Herzoghof - also called Gemaltes Haus is the name of the building on my picture and it has certainly one of the most beautiful facades in Herrengasse ! The building dates back to the year 1360 and was used by the Habsburg family, in 1742 the facade of today was made by Johann Mayer and shows gods of the roman and greek mythology ! When you click on my picture you may see the fine details of the frescos that actually cover all of the building's front facade.
Herzoghof is in Herrengasse Nr. 3, just about 100 meters from the Hauptplatz / main-square and the Rathaus, but at the opposite side of the street.
Best time to make a photograph of Herzoghof is the afternoon, when the sun will shine directely on most of the facade and maybe at night, when it is lighted.
If you're open minded (as me and Annemarie are) then you might want to try the local sex industry. We stumbled across it (no, really, we found it by accindent) and it's very small. Like Amsterdam in a closet.
But it looked safe and as it was nearby the main drinking area it was not frowned upon that we could see.
Oh just for the record...we only looked!!
When we came back down from Schlossberg I think we took a wrong turn somewhere and after a while wandering the streets we ended up near the opera house. It's about a 10 minute walk back to Hauptplatz from here. Not really worth coming down to see, unless the farmers market behind the opera house is on.
One of Graz's more quirky sights is the two wooden figures who emerge from small gates in the top of a church in Glockenspielplatz and dance to Glockenspiel music. The show takes place 3 times a day at 11am, 3pm and 6pm but lasts only a couple of mintues. We ran from Hauptplatz to get here just in time to see the 3 o' clock show. Judging from the people who were there, this attraction is just as popular with the locals as with tourists. To get to Glockenspielplatz, walk south from Hauptplatz, take a left Stempferg and another left at Enge Strasse.
Just 18km north of Graz you may find one of the most interesting open-air-museums in Austria :
Freilichtmuseum / open-air-museum Stübing
In a large area in a side-valley you will find 90 traditional buildings from all parts of Austria, that were re-constructed again in Stübing. All of these buildings are fully furnished and after having payed the entrance-fee of 7,50 Euros, you may walk around on your own. - The whole tour takes more than 2 hours.
You may take the "Watzke"bus #110 or bus #131 from Lendplatz in Graz, or you may drive a few Km on the highway - direction Bruck an der Mur and leave at the 2nd exit of the highway !
Strassengel is an interesting pilgrim-church 9km north of Graz.The pilgrim-church dates back to the 14th century and was built on top of a small hill overlooking the landscape. There are some nice gothic details in the facade of the church and great gothic windows .One of the towers is made like a small-scale imitation of the spire of Stephansdom / St.Stephen cathedral in Vienna.
Sometimes the village is also called "Judendorf - Strassengel "
You may get to A-8111 Judendorf-Strassengel by train - it is 9km north of Hauptbahnhof. Or you take your car : drive towards Bruck an der Mur and leave the highway again at the very 1st exit.
On Schloßberg you will find this interesting open-air-theatre, that was recently built into the medieval Casematten (the living-quaters of the soldiers)
That theatre offers a wide stage and it has plenty of small balconies and another 300 seats to watch the performances.
During nice weather-conditions the roof could be slided away. When you click on my picture, you may see that the boxes / balconies are quite simple and without seats, maybe the visitors will stand there or come with their private camping-chairs.
During the day you may walk inside that theatre, and when you are lucky you will find one of the boxes unlocked.
Sporgasse is one of the most interesting small streets in the pedestrian area of Graz and it leads from Herrengasse and Hauptplatz towards the Schlossberg (castle). Whenever you are walking through Graz,you should not hesitate to take a look for the innercourts, whenever you find an open door - this style in architecture reminds me a lot of the courts of my hometown Steyr ( no wonder - Steiermark used to belong to Steyr and many architects simply might have copied the medieval houses of the "hometown" Steyr...The picture of this innercourt was taken in Sporgasse Nr. 22
It is almost my destiny, whenever I visit such a place there is a weding ceremony. As you can noticed on this picture, the bride was very pretty while future hubby does not look very hapy. Or was it my wrong impression, what do you think???
The castle was erected in the 9th century and rebuilt many times in its long history, primarly it served as summer residence of the bishop, nowadays it is Education centre of the Graz - Seckau Diocese.
The Seggauschloss, the Seggau Castle, is situated on the top of the hill which dominates the small town of Leibnitz in Southern Styria, about 30 km far from Graz.
The castle is very well preserved and worth of visiting. It might be a good idea for a day trip when visiting the town of Graz.
The central cemetary isn't as big as the cemetary at Vienna, but also at Graz you can find many tombs of famous persons.
Jochen Rindt (Formula One winner 1970), Fritz Pregl (winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Chemistry) ...
To get ther take bus line number 67,50 or tram line number5.
I will soon add information about how to find the exact location of all tombs of interest.
In summer, there are open-air music sessions in the city park
I meant to do the Styrian Wine route while I was in Graz, but I know people who did it and they totally enjoyed it (*hic*!)
This statue of St. Nicholas stands on Nikolaiplatz, a few steps from the Hotel Weitzer (Grieskai), along the river Mur. There are many legends related to his life, particularly about his generousity which led to the creation of today's Santa Claus. St. Nicholas is the patron of children, of those who are in need, and the sailors and the travellers, among others.
6 December is St. Nicholas's day and it is celebrated in many European countries by gift giving and various activities. In Hungary, the Mikulas usually brings chocolate, oranges and smaller toys, and leaves them in the shoes and boots left out on the windowsill. It's fun to get and give gifts a few weeks before Christmas and it definitely puts everyone in the holiday mood.
Below is the URL of a great site about St. Nicholas.
The "Dom" inside the Schlossberg - in the former system of air-raid shelters - was created in 1999 as a future-oriented art space and a multi-purpose event hall, a place for cultural projects. It's an exciting space with good programs.
The entrance is from the Schlossbergplatz.