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Graz: capital of Styria with a beautiful old town

Graz is the capital of the province of Styria in Austria and is the second largest Austrian city by population and has about 290,000 inhabitants. The city is also an important university location. Graz is a particularly beautiful example of a European city that played an important role in the Habsburg empire for several centuries.

Founded by the Romans. The city became important for its strategic position in the Middle Ages. When a castle was built there, Graz became an important center of commerce that came from Italy, the Danube plain and the Orient.

The city center is one of the best preserved in Central Europe and for this reason in 1999 the historic center of Graz was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The old town is a harmonious set of different architectural styles covering the span of time from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

WHAT TO SEE: THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF GRAZ

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Graz’s buildings reflect the mixture of artistic styles found in the Habsburg empire. These buildings have undergone Germanic, Balkan and Mediterranean influences. Some artists and architects from these regions contributed to the construction of the city and today their constructions still keep alive the role of crossroads played by Graz in the Habsburg empire.

The Italian imprint is present thanks to the Renaissance works performed by Italian masters in the 16th century. Among these the most valuable is the Government Palace (Landhaus) building designed by the Como architect Domenico dell’Allio.

The symbol of Graz was the Schlossberg, the impregnable castle that dominated the city center from a hill. Today after the partial demolition suffered following the peace of Schönbrunn in 1809 by the Napoleonic troops, only the Clock Tower (Uhrturm) remains. This tower is today one of the symbols of the city, it can be reached by a funicular from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.

Of particular interest are the town hall (Rathaus), the cathedral (Dom), the Burg (castle), the Gemaltes Haus (a painted house in Herrengasse) and the theater (Schauspielhaus). Just outside the city center is the Eggenberg Castle (Schloss), home to a museum, in the vicinity of which is one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the city, the Ruine Gösting.

The climate of Graz.

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