fairy tale or reality?

Graz Travel Blog

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Schlossberg, a hill in the middle of town

Austria is one of the most beautiful places you can go in Europe. It's not a very big country, but it has amazing landscapes and sweet little cities. Graz is one of them. I visited Graz in 1997, when I went there for an European Ecumenical Meeting, June 23-29. It was a nice experience to meet people of different rites and to rediscover things in common. But beyond the people factor, there was so much delight to wander around the town and to explore the things and places that tell a story for each visitor.

A very neat thing about this place is that there is a tree-clad "mountain" - Schlossberg- right in the middle of the city, from which you can enjoy the view of the streets and buildings, as well as the exquisite collection of different plants that covers this hill, like a big garden.

around Graz
A local old guy was telling us that there is a legend about this hill. The story says that it was the devil himself who created Schlossberg. He had promised the people of Graz to make their local mountain higher and get a soul in exchange. As he was flying over Graz with a huge rock, he saw a procession, dropped the rock, but since it was Easter Sunday, no soul was taken. Furious, he broke the rock in two parts. The smaller one is Austein with its Calvary. The bigger one is Schlossberg.

Another interesting place to visit is the Armoury (Landeszeughaus) in Herrengasse. I think it's considered to be one of the most outstanding historical weapons collection in the world. The huge arsenal of armours, rifles, staff and bladed weapons was made in 16th and 17th century and they still are in the original building erected to serve as an armoury for the Styrian estates, in their fight against the Ottoman Turks.

at the bottom of the hill

Graz is also the city of an important University in Austria. I remember walking in a beautiful Botanical Garden which I think is part of the University, or close to it.

As you walk through the streets, you will see flowers everywhere, almost at every window. This is one of the things I love about Austria - they have flowers in the windows and sometimes this is a requirement from the City Hall, which provides the pots and other necessary tools for the plant maintenance.

And if you feel like praying, there is no shortage of beautiful churches built in 15th-16th century. I remember the Cathedral, Mariatrost Basilica and a Franciscan Monastery- exquisite architecture!

The Eggenberg castle was another attraction - built in 1625-56. They use it for cultural events and sometimes as setting for films. The ground floor house the Provincial Museum Joanneum.

And if you get tired of looking at the buildings, you can return to nature anytime, there are so many beautiful parks... Like Stadtpark, for example...

Overall, I can say that Graz is one of those surprising places where you want to go back sometime...

sabsina says:
Although it's quite a long time ago since you've been to Graz - I'm really happy that you liked it so much :) Greetz from the Schlossberg :)
Posted on: Apr 25, 2008
mahoney says:
Looks like a great place to take somebody there! ;)
Posted on: Sep 22, 2006
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Schlossberg, a hill in the middle …
Schlossberg, a hill in the middle…
around Graz
around Graz
at the bottom of the hill
at the bottom of the hill
going up, towards the top of Schlo…
going up, towards the top of Schl…
Mariatrost Basilica
Mariatrost Basilica
the back of the cathedral (maybe, …
the back of the cathedral (maybe,…
one sweet street
one sweet street
me and one of my traveling friends…
me and one of my traveling friend…
One of the beautiful churches, may…
One of the beautiful churches, ma…
a park
a park
Schloss Eggenberg
Schloss Eggenberg
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photo by: Baosafari