Graz, Austria

Graz, capital of the Austrian state of Styria, on the Mur, 127 km 2 in size, with (2019) 288 800 residents, the second largest city in Austria.

Graz extends over 12 km on both sides of the Mur after its exit from the Alps (Grazer Bergland) into the Graz Basin, 353 m above sea level. The city with its own statute is the administrative seat of the Graz-Umgebung district.

As the capital of Styria, the city is the seat of the state government, the state parliament, all district and state authorities, the Higher Regional Court for Styria and Carinthia, the state finance department and other authorities, as well as the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Graz-Seckau and an Islamic cultural center. Graz is also an important educational center with the Karl Franzens University (founded in 1585), Technical University (since 1875), Medical University, University of Music and Performing Arts, two universities of applied sciences, University of Education, Church Teaching University, Institute for Space Research of the Austrian Academy of the sciences, Forschungsgesellschaft Joanneum, Federal Trade Academy, State Conservatory, numerous higher education institutions and schools as well as libraries. Universalmuseum Joanneum with armory and others Outposts (including Eggenberg Palace with Hunting Museum, World Heritage Site since 2010), Diocesan Museum, Tramway Museum, Kunsthaus Graz, Old and New Gallery, Künstlerhaus Graz, Folklore Museum, Johann Puch Museum, Museum of Perception and others. Museums. Other cultural institutions are the opera and theater, the Volkstheater, the Graz Forum Stadtpark, the “Styrian Autumn” festival, and the television center (ORF regional studio Styria); Federal Stadium in Liebenau (Merkur Arena); SOS Children’s Villages. Graz was the European City of Culture in 2003.

As an important trade fair and congress city (congress hall and center) with a wide range of educational opportunities, Graz has developed into an innovative technology location and, thanks to its beautiful old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site), also a tourist center. The branches of industry include machine and vehicle construction as well as plant and apparatus construction, the metal industry, construction, followed by the food and luxury goods industry (breweries, etc.), the chemical and pharmaceutical, electrotechnical and electronics industries; The paper industry as well as printing companies and publishing houses are also important.

Due to its location, Graz is also an important traffic junction; Graz Airport with the Austrian Aviation Museum is located south of the city. The Styria S-Bahn was opened for inner-city traffic in 2007.


The city is dominated by the centrally located Schlossberg (up to 473 m above sea level, an isolated dolomite cone; mountain railway), on which the bell tower (1588) of a church demolished in 1809/10 and the clock tower from 1561 (clock from 1712), a landmark of the city. The old town extends around its foot with the town castle (1438–53, 1494–1500 with the Maximiliansbau and the stair tower with the counter-rotating double spiral staircase) and the late Gothic St. Aegydius Cathedral (1438–62) with rich, especially baroque furnishings.

The Bürgerspitalkirche zum Heiligen Geist (1461–98), the Franciscan Church (around 1500) with a Gothic cloister and the parish church of the Holy Blood (beginning of the 16th century, with parts of the former Dominican church from 1439/40; baroque facade, 1741/42) are also late Gothic). The oldest church in the city is the early Gothic Leechkirche (1275–93) of the Teutonic Order with stained glass (around 1330).

The country house (1527–67, today the state parliament building) with a three-storey arcade courtyard and splendid furnishings from the 18th century was the model for the early baroque palace buildings in Styria. The later Emperor Ferdinand IIhad his mausoleum built in 1614, one of the most important Austrian buildings in the transition to the Baroque; Inside there is excellent stucco work, high altar designed by J. B. Fischer von Erlach (1695–97). The numerous palaces show the development of palace construction (including the “Krebsenkeller”, Dompfarrhof, 16th century; the Palais Kollonitsch, Lengheimb, Welsersheimb, 17th century; the Palais Attems, Wildenstein, 18th century).

In the western suburbs are the castles Eggenberg (1625–35, with valuable interior decoration) and Gösting (1724–28). In the city center there are numerous town houses (the oldest from the 16th century), some with arcades and arcaded courtyards. The Lesliehof (1665–74) became the core of the Joanneum, founded in 1811; The New Gallery of the Joanneum is housed in the Palais Herberstein (around 1754).

According to dentistrymyth, the historic center of Graz was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the Eggenberg Palace was added in 2010). Modern architecture emerged, among other things. as part of the project »European City of Culture 2003«. Among the more recent projects in design and architecture, the synagogue (1998–2000) by Jörg and Ingrid Mayr, a shell-shaped Murinsel (2003) by the American artist Vito Acconci and the computer-developed spaceship architecture of the new Kunsthaus Graz (2000–03) by the British architects Sir Peter Cook and Colin Fournier (* 1944).


In the second half of the 10th century, a border fort was probably built on today’s Schlossberg; a castle was built there before 1130 (first mentioned in a document in 1128/29 as Slavic gradec “small castle”). At the foot of the Schlossberg there was a church and a courtyard, the core of the later suburb of Sankt Leonhard. The Lords of Traungau founded the large complex around the main square after 1156 and made Graz, mentioned in 1172 as a market, in 1189 as a civitas, the center of their new country (from 1192 owned by the Babenbergs; from 1222 minting rights); In 1233 the Coming of the Teutonic Order was created on the Leech.

Under Duke Leopold III. In 1379 Graz became the capital of the territory of the Leopoldine Habsburgs (Inner Austria) and in 1440 the residence of King Friedrich III. (from 1452 emperor). The threat from Hungarians and Turks led to the construction of powerful fortifications on the Schlossberg and around the city from 1543 onwards. In the 16th century Graz became predominantly Protestant; In 1564 Archduke Charles II raised it again to the residence of Inner Austria. He founded the university in the course of the Counter Reformation in 1585 and handed it over to the Jesuits who had been resident since 1571. In 1600 the Protestants, including J. Kepler, had to leave Graz. After the coronation of Archduke Ferdinand (I.) to the emperor (1619) and the relocation of the court to Vienna, Graz kept the rank of the capital of Inner Austria until 1749. In 1809 the fortress was razed. The very expanding factory districts that arose in the 19th century were incorporated into the municipality in 1938.

Graz, Austria

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