Graz is the second largest city in Austria after Vienna and has been renowned as a student city due to the fact that it is home to 6 universities that have a combination of over 44,000 students. Historically, the city of Graz was more popular among the Slovenes than the Slovenia’s capital – Ljubljana. Apparently, it is still very influential. For this reason, the city of Graz boasts both Slovenian and Austrian culture.
The city of Graz was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it repeated this feat in 2010 by having the Schloss Eggenberg added in the list. The city was the European capital of Culture in 2003 and City of Culinary Delights in 2008. A holiday in this city will thus be something you have never experienced before.
The City of Graz’s Historic center represents the best of architectural and artistic talent that originated from the Balkans, the Germanic Region and the Mediterranean. The city had been at the crossroads of these 3 regions for years and it was only a matter of time that the talents from each of the region would congregate in the city and create the masterpiece we know today.
The city had seen the occupation of major civilizations such as Romans, Avars, Hungarians, and finally the Bavarian settlers from Germany. During the 16th century, the city would constantly fall under the Ottoman Turks’ threat, but when the danger from the Turks was averted, an economic boom led the city to the construction of the Renaissance and Baroque architectural marvels as we know them today.
Among the greatest ancient buildings is the remnant of a Gothic Hall that stands where the Emperor Frederick II used to reside. It features a double spiral stairway that dates all the way back to 1499. Another noteworthy building is the Gothic Cathedral that also features Romanesque frescoes that were put in 1480.
Other noteworthy buildings include the Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II (1614) that has a heavy Baroque theme and The Seminary, which was formerly known as Jesuit College that was built in 1572in Baroque style.
In short, the City of Graz is a study in the ancient architectural styles such as Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and Neo-classical. If you love ancient art, perhaps this city is the place you need to plan as your next holiday destination.