A giant slab of rock dropped right into the middle of the city was once the home of a powerful fortress, but now the home of a beautiful piece of parkland with amazing views over the city. The berg reminded me of a similar tree clad hill in my own town of Coburg, but this one was so close to the city center, with such staggering steep sides, that you could look right down into the busy streets below. There can't be many places like this in the world.
The Schlossberg contains a quaint stump of a clock tower with reversed hands, a meandering array of paths through the trees, and some breathtaking views. There are a myriad of ways up to the park too. You can walk up one of the gently sloping paths, climb the dizzying 260 steps of the Schlossbergtreppe, take the lift straight up through the centre of the rock, or take the leisurely trip on the Schlossbergbahn. All of which are worth a "Things to Do" entry of their own.
The Schlossberg is an exceptional place which I visited several times, at night and during the day, and is one of the two main highlights of the city.
Schlossbergplatz is small inattractive square but it's the main point to get to the Castle Hill. There are three options to get to the top of the Castle Hill; first one is by the very steep stairway and, at the same time, it's most demanding and not advisable to those who aren't in good conditions, the second one is by the small tran while the third option is by the elevator.
If taking steep stairway case you could suffer of breathing but your effort will be aworded by the magnificent view at the Mur River. Schlossbergsteppe has 260 steps!
The Stall Bastion is massive fortress with up to 6 mt. thick walls built in 1544. The stables situated here gave the bastion its name.
The cistern Turkenbrunnen (Turkish Well) is near 100 mt. deep, it is one of the few remains in the city left from the Turkish rule.
The mock Egyptian Gate was constructed around 1820 by Bonaventura Hoedl.
The Chinese Pavillion is perfect spot for the city sightseeing.
Starche Haus is bar and restaurant with the view, no other such a place excisting in Graz.
The Schlossberg (Palace mountain) is the heart of Graz. A green island in the sea of house of the town. He rises 123 ms above the Main Square (Hauptplatz). Formerly he served with his old fortress in the defense of the town.
The Clocktower on the mountain is the landmark and symbol of the town. He was built 1560. There hangs one of the oldest bells of the country, named Lumpenglocke. She has a specific feature. The watch hands are inverted (reversed). The big one indicates the hours, the small one the minutes. Thus one could ascertain the time better from the town.
On Schlossberg are also "Liesl" and the "Hackherlöwe".
Liesl is the most famous bell of the town. She is in the Belltower. Bell shall remember for Holy Elisabeth (of Thuringia).
The Hackher-Löwe (Hackher- lion) is a monument for memory of the defense against France in 1809. The leader was the major Franz Hackher.
Further you can see on Schlossberg: Gun bastion, Turkish well.
On Schlossberg you have also a nice outdoor restaurant.
The Uhrturm (clock tower) stands 28m high and was built in 1550. When it was first built, it only had an hour hand, but a minute hand was added at a later date, so now the citizens of Graz don't just guess-they know exactly what time it is.
The picture I have included actually focuses on the stairs carved into the cliff under the clock. Looks like fun, huh?
Again, check out the website at the bottom of this page-it's pretty cool.
Only very little has remained of the old fortress which withstood many attacks: the belfry, the casamates and the ruins of some walls. The fortress area has a nice ambiance however, and the views are superb, so it's worth a visit.
The main attraction in Graz is the Schlossberg (Clock Tower). It stands proud and is visible from all points in the city. You gotta climb to the top to see the fabulous view of Graz and the surrounding area. Once up there you can see how far you are from your home town and in which direction too - except Dublin. (Not impressed there, lads!!!!!!)
If your feeling fit and healthy take the steps UP. There are 100's of them - I counted them but have forgotten. By the time you reach the top you'll have a thirst on you so bad it's like you swallowed sand-paper. Only a cool glass of Puntigammer beer will kill it!! So yes, there's a bar - Hey, I'm Irish - I notice these things. You can also take the angled tram up to the top for a couple of euros.
Coming down is not so bad. But try not trip. I saw one person trip and then tumble in way that would make a world class floor gymnast hang up her leotard!!
Without doubt, the best place to e njoy panoramic views over the red roof houses of Graz and beyong is from the Schlossberg Hill. You can enjoy views out over the city and towards the Mountains and Hills surrounding Graz from the beautiful landscaped gardens of the Schlossberg. THe hill also has specific viewing platforms with telescopes for rent and information on the surrounding countryside, naming the mountains on view from that particular point. At the viewing platform there is an information table set into the wall which has arrows to each mountain as well as showing the direction of most major European cities.
From the Schlossberg you get great panoramic views up and down the River Mur as well as overhead views of the Kunsthaus, Mur Island, Rathaus, Hauptplatz, Franciscan Church and Cathedral.
The Schlossberg Stairs are located at the far end of Schlossbergplatz. The impressive stairs are cut into the rockface of the Schlossberg Hill and doubles back and forth up to the top of the hill and clock tower. Great views over the city can be enjoyed during the climb up the steps. The 260 steps of the stairs are a much more enjoyable (although tiring!) way to reach the top of the Schlossberg. For the less energetic, you can take the Schlossbergbahn or lift.
Admittedly I was a bit dissapointed to discover that this portion of the old fortress is now a restaurant. I don't know why, but looking up at this building from the centre of Graz I expected something more interesting than a restaurant to occupy this craggy outcrop of the Schlossberg. Capitalism at its finest!
It certainly looks more interesting than it is and makes a nice picture. The restaurant also boasts great views over the city.
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