II posed no real threat to the objects, because they were all brought into hiding to several castles around Graz. After World War II the objects were brought back into the luckily undamaged original building. The Armoury is not only the largest original armoury in the whole world, it is also the oldest museum in Styria and became part of the so called Universalmuseum Joanneum in 1892.

The armoury is open seven days a week throughout the year. In winter, it can only be visited through guided tours. The armoury is situated right in the city centre, a few steps from Hauptplatz in Herrengasse Nr. 16. When arriving per train just take trams number 3 or 6 from main train station to the city centre and leave at station “Hauptplatz/Grazer Congress”. Then just walk strait into Herrengasse and after about 100m you will notice an antique cannon standing in front of a door on the right side. That’s the main entrance to the armoury. Alternatively you can also leave at station “Jakominiplatz” and walk back to Hauptplatz through Herrengasse.

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