Graz Schlossberg (The Castle)
The Schlossberg is exclusively attractive and a must-see sight in Graz. In springtime it impresses with fresh green, in summer welcomes with shady trees and open-air performances, in autumn provides visitors with a blaze of colours, and in winter one can escape to it from the dull routine in the city. And all that within a few minutes. On top of this hill there is much to discover. The Bell Tower, which dates back to the sixteenth century, is the heaviest bell of Graz. There is also an open-air stage in the former cellars of the destroyed main structure of the fortress. A cistern - the Turkenbrunnen (Turkish well), near hundred meters deep, and the mighty Stallbastei bastion were all built by Domenico dell'Aglio. He was leading among the architects from Northern Italy who in the mid-16th century erected new city walls in Graz and a four hundred meters long fortress on Schlossberg. The two hundred and sixty steps of Schlossbergtreppe lead one downwards, or one can sit and enjoy the sight from the glass lift which terminates in the Schlossberg tunnel system. It was built in World War II as an air-raid shelter for the people of Graz. Today it houses not only a grotto railway for the kids, but also the “Dom im Berg” - an event and exhibition hall with state of the art technical infrastructure - all of this right in the centre of a crag.
This cathedral reminds one of the times when Graz was an imperial city. The cathedral was built by Emperor Frederick III, together with his new residence in the city. The cathedral has been changed a number of times and the construction work of the court and parish church in late Gothic style was started in 1438. As a Jesuit church, it was refurbished in Baroque style in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. From 1786 onwards this was bishop’s and main church of the Catholics in Styria and later became a cathedral.
The great landmark of new Graz is high above the right bank of the Mur River, completed in October 2003; Kunsthaus was built by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. The impressive edifice attracts a lot of people with striking architecture and various exhibitions of contemporary art. This structure is a symbol of the harmonious coexistence of old and new in Graz.
Graz Opera House
This is the second largest opera in Austria. Springboard for a lot of music careers, it was awarded as "Opera House of the Year" in 2001. It was completed in 1899 by the architects Fellner and Helmer, who planned buildings all over Europe. A beautiful contrast to the neo-Baroque building is the steel sculpture Llight Sword, done by Hartmut Skerbisch in 1992. For the people of Graz, the Opera House is a symbol of open mindedness and tolerance.
Graz Hauptplatz & the Town Hall
Built in the Middle Ages as a market square, the Hauptplatz is the center of public life in Graz till nowadays. Here is situated and the Town Hall, the seat of the mayor and the city administration. All trams of the city stop there and the main shopping streets also lead to the square. Around the monument of Archduke Johann, there are many sausage stands - "Wurstelstande", where people like to stand together to have some Krainer or sausages and a pleasant chat.
The majestic town hall with its dome, its clock and towers has dominated Graz Hauptplatz since the nineteenth century. It is not only the seat of the mayor and the city administration - there are also many shops and an open-air café in the courtyard, which bring additional life to the building and the square. For sure this square brings up romantic memories for many people!
Graz Gemaltes Haus (Painted House)
In 1742 the Baroque artist Johann Mayer painted frescos on the facade of Gemaltes Haus, which show gods of Greco-Roman mythology. This edifice is also called Herzogshof. Up to the second half of the fifteenth century, the Habsburgs carried out their official business as princes of Styria in this house. Curiously, the manager of the house was released from paying any taxes for putting up the prince’s chair.
A great symbiosis between art and technology. A masterpiece of acoustics, since 2002. It was architect Markus Pernthaler who transformed a production hall dating back to the middle of the last century into an event hall which meets all acoustic requirements. The majestic structure made of glass, steel and concrete mostly serves as a venue for the major Styrian festivals Styriarte and Steirischer Herbst. It brings a notable cultural touch into the traditional industrial quarter.
Firstly meant to be a temporary project of the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2003 - Graz, Mur River Island has turned into a permanent attraction. The steel grid structure with a form, similar to a half-opened shell was designed by the artist from New York - Vito Acconci. This strange structure combines an amphitheatre for various performances and a great resting place for sun seekers. In the covered part there is a beautiful café and the island also works as a bridge between the banks of the Mur River.
A remarkable landmark, this majestic Riegersburg castle was built over eight hundred and fifty years ago on a volcanic hill, which overlooks the lush vineyards of Southeast Styria. Thanks to a hillside lift, you can reach the top within a couple of minute’s seconds. A trip to the legendary Riegersburg castle is a must for everyone who came in Graz. Also here one can enjoy a sample of the local culinary specialties.
The incredible thirty-two thousands historical arms and military equipment are housed on the five floors of this building. The Landeszeughaus is considered to be the most prominent collection of historical weapons in the world. On the ground floor is housed an exhibition explaining the historical background and above it - a striking arsenal of rifles, armors, staff and bladed weapons dating mainly from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. And all that is housed in the original edifice that was erected in the middle of the seventeenth century to serve as an armory for the Styrian estates.
Also you may want to visit the Graz Tourist Information and Graz Transportation.