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A Day in Graz

By: Cityseeker
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Universalmuseum Joanneum

In the 17th Century, today's Johanneum was known as Lambrechter Hof, after its first owner. In 1811, Habsburg Archduke Johann took control of the building and donated his scientific collection as the basis of the museum's exhibitions. Soon after, the collection was made available to the public and was subsequently expanded. Presently, the main building of the Johanneum in Raubergasse, houses the geology, zoology, mineralogy and botany departments as permanent exhibits. The Alte Galerie also shows visiting exhibits (such as works by Schiele and Gaugin).

Raubergasse 10, Graz, Austria, 8010

The Landhaus and its impressive courtyard is a jewel of Renaissance architecture constructed in installments. The history of this building began in 1494, additional buildings were bought in 1519 and the Knights' Hall was constructed between 1527 and 1531. The particular style dates back to the period 1557-1564, when the main facade was constructed in Palazzo-style by Domenico d'Allio and was strongly influenced by the Venetian tradition. This gave the building and courtyard its breathtaking appearance. A few more recent alterations were conducted in 1890. Today, the Landhaushof is a popular venue for events and performances, theatrical or otherwise.

Herrengasse 16, Innere Stadt, Graz, Austria, 8010

The Zeughaus, today one of the most important arms collections in the world, had its heyday in 1699. During that period, no fewer than 185,700 weapons were stored there ready to be used to fight the Turks. Compared to this number, today's stock seems rather small at just 32,000. Weapons of all kinds can be viewed, but this tally is nevertheless extraordinary. The fact that such a large number remained intact is due to a combination of fate and luck. Maria Theresia intended to demolish the 1644 building in 1748, but the Styrian aristocracy resisted successfully and thus preserved a unique place of remembrance. The museum is open for visitors everyday except Tuesdays, and provides admissions with guided tours from November to end of March.

Herrengasse 16, Graz, Austria, 8010
Graz Cathedral

Until the 19th century, Graz Cathedral looked rather bare from the outside. Now, plenty of elaborate ornamentation characterizes the 15th-century building, and more specifically its westward facing walls. Only one of the formerly abundant frescoes remains, the famous Landplagenbild, has suffered substantial damage. The present altar has survived many modifications; formerly there had been no less than twelve dating from the late Gothic period, these were replaced by Jesuit renaissance altars and these, in turn, were replaced by today's baroque versions.

Burggasse 3, Graz, Austria, 8010

Many people outside Graz are jealous of its citizens for their wonderful Stadtpark (city park). Generous amounts of greenery dominate the picture and have done so for more than 100 years. Knight Moritz Ritter von Franck had the idea of constructing an oasis of calm on the former forecourt of the fort. Numerous statues, such as the Rosegger-Monument, decorate the many paths and lawns. The architectural and artistic highlight is the Stadtpark fountain, acquired at the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition. It links Graz and Paris because its side parts can be found on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Montclair Allee, Graz, Austria, 8010
Museum der Wahrnehmung

Surrounded by the Augarten and located on the bank of the River Mur, this remarkable octagonal building offers interesting architecture. Originally, this building was home to public baths; today, it hosts the Museum of Perception. The permanent show is about the fallibility of all human perception. This place has been a host to many experimental paintings and sculpture. In the cellar, you find an Indian Shamadi bath which makes this place one of the most important and interesting in Europe. However, reserve in advance if you are interested in trying it out. The museum is close to the city center and is easily accessible on foot.

Friedrichgasse 41, Graz, Austria, 8010
Grazer Uhrturm

The Uhrturm (Watchtower) is not only beautiful to look at, but it is home to one of the oldest bells in the country. And, it doesn't just stop at that; it serves a practical function as well. The hands of the clock work ijn an unconventional manner, with the small hand shows the minutes and the big one the hours, making it much easier to read. The Uhrturm was constructed in 1560 and the bell rung to announce impending executions. Later it indicated the closing hour for pubs and cafes.

Schlossberg, Graz, Austria, 8010

The fact that the 473-meter-high (1551.84 feet) Hausberg remains a green oasis even today is attributable to Franz Ludwig von Welden. The formerly bare Dolomite rock used to be the site of a fort and all but the watch and bell tower were destroyed; what's left standing today are just the ruins. Many trees and bushes planted in the 19th century have replaced it and are responsible for the Schlossberg's continued popularity, along with the beautiful views it offers. Schlossberg is also home to several restaurants, businesses and entertainment spaces, which is why it is so popular with locals as well as tourists. A cable car ride to the top of the mountain is a must-try when here.

Am Schlossberg 1, Graz, Austria, 8010
Eggenberg Palace

The largest castle in the Steiermark, incorporated into the Johanneum museum in 1947, shelters a whole new world to discover. Erected in 1625 as a representative building by Duke Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, it still manages to preserve its old charm. The rooms are the objects of fantasy-filled design with stunning ceiling paintings. The building boasts a famous hunting museum as well as a former baroque garden, home to free running deer and peacocks. The passion of the former master adds interesting detail. His love of numbers is reflected in the construction of the castle, with four corner towers to symbolize the four winds and 365 windows to symbolize the days in the year.

Eggenberger Allee 90, Graz, Austria, 8020
Schwarzl Freizeitzentrum

On hot summer days, half the city migrates to the Schwarzlsee. The most recent record counted more than 25,000 visitors, which created a parking space inferno. But, the large numbers is not without reason since this is the most beautiful leisure oasis in and around Graz with its clear waters, enough space to spread out, various restaurants, ice-cream and refreshments, great routes for inline-skating, water sports and beach-volleyball courts. There are some special activities: an excursion boat for trips around the lake, a waterski-lift and a cart track. Needless to say, most of the water sports like sailing, surfing and diving are very popular with the people. During the summer months there are frequent concerts in the Schwarzl Halle.

Thalerhofstrasse 85, Unterpremstätten, Austria, 8141

Hiking through the Bärenschützklamm is one of the best ways to spend your day in Graz. With unique cliff formations, raging rapids and an intricate set of wooden bridges crossing the narrow valley, this is definitely a sight to see. The Bärenschützklamm is a majestic water-filled gorge loved by visitors and locals for its beauty and lush green and tree filled pathways. The entire hike can take up to 4 or 5 hours so its a great day outing for the family or for a solo backpacking mission.

Kirchdorf 6, Kirchdorf, Austria, 8132
Therme Loipersdorf

Therme Loipersorf is one of the largest spa compounds in Austria. It offers a range of facilities including a tropical garden, a 150 meters (492.12 feet) slide, and an aptly named Acapulco pool. The extensive wellness and sauna complex has two sections, the Styrian Sauna, and the Roman Sauna. Plenty of therapies are available here that offer loads of relaxation and pampering. There is also a large affiliated four-star hotel within the vicinity; the hotel's residents receive reductions for spa services.

Loipersdorf 152, Loipersdorf, Austria, 8282
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