The town hall is the most famous sight in the center of Graz. A town hall in the Renaissance style was built on this square as early as 1550. This town hall became too small in 1803 and had to give way to the neoclassical new building. The new town hall was designed by architect Christof Stadler and opened in 1807. When the town hall was expanded in 1893, the central part with a dome was added. This renovation was carried out by the architects Wielemans and Reuter. Since then it has been the most imposing building in the old town of Graz.
The "Hauptplatz" (main square) is the center of Graz. The square was created as market place in 1160. As the Town Hall was built the square became smaller. The fountain in the center of the square is named after Archduke Johann. The main square is also the hub of all the city's tram lines. Line 1 takes you from here to Eggenberg Palace or the Mariatrost pilgrimage church.
The most beautiful street of the city is also the oldest. Long before the founding of the city, a Roman trade route ran to Hungary, the "Strata Hungarica". The name "Sporgasse" originates from smiths who made spurs and weapons in shops along the street.
The clock tower "Uhrturm" on the Schlossberg is the most visible landmark of Graz. It was part of the fortress built in the 13th century. The tower in its present shape was built around 1560. After the "Treaty of Schönbrunn" in 1809, the fortress had to be demolished, only the clock tower remained.
The Schlossberg is reached via the Schlossbergsteig, a zigzag staircase at the steepest point of the mountain. But you can also use the Schlossbergbahn (cable car) or the Schlossberglift (elevator) if you do not feel like climbing steep stairs. A gentler climb offers the footpath from Karmeliterplatz.
The Carmelite Square owes its name to the former Carmelite monastery that was located here. Today the "Styrian People's Party" resides here in the "Palaisgaller". From the square, you access the "Schlossberg" via an arch way.
The German Order of Knights originated at the time of the Crusades in Jerusalem and became known for its colonization of the Baltic Sea coastline of todays Poland and Lithuania. The Deutschherren Order acquired the building with the beautiful courtyard in 1689. The architectural style is late Gothic, in parts already renaissance.
The Marian column was erected in 1670 as a votive pillar after the battle against the Turks at Mogersdorf. After the battle, a peace treaty was negotiated with the Turks, which amounted to a victory, because the Turks were numerically superior.
Around 1611 a baroque church was built following the example of Venice. In 1744 the church was completed with two towers by Josef Hueber. The church is connected to the Minorite monastery to the south and forms the northern end of the cloister. The monastery is still inhabited by monks and is a lively venue for art and music.
Graz tourist information
Graz is the second biggest city in Austria with over 280,000 inhabitants. The provincial capital of Styria was "European Capital of Culture" in 2003. During this time, some spectacular buildings were created, such as the "Kunsthaus" and the Murinsel. Graz is located on the southern edge of the Alps and is more influenced by the Mediterranean climate than the rainy Central Europe. The city is located in a basin that is open to the south. In winter, this often keeps a layer of smog over the city. The weather in Graz offers many hours of sunshine and a mild climate.