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Graz

Second largest city of Austria and the capital of Federal State of Styria

Clock Tower, GrazSituated on the river Mure, rich cultural heritage and lush green forests of Graz are enable to attract the visitors from all over the world. Majestic monuments of Graz never cease to lure the admirers of history. Graz provides deep insight into the glorious past of the region. Old Town, a part of Graz, has been named by the UNESCO a world cultural heritage site. Graz city can also boast of six universities with 40000 students.
Lionized as birthplace of actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Graz has a lot to be honored as an industrial, rail and cultural center of Austria. City can also boast of being declared the cultural capital of Europe in 2003. Striking beauty of the city can make the visitors sleepless with splendid historic monuments. Visitors coming to Graz can see an awesome medley of modern and historical architecture. So come and explore Graz to see how beautifully past and present are portrayed here in the form of majestic monuments. The capital city of Styria province is often called "gateway to the east", focusing on economy, science and culture.

Facts and Figures
State Styria
Location 47°04N 15°26E
Area 127.56 km²
Altitude 353 m above sea level
Population 250,099( 31.12.2007)
Density 1,960 /km²
Area Calling code +43-316

Tourist Places in Graz
Graz is Austria's one of the most valuable and worth seeing city due to its rich cultural heritage, specially magnificent historical buildings. Graz is easy to explore on foot, witnessing its architectural jewels, modern as well as historic. Most admired among these travel destinations are listed below
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» Lock Mountain
Lock Mountain, most prominent among Graz monuments is located on western outskirts of the city. The building is based on elaborate and intricate allegorical planning. The design is profoundly influenced by cosmic harmonies. Lock Mountain tells a lot about archaeological heritage of the country.

» Bell Tower
Bell Tower is known for its 4200 kg bell, biggest in Graz. The 34m high tower was built in 1588 and is known for its renaissance style double windows.

» Clock Tower
The Clock tower, considered the symbol of Graz, was erected in 1550. For several years since its construction, it had only one long hand which indicated hours. The smaller hand which displayed minutes was added later. The clock tower also holds one of the oldest bells in the region.

» Mausoleum
This imperial mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor Ferdinand II. It was built by Italian architect Pietro de Pomis between 1614 and 1653.

» City Park
The City Park, having exotic trees, encircles the Old Town. The famous fountain in the Park was designed by French artist Antoine Durenne. This English style park was constructed in 1871 on the site of farmer fortifications.

» House of Architecture
House of Architecture was made with the objective of promoting contemporary architecture. Need arose for a common forum between architects, students and other interests. Various projects are discussed and presented in the House of Architecture.

Other structures in Graz include Aeronautic Museum, Armory, Austrian Sculpture Park, Botanical Guards, Gotschee Memorial, Museum of Perception, Museum of Castle Garrison, Puch Museum, Toy Museum and Tramway Museum.

Culture
Graz captured the title of "European Capital of Culture in 2003". It holds several events throughout the year like Styriate, Jazz Sommer and La Strada. These festivals are very intriguing and tourists throng the city when these festivals are being held. Graz is the right place to drink a sip or two of the provincial culture. Steirischer Herbst is an important cultural event of the region.

History
Oldest settlement in Graz harks back to Copper Age. The city has witnessed the times of splendor as well as stagnation. Artefacts from the early Stone Age to Roman Age are found here. Earliest advanced settlement can be traced back to 800AD. Late Middle Ages also hold much importance in the history of the region. Graz became an important commercial center during this time. Cathedral and much of the castle were built from 1379 to 1493. Nobles of the city built numerous city palaces. In the 16th century, Catholic masterpieces were built. In the 19th century, Graz became a good population center and many impressive buildings were constructed.

Architecture
Eggenberg Castle is the most important piece of baroque architecture in Graz. Several fortresses exist in vicinity of the City Park. Structures built in the 19th century include Karl-Franzens-Universit?, Town Hall and Herz Jesu Church. These buildings show the influence of German culture on Graz. Catholic inspired structures in the city are Old University, Church of St. Andra and the Mausoleum.

Shopping
Being a small city Graz is not as popular shopping hub as Vienna. One can get some nice quality local stuff here to bring with him. Graz is a right place to collect some nice arts, crafts, antiques, leather stuffs etc. Some nice shopping hubs in the city are


Special thing which one can get in Graz, is the Kernol, a pumpkin seed oil recognized worldwide for its excellent quality and taste.




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