Official language: German
Time zone: UTC+2 (summer), UTC+1 (winter)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
The clock tower located on the castle hill can make one feel confused. It is most probably the only clock in the world, where minutes are shown by a shorter hint.
During the Second World War, for protection of citizens, in the castle hill was excavated tunnels and shelters. Some of them can be visited today. There is even a special route for children.
The castle centre, built in years 1438-1453, with gothic, double stairs, that serves today as the residence of government of Styr, the federal state to which Graz belongs to.
The second most important city in Austria got its town charter in 1281, but first mentions of existing there settlement are dated back to the year 881. Since 1990 the Old Town has been enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Start sightseeing from looking at the city from above. Schlossberg, a castle hill is situated above the Old Town, where back in the day a fortress used to be. You can see from there tight architecture of the oldest part of Graz with charming, red rooftops. The whole hill has been a park with cafes and restaurants, since 1839. You can get there on foot or by cable train.
The castle most probably existed already in 10th century. Later on it had been many times rebuilt, until Napoleon’s army destroyed it at the beginning of the 19th century. Thanks to ransom, that citizens had to pay, the clock tower and belfry were managed to be saved.
On one of the hillside in the spring takes place the Elevate Festival – an event mixing gigs, workshops and discussion on politics and future of our civilization. The event has not fixed dates, so checked before you leave, when is planned the nearest edition.
During your visit in Graz, it is impossible not to visit Landeszeughaus, which is the biggest in the world historical armoury. It has around 32 thousand of pieces of weapons, armours and tools used for battles and during parades. During the Second World War, the whole collection was spared, by being moved to three nearby castles. On Tuesday the armoury is closed.
Walking around the city, it is also worth to pay attention to the cathedral of Saint Giles from the middle of the 15th century. It is a rare example of gothic architecture. Back in the day, exterior walls were decorated with frescos. To this day are preserved some of them, among others, those showing plagues, like locust, blight and raid of Turks, painted most probably in 1485 by Thomas von Villach. All the three plagues stroke Graz in 1480.