Things to do in Graz

Graz is the capital of Styria and comes second place in the list of largest cities in Austria. It comes after Vienna. Graz has a population count of 328,276 counted on the 1st of January 2019. Graz has the largest urban population with a population count of 633,168 urban people. Graz has the highest percentage of higher education. They have four colleges and four universities that will have more than 60,000 students in them. The historic center of Graz was considered as the most preserved city center in the whole of Central Europe. 

For a lot of centuries, Graz has become the most important city for Slovenes and Croats. This city is important for them both politically and culturally. Graz is more important than other capitals like Ljubljana, Zagreb, Croatia, and Slovenia. Their city was this much popular that it will be included in the list of top heritages by UNESCO. 

They added this city in 1999 and in 2010 the area of the city center was expanded to add on Eggenberg Palace to its western edge. This city was also considered as the Cultural Capital of Europe in the year 2003 and in 2008 this city became the city of Culinary Delights. 

The name of the city originated from a word called Gratz which means a small castle. This word Gratz has come from the stems of Slavic Gradec. Some of the archaeologists connect the small castle word with Alpine Slavic people who are defending this city with fortification. The official name of Graz comes into the records in 1128. 

This city was spread into both sides of the Mur river which is in southeast Austria. The location of this city is 200 km away from the southwest part of Vienna. The largest urban center near Graz is Maribor which is in Slovenia. This urban center is 50 km in the south. Graz is the largest and the capital of Styria. Graz is a Green forested area covered with natural vegetation in the eastern region of Alps. 

The borders of Graz are- in north region the borders are Gratkorn, Weinitzen and Stattegg; in the east region the borders are Kainbach bei Graz, Hart bei Graz, Raaba; in south the borders are Gossendorf, Feldkirchen bei Graz, Seiersberg; in west region the borders are Attendorf, Thal, Judendorf, Strabengel.  

In total Graz will have 17 municipal districts Innere Stadt, geidorf, St. Leonhard, Lend, Gries, Jakomini, Liebenau, St. Peter, Waltendorf, Mariatrost, Ries, Andritz, Ghosting, Eggenberg, Wetzelsdorf, Strabgang, Puntigam. 

Main Sights

When Graz was the cultural capital of Europe there were a lot of attractions that were built in this city. The Graz Museum of Contemporary Art which was developed by Peter Cook with the help of Colin Fournier. This museum is situated next to the Mur River. The Island in the Mur which is basically a floating platform made up of Steel. 

This beautiful place was constructed by an American architect Vito Acconci and this place contains a café, a playground and an open air movie theatre which is quite amazing. Some of the main sights of Graz are:

Historic City Centre 

This is a very unique place and that’s why it was included in the list of World Heritage sites released by UNESCO. They included this in 1999. This building got this chance because of its co-existence with some typically structured buildings and the different epochs of different shapes and sizes. This building was situated on the border of central Europe, the Balkan States, and Italy. 

Graz has various influences as compared to its neighboring cities and this city also received its exceptional townscape. Till now this historic building consists of 1000 new buildings of different shapes and sizes. The queue of the buildings isfrom Gothic to Contemporary. Some of the main attractions in this building are:

  • Its town hall 
  • The Castle Hill – this is a hill that is actually dominating the whole historic center. From this site, the whole city of Graz can be seen. 
  • The Clock Tower- this structure is basically the symbol of Graz and is situated as the top of Castle Hill.
  • The New Gallery- this is basically a museum of Art. 
  • The Castle hill funicular- this is a railway track on the Castle Hills slope.
  • The Seat of Styria`s provincial parliament- this is a place that is designed with the Lombardic style. This is the best example of Renaissance architecture in the whole Austria and this building was constructed by an Italian architect Domenico dell’Allio. This building was constructed between 1557 to 1565. 
  • The Armoury- this Armoury is the largest one in the whole world. 
  • ●     The Graz  Opera House- is the main building for the operas, ballets, and operetta performances. It comes insecond place in opera houses of Austria. 
  • The Graz theatre- it is the principal theatre for most of the popular plays of Austria.
  • The Cathedral- is one of the rarest monuments of Gothic architecture. Before times there were a lot of frescos on the outer sides of the cathedral but now there are few frescos remaining at the outer borders. One of the frescos is Landplagenbild which was painted in 1485. These frescos depict three plagues: locusts, invasion of the Turks and pestilence.  
  • The mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II- this building is next to the cathedral and considered as the most important building of Mannerism in Graz. This building consists of the graves of Ferdinand II and his wife and the whole building was dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria. 
  • The castle- the castle was built between 1438 to 1453 with Gothic Double Staircase. This castle was built by Emperor Fredrick III and he built this castle because their old castle was very small and uncomfortable. This castle also became the residence for the Inner Austrian court till 1619. But now this building will become the residence for the Austrian government.     
  • The Painted House- this building is in Herrengasse 3 and the whole building was covered with frescos which were painted by Johann Mayer in 1742. 
  1. Eggenberg Palace- it is a baroque palace which is situated in the western region of Graz. The palace includes staterooms and museums. This palace was also added in the list of world heritages in 2010 as the historic center ofGraz.
  2. The Mariatrost Basilica- this is a late Baroque church which exists in the outskirts of eastern edges of Graz. 
  3. Jesus`s Heart Church- this is the largest church of Graz and the third-largest church of Austria. The whole infrastructure of the church is in the Gothic revival style. 
  4. The Calvary Hill- this place exists in the Gosting area of Graz and includes a 17th-century calvary and a church. 
  5. The Graz University Hospital- is the largest hospital in Graz and one of the largest hospitals of Austria. This largest hospital was built in 1904 and 1912. The whole hospital was run from the province of Styria and considered as one of the largest renowned hospitals in Austria and Central Europe. 
  6. Some of the best viewpoints of Vistas are Hosting Run. It is the place on the northwestern side of Austria. The viewpoint consists of restraint and a viewing tower from where it gives a great view of the whole location. 

Culture

This city got the title of European Capital of Culture in 2003 and was awarded by UNESCO with the award of Cities of Design in 2011. Some of the most popular museum of Graz are:

  1. Schloss Eggenberg – this is a place where the paintings and sculptures of Romanesque are preserved. They also have collections of coins, Lapidarium, Archeological Museum and big romantic landscape gardens of 90,000 meters. 
  2. Museum im Palais- this museum consists of all the records from the Middle Ages to the current date.
  3. Neue Galerie- This museum consists of all the visual arts from the 19th century and 20th century. 
  4. Natural History Museum this is a museum that consists of botany, mineralogy, and zoology fossils and remains.
  5. Stadtmuseum Graz–  this museum is a city museum.
  6. Kunsthaus– This is the museum that consists of the contemporary art of Austria.
  7. Forum Stadtpark this is also the museum that consists of the contemporary art of Austria.
  8. Camera Austria– this museum consists of contemporary photography.
  9. Landeszeughaus  this is the museum where medieval armories are preserved. This museum comprises 32,000pieces of armor and weaponry. It is the largest museum of this kind in the world.
  10. Volkskundemuseum this museum consists of folk culture and lore preserved for many years.
  11. Diözesanmuseum this museum consists of the Roman Catholic Church.
  12. Künstlerhaus the museum which also works as the exhibition hall for contemporary visual arts.
  13. Literaturhaus the museum consists of contemporary German literature.
  14. Museum der Wahrnehmung this museum consists of the senses, samadhi bath.
  15. Kindermuseum Friday Fred- this museum is for children.
  16. Tramway Museum- this museum consists of 40 historic trams and it is the oldest museum built-in 1873.
  17. Kriminalmuseum This museum is based on criminology.
  18. Luftfahrtmuseum It is a Graz Airport aviation museum.
  19. Hanns Schell Collection it is a key and lock museum and one of the largest of its category in the world.
  20. Austrian Sculpture Park– This museum is seven hectares of contemporary sculpture.
  21. Botanical Garden of Graz in this museum, there are three architecturally interesting glasshouses and also have gardens.

History

When the copper age started the first oldest settlement of Graz was found in Austria. Hence there is no record of its origin before middle age. In the 12th century, dukes made a rule under Babenberg which states that this city is a commercial center of Austria. Then this rule was broken by Habsburgs in 1281 and the city got some extra privileges in the rule of king Rudolph I. 

This city came under the Inner Austrian line of Habsburgs in the 14th century. The royal powers of Graz lived in Schlossberg and from there they ruled Styria, Carinthia, a place which is now called Slovenia and some other parts of Italy like Carniola, Gorizia, Gradisca and Trieste. 

The main architecture of this city was developed in the 16th century when it comes under Italian artists and architects. Landhaus is one of the great examples of this as it is the most popular building of Graz. This building was designed by Domenico dell`Allio and at that time this building was used as the government headquarters by the local rulers. 

In 1585 Archduke Karl II founded the University of Graz. It is one of the oldest universities in Graz. Firstly this university was controlled by the catholic church but the university got closed under the rule of Joseph II who actually wanted to take over all the educational institutes. 

Joseph converted this institute into a training centre which they call lyceums where the training of medical doctors and civil servants should be done. But in 1827 it again reestablished as an institute by an emperor Franz I and then the university was named as Karl-Franzens Universitat or Charles-Francis University. After opening this institute it will become a bit popular as more than 30,000 students have enrolled for admissions in this university. 

One of the greatest astronomers Johannes Kepler also lived in this city for a shorter period of time. He also worked as the math teacher in a school in Graz and also worked as the mathematics professor in the University of Graz. But still, after this work, he finds astronomy as more suitable. He left this city when Plague was spreaded and the entry of Lutherans was banned by the government.

 When Ludwig Boltzmann was the mathematical physics professor Nikola Tesla studied under him in electrical engineering and he was a professor from 1869 to 1890. Nobel Laureate Otto Loewi studied at the University of Graz from 1909 to 1938. The noble prize holder in literature Ivo Andric also studied from the University of Graz. Erwin Schrodinger was the chancellor of the University of Graz in 1936. 

On today’s date, Graz was at the center of Bundesland which is in Styria. Mark is a word which means that a place which is covered with the defense forces. In these types of borders the peasantry was taught how to defense themselves in the cases of invasion. Due to its open borders at Mur valley Graz is one of the targeted border by the invaders. Like Hungarians

Graz works as the home for many of the region’s provincial armories which is famous for their collection of weaponry. They have various historical weaponry which they have preserved from 1551 and have more than 30,000 items with them.

In the 15th century, Graz becomes the house for most of the branches of Habsburg. Some of the new fortifications were implemented in Graz during the 16th century. This city got occupied by the Napoleon army in 1797. Again in 1809, this city got assaulted by the French Army.

During the attack of Napoleon army the commanding officer ordered the army to defend 3000 army personnel with 900 mens. He became successful in defending them in Habsburgs but the powerful was forced to surrender when Grande Armee captured Vienna. Even after fighting with 3000 army men this war was considered as the defeat of Austria because of Grande Armee. 

This battle was named the Battle of Wagram which occurred in 1809.  The Civic Clock tower and the Belltower in Graz worked as the symbol of Graz and were reconstructed after the citizens of Graz paid a good amount of money for its preservation. 

Archduke who was the emperor of Inner Austria had burned 20,000 protestants’ books. The place where he burned the book is now a mental hospital. 

If we talk about the population count then we get to know that the percentage of population will increase year by year as in 1869 Graz has the population of 98,229 and till 2019 it will become 292,269. As there is no current picture of total population because in the population count only principal residence status can be calculated and secondary residence status is not calculated. 

So here is no exact picture of how many people live in Graz. The majority of the population of secondary residence consist of students who are living here to study at the University of Graz. A survey conducted in 2016 clearly shows that there are 33,473 students who are living here for studies in colleges and universities.

The common climate found in this city is Oceanic Climate. But because 0°C isotherm the exact same climate will occur in a humid continental climate. Wladimir Koppen was a climate control study place where the studies on climate control take place and they calculate how the climate should change with the influence of Continental Drift theory. 

Because of its position this city was protected from westerly winds and these winds will bring the weather fronts from North Atlantic to central Europe and northwestern Europe. 

The weather of Graz was affected with the change in Mediterrian and this city will have the more hours of sunshine as compared with Vienna and Salzburg and have less rain and winds. 

This city basically lies on a basin which is opened to the south region which makes it even more hotter than the latitudes. The natural vegetation of Graz is more likely to grow on the south side of the city.  Here is the list of average temperatures of some particular places:

  • The average temperature of Graz Airport is 8.7 degrees Celsius which is 48 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The average temperature of Karl-Franzens University is 9.4 degrees Celsius which is 49 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Average rainfall in Graz is 818mm which is 32 inches and this average is calculated within 92 days at Karl Franzens University.
  • The average hour of sunshine is 1989 hours at Karl Franzens University.  

Slovenes and Graz

If we think on the basis of Politics , Culture, religious and scientifically ways then Graz was an important city for Slovenes. The university of Graz which was established in 1586 will make it even more important for Slovenes until the establishment of the University of Ljubljana will take place in 1919. 

The first book Slovene catholic book was released in 1574 and this book got published in Graz and another book named as Dictionarium quatuor Linguarum was also released in 1592 and this book was the first multilingual directory of Slovene.

The Slovenes of Styria will not consider Graz as the city of German-speaking but in place of it they consider their own city as the place of German-speaking. The students of the Slovene community are more aware of their nation as compared to others. This led to the Anti-Slovene efforts for the German nationalist who were in Graz during world war II.

The most number of Slovenes are at the professor post in the university of Jazz which is in Graz. Most Slovenes are found employed in Graz as compared to Slovenia. In Slovene culture, Graz was considered an important part because of its universities like the University of Graz. 

Conclusion

With the final words, we conclude that Graz is the best place to visit with your family. They will have unique architecture and have some great city centers. So if you are planning for a trip they go ahead and we hope you like this place. 

Featured hotels in Graz, Austria

Grand Hotel Wiesler Graz

Avarage rate: € 79.00/Double Room
Boasting a superb central location right in the historic heart of Graz, the 5 star Hotel Wiesler offers a pleasant combination between well preserved old world charm, latest comforts and top quality of service. It is housed in an impressive Art Nouveau building, standing on the bank of the River Mur, close to the one of the major public transportation hubs – Südtiroler Platz and a short walk from the Kunsthaus, the Mariahilf church, the artificial island in the river, the picturesque Schloßberg and the Rathaus. This luxury property provides private parking, high-sped internet access, elegant restaurant, winter garden and modern business facilities.

Hotel zum Dom

Avarage rate: € 67.00/Double Room
The Hotel zum Dom is located right in the historic and cultural heart of Graz, close to the beautiful Late Gothic Cathedral and within minutes on foot to all main tourist attractions and places of business interest, such as the congress centre. The property is an ideal starting point for exploring this picturesque Austrian city on the River Mur. It features a lovely roof-top terrace with a whirlpool and wonderful city views, restaurant, bar, private parking, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet connection in the entire building and 29 elegant, spacious and air-conditioned rooms with en-suite bathroom and all contemporary comfort you may expect from a quality 4 star city hotel in Austria.

Augartenhotel Graz

Avarage rate: € 84.00/Double Room
The 4 star design Augartenhotel is housed in a modern building in contemporary Scandinavian architectural style, offering a pleasant mixture of warm hospitality, art and the latest accommodation comforts. It is located just steps from the historical centre of Graz, providing the ideal base for touring on foot this amazing Austrian city. The Hauptplatz with its magnificent historicist City Hall, the Dom and the funicular leading to the top of the Schloßberg are all within easy walking distance. On-site amenities include a panoramic roof-top terrace, indoor swimming pool, private parking and high-speed Internet connection.

Day Spa Hotel Teuschler Garni

Avarage rate: € 63.00/Double Room
The Day Spa Hotel Teuschler Garni offers contemporary 4 star accommodation in warm and welcoming atmosphere. It enjoys a quiet location in the north-east part of the city, right next to a stop of bus no. 58, going to the railway station and a couple of steps from a stop of tram line no. 1, providing quick access to the picturesque historic centre of Graz with its amazing UNESCO sights. The property features its own private parking (free of charge), complimentary Wi-Fi connection throughout the building, bar and excellently equipped spa and wellness area.

Hotel Erzherzog Johann

Avarage rate: € 75.00/Double Room
Housed in a splendid baroque palace with a prime central location, Erzherzog Johann Hotel offers top standard of contemporary 4 star accommodation within elegant historic environment. The property boasts a long tradition of more than 150 years in providing the best hospitality in the historic heart of the city, just steps to all prominent sights. Contemporary features include an excellent spa and wellness area, large indoor swimming pool, fitness, sauna, complimentary Wi-Fi, restaurant and panoramic terrace overlooking the roofs of the old town and the surrounding mountains.

The Weitzer Graz

Avarage rate: € 69.00/Double Room
The Weitzer is a prestigious 4 star hotel that boasts a long tradition in providing the best hospitality service, dating back to 19th century. This is the biggest hotel in Graz city centre offering 202 comfortable accommodation units equipped with all modern-day amenities. It enjoys a picturesque location on the banks of the River Mur, right in the old town, within walking distance to all main points of tourist and business interest. The Congress House and the Art Gallery are both just a 3-5 minute walk away.

Stoiser’s Hotel Garni

Avarage rate: € 60.00/Double Room
The Stoiser’s Hotel Garni offers luxury modern accommodation in peaceful and green surroundings, within the pretty historic district of Mariatrost. Although it is on the outskirts of the city, convenient tram transport provide quick and easy connection to the old town. The establishment features a well equipped spa and wellness area, free public parking next to its building, complimentary Wi-Fi connection throughout the property. The 53 en-suite rooms come with all modern-day comfort expected from a top quality 4 star hotel in Austria.

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