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 !
Stift Rein / Rein monastery is in a distance of 18km north of Graz and it makes certainly a great day-excursion, maybe in connection with the pilgrim-church in Strassengel and the open-air-museum in Stübing !
Stift Rein is the oldest Zistersienser-monastery in the world, dating back to the year 1129. It is a boarding school today and well known for the beautiful interior of its basilica, the library and a few beautifully decorated rooms inside the monastery. You may enter the basilica freely and without restrictions, BUT all the rest of the monastery may be visited only by a guided tour - mostly at 11.30a.m. - BUT you better check in advance with the telephone-number indicated below !
In order to get to A-8103 Rein, take the
private "Watzke-bus" Nr.110 / 111 / 120 leaving at Lendplatz in Graz
and leave the bus at Rein-Gemeindeamt !
You may get there by your own car - 18km north of the city of Graz !
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.
This is the interior of an interesting museum called "Neue Galerie"in the very centre of Graz, and even when you are not at all interested in the quite frequently changing exhibitions, this Gallery might be of interest for you, as it has a unique baroque staircase and a really beautiful fresco on top of these stairs.
Just enter the house, NO need at all to care about the ticket-box next to the entrance, the exhibitions are on 1st and 2nd floor and the stair-case may be entered freely and without restrictions during the day !! - You will need an extra-wideange-lense in order to get a picture of that rather narrow staircase.
The adress of the gallery is A-8010 Graz - Sackgasse 16
It is the street leading from Hauptplatz to Kriegsteig.
The exhibitions of the museum in Neue Galerie are open :
Tuesday-Sunday 10.00a.m. - 06.00p.m., thursday untill 08.00p.m.
K&K Hofbäckerei Edegger Tax is a traditional bakery and confectionary in Graz / Hofgasse with a long tradition :
Don't miss this great traditional bakery - HOFbäckerei is a title that only those backeries were allowed to use, that were delivering their goods to the royal court, and of course the taste of the emperor was a certain guarantee for perfect goods and service !
Specialities like "Sissi-Busserl" and "Kaiser-Zwieback" may be tasted there still today !
Hofbäckerei Edegger Tax with the golden royal eagle on top of their entrance-gate - that is certainly the most beautiful of all shop-facades in Graz. When you enlarge my picture, you may see some of the fine wooden decorations and inlaids, the whole facade was recently restored.
Be prepared that this bakery is a bit more expensive than others in that area !
Click on the link below and take a look at their interesting web-page !!
The adress is : Hofbäckerei Edegger A 8010 Graz Hofgasse 6
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
Palais Saurau Goess is an interesting building in Sporgasse 25 :
This building dates back to the year 1566 and first of all you might see an interesting sculpture at the top of the facade : a turque with a sword and a shield, who seems to be looking out of a window on top. Make sure, you will not miss this lovely decoration - you will pass by it on the left of Sporgasse, shortly before Karmeliterplatz, where the steep part of Sporgasse is finished and the street gets rather flat again.
Palais Saurau is in private posession, but during the day you may also take a quick look into the beautiful innercourt with plenty of nice medieval arcades freely and without restrictions.
The Kanonenbastei / Cannon-hut on Schlossberg dates back to the year 1544 and it was built according to plans made by Domenico Dell' Allio. Today you may visit a small museum inside this part of Schloßberg and these cannons have first served its purpose here on this very spot in oder to fight against enemies... later they were used also in order to warn the population of Graz of approaching enemies and of fire. Some of the cannons may be seen from outside of the museum, I also made my picture from the terrace in front of the Garnisonsmuseum.
The Garnisons-museum is open
tuesday-sunday 10.00a.m. - 05.00p.m.
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.
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.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz and became famous in the US as a body builder and actor. He is a citizen of honour of Graz and the city's new stadium was named after him as well. As he was elected governor of California on 7th October 2003, the Museum showing his early career will probably attract even more interest.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum is located in the Fitness Center Fitnessparadies, at Stadionplatz 1.
The photo is from www.schwarzenegger.com.
This beautiful well stands on the top of the Schlossberg, among the ruins of the fortress. The cistern was built in the 16th century, the well canopy was added at the end of the 19th. It has a capacity of 900,000 litres (one of the largest construction of its kind). Today it serves as a reservoir for firefighters.
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.
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.