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Things to do in Graz

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Eggenberg Palace
The universe is in Graz! It’s no joke, but rather a wonderful example of harmonious architectural skill: Eggenberg Palace on the edge of the city centre. Set within a beautiful park is the main palace, which was laid out as an architectural allegory of the universe. The building represents a precisely calculated cosmos. It was commissioned by Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg from the year 1625 to embody his wish for a harmonious structure, reacting to the chaos of the 16th century. 365 windows, 31 rooms on each floor, 24 state rooms with 52 doors and, in all, 60 windows, 4 corner towers - all allusions to time, to the seasons, to weeks, days, hours, minutes. This number symbolism based on the then new Gregorian calendar is the architectural programme of the palace. Also the paintings in the Planetensaal (Planet Hall), whose decoration was started in 1678, are characterized by astronomical symbolism. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/eggenberg-palace_sh-1199
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Kesselfallklamm
The countryside immediately around Graz is wild and romantic. Among the natural attractions hidden away here are narrow gorges and gullies, through which busy streams rush. The beautiful Kesselfallklamm is like a little sister to the mighty Bärenschützklamm. Well secured steps allow you to explore this romantic gully comfortably with children too. At its northern end is the town of Semriach, a health resort popular for its air quality and treasured as a wonderful patch of Styria. The Kesselfall gorge, the most spectacular section of the Rötschbach stream, has been accessible since 1904. The Kesselfall circle trail (R3) starts at the Sandwirt restaurant in Augraben. A pictorial sign will show you the way: a man falling into a pot (Ger. "Kessel"). Fresh from the spring, the water rushes and roars over waterfalls, in rapids and through pools. From the highest of the falls, the water plunges in cascades over a 38m drop. Thanks to more than 50 ladders and bridges, in all, about 1,800 rungs, you can experience this marvel up close. On the upper reaches of the gorge, where the Rötschbach stream is silently murmuring, the circle trail turns to the right. Walking steeply uphill, you will first reach an unusual rock formation called "Stone Gate" and will pass a cave, before going downhill and finishing the tour in the valley at Sandwirt. In one and a half hours of walking you would have covered 2.7 km and an altitude difference of 200m. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/kesselfallklamm_af-1272
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The Cathedral Graz
Royal-imperial church architecture is crowning the historic city centre. The cathedral is definitely not to be missed on any sightseeing trip round Graz. Don’t be fooled by the relatively restrained exterior. The "Gottesplagenbild", an inspiring relic of splendid Gothic fresco painting, is still in excellent condition today. Inside the cathedral, a multitude of ecclesiastical along with general historical treasures is waiting to be discovered. Today's cathedral reminds of the days when Graz was an imperial city. Emperor Frederick III erected the church together with his new residence in Graz. In the course of history, the cathedral saw many changes. Construction work of the court and parish church in late-Gothic style was started in 1438, as Jesuit church it was refurbished in Baroque style in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Since 1786 it has been the cathedral, i.e. the bishop's and main church of the Catholics in Styria. The exterior of the cathedral looks very sober today. In the Gothic period, however, the façades were covered with paintings. One fresco has been preserved - the so-called Gottesplagenbild ("God's Plagues"). https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/cathedral_sh-1241
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Burg Rabenstein
Anything but antiquated, this impressive castle towers over the Mur river valley. This extraordinary event centre, located close to the river Mur cycle route, is open all year and accessible to the public from April to October on. Access to the castle by means of the Atlantis-Shuttle is a unique experience, offering fantastic views of the surroundings. A state-of-the-art energy supply system in the form of a heat pump highlights the successful marriage of history and modern technology. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/burg-rabenstein_af-5072
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Graz Clock Tower
The fortified medieval tower got its present shape around 1560. And its characteristic wooden gallery as a fire station. Three bells are ringing from the Clock Tower. Three coats of arms decorate the walls. A tower on this spot of the hill was first mentioned in the 13th century. When the fortress was reconstructed in the middle of the 16th century, the tower was given its present shape. The hands on the huge clockfaces often confuse people. Is the clock out of order? No. The fact that originally there were only long hands for the hours which could be seen from the distance, and that those for the minutes were added only later caused the "swapping" of the hands. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/clock-tower_sh-1252
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Landhaus Courtyard
What a perfect place for a party! The inevitable thought if you step into the Landhaushof in Graz. Taking in the Renaissance surroundings of this inviting location immediately conjures up colourful images of people enjoying festivities. Here in the summer, flowers decorate the magnificent arcades and, at Advent, the celebrated ice nativity scene finds a perfect setting. In between, concerts, theatre and indeed all manner of festivities take place in the splendid atmosphere of the Landhaus courtyard. A touch of Northern Italy in Herrengasse, right in the centre of Graz? In fact, the Landhaus is reminiscent of some Venice palazzo. In 1557, the Italian architect Domenico dell’Allio started to construct a prestigious building for the Styrian estates. It still is the provincial parliament of Styria. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/landhaus-courtyard_sh-1246
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Lurgrotte Cave Peggau
Stala‘c’tite from the ‘c’eiling, stala‘g’mite on the ‘g’round. This mnemonic can help you to identify the wonderful stone formations at the Lurgrotte, Austria’s largest dripstone cave. Here calcium mineral deposition over millions of years has yielded enchanting natural artworks both fragile and massive, with fantastic names meaning prince, giant and grand candle stick. You can explore this fascinating cavern complex accompanied by an expert guide, starting from either Peggau or Semriach. The first person daring to enter the depths of Lurgrotte was the Italian cave scientist Max Brunello. In 1894 he discovered the Great Dome. This huge hall with an area of 120m by 80m and a height of 40m is among the biggest of its kind in central Europe and can be reached from the Semriach entrance. During guided tours a special atmosphere is created in the chamber by dramatic sound and lighting effects. Along the approximately 2km trail accessible from Semriach you can marvel, for example, at the forty-ton "giant" being probably the thickest hanging stalactite in the world. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/lurgrotte-cave-peggau_af-1213
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Armoury
A knight’s tale of passion? Certainly fitting for some of the warriors in shining armour. At the Landeszeughaus armoury of Graz, standing in rank and file are the armour and weapons of valiant warriors of the Middle Ages. The special historical setting and sheer number of collector’s items make a visit to the Graz armoury a treat not to be missed. Marvel at an unbelievable 32,000 exhibits arranged on four floors, where many a visitor, large or small, drifts into dreams of heroic sagas of times past. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/armoury_sh-1200
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Kunsthaus Graz Art Museum
Whilst it’s not common for existing, traditional urban buildings to sit so perfectly next to breathtaking new architecture, with the setting of this museum of contemporary art in Graz it’s definitely the case. The Kunsthaus floats like a mysterious blue balloon between the roofs of the historic city centre. Named friendly alien by its creators, its fascinating magic draws visitors in. Sometimes dreams come true. As the dream about a Kunsthaus in Graz. The site was a good choice. The right bank of the river Mur, so far a more or less neglected part of the city. The neighbourhood: the Eisernes Haus (Iron House), a nearly forgotten, as hardly visible, formerly bold cast-iron construction built by Graz architect Josef Benedict Withalm in 1848. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/kunsthaus-graz_sh-1097
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Schoeckl Mountain
At 1445 metres not exactly the highest, but the Schöckl, local mountain of Graz, is an extremely popular destination. Featuring everything from steep slopes to an extended plateau, it holds an almost supernatural fascination for visitors. Many hike around it several times per week, ascend on their mountain bikes or treat themselves to the comfortable cable car from St. Radegund, all with a view to rising above workaday concerns for a real highlight. In terms of its geology, the Schöckl is a limestone mountain with a core of crystalline rock. At the interface of permeable and impermeable rock, springs come to the surface. Thanks to radioactive springs and healthy air, the village of St. Radegund on the southern foot of Schöckl became an internationally renowned spa in the 19th century. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/schockl-mountain_af-1271
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Glockenspiel
The Glockenspiel in the eponymous square in Graz leads the way. A sweet maiden and hearty lad clad in traditional costume pirouette three times a day (11.00, 15.00 & 18.00) up in the gable of the building on Glockenspielplatz square. The mechanism’s cheerful 24 bells play three different melodies. A charming, romantic show beyond compare. Enchanted and each with a spring in their step and a smile on their face, lucky viewers head off once the last note dies away. In 1884 the spirits producer Gottfried Maurer bought a house in then "Fliegenplatzl" square. On his journeys to North Germany and Belgium the businessman got to know carillons and had one installed in his house in Graz. On Chrismas Eve in 1905, the 24 bells in the iron roof turrent chimed for the first time. In 1929 Gottfried Maurer bequeathed the carillon to the city of Graz, conditional on its continued existence. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/glockenspiel_sh-1243
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Island in the Mur
Island or boat? It isn’t easy to tell with this extravagant steel construction by US-American artist Vito Acconci. The Island in the Mur, Graz was commissioned as part of the city’s role as Capital of Culture in 2003. What is clear is its function as a link between river and city, a wonderful place to drink coffee or enjoy a cocktail. With the river Mur swirling cheerfully by on both left and right sides, from the Murinsel you can appreciate a completely new perspective of the city of Graz. The island has brought the river Mur back to the people of Graz. Up to a few years ago, the river had been polluted by sewage water and industrial effluent. So the fact that the Mur had dug itself 12m deeper into its riverbed after its regulation in the 19th century hardly bothered people. Now the river connecting and dividing the city has a good quality of water again, has become inviting. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/island-in-the-mur_sh-1223
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The Mausoleum
An imperial place of rest next to the Dom. Turquoise domes stand out against the blue sky above the Mausoleum and, together with the Dom and Katharinenkirche church, define one of the city’s magnificent views. You could almost have been whisked away to the lands to the south, given how this ensemble enchants any visitor with more than just a hint of Florentine flair. Here in Graz, Emperor Ferdinand II had his court artist Giovanni Pietro de Pomis lay out the impressive tomb. The so-called Stadtkrone ("Crown of the Town") of Graz comprises such important buildings as the Cathedral, the Burg, the Old University and today's Seminary (former Jesuit college). But it is the domescape of the Mausoleum which also visually crowns the city. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/mausoleum_sh-1247
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Burg & Double Spiral Staircase
Separation and reconciliation. Even official architecture can harbour surprises. The Burg in Graz, official headquarter of the regional government, is a real gem. Centuries of reconstruction have yielded interesting elements of the Gothic, Renaissance and Biedermeier eras. Particularly striking is the double spiral staircase, seeming almost like an optical illusion. This “staircase of reconciliation” consists of two opposing spiral stairs, which merge briefly on each floor, part and then rejoin. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/burg-double-spiral-staircase_sh-1240
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Adventure Park Graz
Just on the outskirts of Graz there’s an exciting park, offering all manner of adventures and opportunities to explore your limits. At Abenteuer Park Graz there’s a forest climbing park, tightropes on which to balance; you can try archery, climb piles of crates and explore nature discovery trails. Here the wisdom of Confucius applies: “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.” https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/adventure-park-graz_af-1227
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Technical Railway Museum Lieboch
Tracking down the glory of the past in Lieboch. Housed within the former boiler house at the railway station is the Technical Railway Museum Lieboch. In the museum you can find gems like a steam locomotive from 1914, historical rolling stock and numerous exhibits, as well as experiencing historical, technical and socio-cultural aspects relating to rail transport. Multi-media presentations offer insights into important events in the history and future of Austrian railways. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/technical-railway-museum-lieboch_af-1210
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A. Schwarzenegger Museum
“I’ll be back.” Hardly anyone could fail to recognise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line. Even though he doesn’t actually come back in person that often, nevertheless you can gain, at the very least, an intimate insight into the childhood and career of this international star at the Arnold-Schwarzenegger Museum, located at his place of birth in Thal near Graz. The beautiful building was constructed in 1806 and is the original forester’s lodge of the Count of Herberstein and Eggenberg. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/a.schwarzenegger-museum_af-1207
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