Graz in Styria

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 - 02:40 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, European Union, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

City Hall © Tamirhassan

City Hall © Tamirhassan

Graz is the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna and the capital of the federal state of Styria. On 1 April 2010 it had a population of 292,000. Graz has a long tradition as a student city: its six universities have more than 44,000 students. Its “Old Town” is one of the best-preserved city centres in Central Europe. Graz is situated on the Mur River in the southeast of Austria. It is about 200 km (120 mi) southwest of Vienna. The nearest larger urban center is Maribor in Slovenia which is about 50 km (31 mi) away. Styria is a green and heavily forested area.

In 1999, Graz was added as UNESCO City of Design to the list of World Cultural Heritage Sites, and the site was extended in 2010 by Schloss Eggenberg. Graz was sole European Capital of Culture for 2003 and got the title of a City of Culinary Delights in 2008.

The name of Graz is undoubtedly of Slovene origin and the city was Slovene for a short period. Politically, culturally, scientifically and religiously, Graz was an important centre for all Slovenes, especially from the establishment of the University of Graz in 1586 until the establishment of University of Ljubljana in 1919. In 1574, the first Slovene Catholic book was published in Graz, and in 1592, Hyeronimus Megiser published in Graz the first multilingual dictionary that included Slovene.

St Martin Castle © H Moschitz Castle Hill © Jean François Riemer Basilika Mariatrost © Sandro Schachner View from Schlossberg (Castle Hill) © Andrew Bossi University of Graz © Dr Marcus Gossler Opera House © Georg Mittenecker Main square © Traveler100 Kunsthaus (Art Galery) seen from Schlossberg (Castle Hill) © Marion Schneider & Christoph Aistleitner Eggenberg Palace front facade © Gugganij County house backyard © Andrew Bossi Clock Tower © Wladyslaw City Hall © Tamirhassan
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Kunsthaus (Art Galery) seen from Schlossberg (Castle Hill) © Marion Schneider & Christoph Aistleitner
In the last few years some strikingly modern new public buildings have been erected in the city. The most famous include the Kunsthaus (house of modern art) designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, a museum constructed right next to the river Mur, and the “Murinsel” (island in the Mur), an island made of steel, situated in the river. It was designed by the American architect Vito Acconci and contains a café, an open-air theatre and a playground.

The old town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 due to the harmonious co-existence of typical buildings from different epochs and in different architectural styles. Situated in a cultural borderland between Central Europe, Italy and the Balkan States, Graz absorbed various influences from the neighbouring regions and thus received its exceptional townscape. Today the old town consists of over 1000 buildings, their age ranging from Gothic to Contemporary.

There are currently 228 buildings in Graz that are classified as high-rise: the floor of at least one room is 22 metres above ground level. Such buildings have to adhere to much more stringent fire safety regulations because the ladders of the majority of fire appliances used by Graz Fire Brigade cannot reach higher than 22 metres. There are some new high-rise buildings in the pipeline; the only ones that currently seem certain to be built are a 15-storey office block opposite the “Stadthalle” on the southern edge of the city centre and a 21-storey officeblock next to the motorway leading from the Graz Ost Interchange (road) into town.

Read more on City of Graz, Graz Tourism, Karl Franzens University Graz, Wikitravel Graz and Wikipedia Graz. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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