Graz, the European Capital of Culture in 2003, is Austria's second most populous city. It has six universities that fill this city with a very lively cultural life. Graz's historic center is one of the best-kept in Central Europe, earning it a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 1999.
Activities and tourist attractions in Graz, Austria
Located in the center of the city, Schlossberg stood on a heritage site, a fortress surrounded by forests, highly recommended for walking or practicing outdoor sports.
Only the Bell Tower, which shelters the most famous bell in Graz (called "Lisl") and the famous Clock Tower (Uhrturm), remains standing from the castle of that time, undoubtedly the typical image of the city. From this place you also have wonderful views of Graz. In recent years, the Schlossberg has become the main stage of the Jazz Festival that takes place every summer in Graz and is attended by internationally renowned personalities.
In Graz, the most important architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque or Modernism merge. Contemporary art is present in House of Literature or in List's congress hall, although undoubtedly two of the symbols of modernity are the island on Mur river (Murinsel) and Kunsthaus.
Designed by Vito Acconci, Murinsel is a curious floating metal construction in the shape of an open clam which joins the two banks of the river Mur. In turn, Kunsthaus, which hosts traveling exhibitions, surprises everyone with its spectacular blue whale shape.
The center of Graz is located in the square, where the building that houses the Town Hall is located. A short distance away is the cathedral from 1438, the episcopal and central church of Styrian Catholics. The entire city is a unique work of art. One of the most beautiful buildings in Graz is the Opera House, the second largest in Austria, a Baroque work from 1899. In turn, the "Painted House" facade (1742) features gods from Greek and Roman mythology.
Graz hosts festivals prestigious cultural such as Styria, dedicated mainly to classical music or Styrian Autumn (Steirischer Herbst), which revolves around theatre, pictorial art, cinema, literature and music.
Also worth noting are Jazz Summers or concerts at Eggenberg Castle. But if every summer in Graz there is an unavoidable meeting, it is La Strada, an international street theater festival where independent companies present innovative creations.