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by Elia Papillon
October 29, 2004
At the end of Hofgasse, on the left, is the Burg from the 15th century. There isn’t too much to see here now; it is a government building. At the back of the car park, you can find a grassy area with many trees and bust statues of famous people from Graz. I didn’t recognise many of the names, but it is a quiet place in a busy city. In the courtyard is an archway. In the doorway here, you can find Graz’s famous double staircase. It is made from stone and begins together at the bottom. As it moves up, it becomes a spiral to both the left and the right. It meets together again, then divides and meets, making double twists several times. It’s a really interesting sight, and I have never seen something like this before.
Back on Hofgasse, turn right on Burggasse, where you find the Domkirche. On the outside walls on the Domkirche, you can see painted pictures showing life in Graz in the plagues of 1480. They are mostly faded, but some are clear. The inside of the building has some nice things to see, but you find many tour groups here, so it can be difficult to see for yourself. I was there at the same time as a group of Spanish students, about 14 years old, of more than 30 and who were very noisy. I didn’t stay too long.
The Mausoleum of Ferdinand II is next to the Domkirche. If you want to see inside, you must time your visit well. It opens only for 4 hours each day, from 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm. The ticket costs 4€, which I thought it was quite expensive. The crypt underground is where Ferdinand, his wife, and his son are buried. Also here is a sarcophagus for his parents, Charles II and Maria. Charles is not actually buried here; he is at Seckau Abbey. From inside the crypt, there is a hole in the ceiling where you can see to the room above. This room has many beautiful and extravagant paintings to see on the ceiling and walls. Upstairs is a lookout room. From here you can see over the red roofs of Graz and also to the Schlossberg.
After the Mausoleum, walk past the Domkirche on to Bügergasse, where you will see a small street leading to Glockenspielplatz. The Glockenspiel plays at 11am, 3pm, and 6pm, so you need to time the visit.
From journal Enchanting Graz
Walk up Herrengasse and you find the Tourist Information Office on the left. Beside this is the Landeszeughaus, the provincial armoury for Styria. Here you can find many examples of weapons and body armour. Much of the collection is from the 17th century, when the armoury was first built. Some pieces have some interesting engravings on them. This is the largest historical collection of weapons in the world, with more than 30,000 items to see. You can take a guided tour here easily, but if you want the tour in English, you must make a booking some days in advance. There are information brochures in English.
Walk up Herrengasse, and beside the Ladeszeughaus, you find the Landhaus, the Graz parliament building. Here, there is an Italian Renaissance courtyard, where you can sometimes see concerts.
Just after the Landhaus is the Rathaus, the town hall for Graz. This is actually the third town hall to be built. You are now on Hauptplatz, the main square of Graz.
In Hauptplatz, there is a fountain with four female statues. Each represents one of the four main rivers in Styria: the Mur; the Enns; the Sann and the Dram.
When you stand at the corner of Hauptplatz, you see Murgasse behind you (leading to the river Mur), Sporgasse in front of you, Sackstr at your left (leading to the Schlossberg), and Herrengasse at your right.
On the corner of Sporgasse and Herrengasse is one of the most beautiful buildings in Graz. It is The House of Luegg. The German name is ums Eck lugen, meaning "to peer around the corner." There is baroque stucco on this building, and it is the entrance to the shopping area of Graz.
On Sackstr, you can find antique shops and many curiosities. It is near to the Schlossberg, and the area is quieter than the Hauptplatz area.
Sporgasse is a good place to find something for lunch, as you have many choices. There are many cafés and also restaurants for a bigger meal.
I ate at Zur Goldenen Pastete at Sporgasse 28. This is the oldest inn in Graz and has many traditional and typical Styrian foods. It is also one of the few places to find traditional and vegetarian food.