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Statutory city
coat of arms Austria map
Coat of arms of Graz
Graz (Austria)
Basic data
Country: Austria
State : Styria
Political District : Statutory city
License plate : G
Surface: 127.48 km²
Coordinates : 47 ° 4 '  N , 15 ° 26'  E Coordinates: 47 ° 4 '16 "  N , 15 ° 26' 17"  E
Height : 353  m above sea level A.
Residents : 291,072 (January 1, 2020)
Postcodes : 801x, 802x, 803x, 804x, 805x
Area code : 0316
Community code : 6 01 01
Address of the
municipal administration:
Hauptplatz 1
8011 Graz
Mayor : Siegfried Nagl ( ÖVP )
Municipal Council : ( 2017 )
(48 members)
19th 10 8th 
A total of 48 seats
Location of Graz
Bezirk Bruck-Mürzzuschlag Bezirk Deutschlandsberg Graz Bezirk Graz-Umgebung Bezirk Hartberg-Fürstenfeld Bezirk Leibnitz Bezirk Leoben Bezirk Liezen Bezirk Murau Bezirk Murtal Bezirk Südoststeiermark Bezirk Voitsberg Bezirk WeizLocation of the Graz district in the state of Styria (clickable map)
About this picture
Template: Infobox municipality in Austria / maintenance / site plan image map
Graz City Hall
Graz City Hall
Source: Municipal data from Statistics Austria

Graz (formerly also Grätz ) is the provincial capital of Styria and with 291,072 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) the second largest city in the Republic of Austria . The city lies on both sides of the Mur in the Graz Basin . With 637,532 inhabitants (as of 2019), the metropolitan region of Graz is the third largest metropolitan region in Austria after the metropolitan regions of Vienna and Linz . The greater Graz area has been the fastest growing metropolitan area in Austria over the past ten years. The Grazer Feld was a densely populated agricultural landscape during the Roman Empire . In the 6th century a castle was built here, from which the name Graz is derived ( Slovene gradec means small castle ). The coat of arms was awarded Graz 1245, 1379 to 1619 it was Habsburg royal seat and resistance during this period several Ottoman attacks. In 2003 Graz was the European Capital of Culture ; In 2015 it became the Reformation City of Europe .

Graz has developed into a university city with a total of almost 60,000 students (as of January 2, 2017). It was chosen as a human rights city and is the recipient of the Europe Prize . The old town of Graz and Eggenberg Castle are since 1999 and 2010, the UNESCO World Heritage Site . Graz is the seat of the bishopric of the Graz-Seckau diocese . Graz has been part of the Creative Cities Network as a UNESCO City of Design since March 2011 .


Location and urban structure


Graz is located around 150 km southwest of Vienna, on both sides of the Mur , where it ends its breakthrough through the Grazer Bergland and enters the Graz Basin . The city almost completely fills the northern part of the Graz Basin from west to east and is enclosed on three sides by mountains that tower over the built-up urban area by up to 400 m. To the south the urban area opens into the Grazer Feld .

The highest point in Graz is the Plabutsch at 754 m in the north-west of the city, the deepest point, at around 330 m, is where the Mur leaves the city in the south. Within Graz there are two prominent elevations, the Schloßberg and the Austein with the Kalvarienberg.

The next town of supraregional importance is Maribor (Marburg an der Drau) in Slovenia , about 60 km south of Graz. The two cities are connecting ever closer cultural and economic ties. The Graz-Maribor European region is an example of this.

Graz city districts2.png
Aerial view of the old town of Graz
The Graz Schloßberg
Murinsel at night
View from the Schloßberg to the south of Graz
View from the Schloßberg to the north of Graz
Graz to the south, the Mur with bridges
The city's landmark: the Graz clock tower


The urban area of ​​Graz is divided into 17 city districts . Around the first district, the inner city (I.), St. Leonhard (II.), Geidorf (III.), Lend (IV.), Gries (V.) and Jakomini (VI.) Line up counterclockwise . . Apart from the old town, five of the six core districts have grown historically.

Inner-city centers from which the growth started were Murplatz, today Südtiroler Platz, in the former Murvorstadt, Jakominiplatz , the formerly independent suburb of Geidorf, which had formed around the Leechkirche , and the Guntarn-Hof, a historic courtyard on the Area of ​​the Leonhard Church , which is the second settlement area in Graz. In the Murvorstadt, the districts of Gries developed around Griesplatz and Lend around Lendplatz .

The remaining districts form the outer ring of Graz: Liebenau , St. Peter , Waltendorf , Ries , Mariatrost , Andritz , Gösting , Eggenberg , Wetzelsdorf , Straßgang and Puntigam . The entire outer ring of the suburban communities was converted into city districts in 1938, "Groß-Graz" was formed and the population increased as a result; Puntigams split off from Straßgang in 1988.

Cadastral communities

Graz is divided into 28  cadastral communities : the districts of Innere Stadt, St. Leonhard, Geidorf, Lend, Gries, Jakomini, Wetzelsdorf, Gösting and Waltendorf each form a cadastral community.

Some outer districts consist of cadastral communities that are not congruent with the respective district. These are Engelsdorf, Messendorf (partially), Thondorf , Liebenau, Murfeld and Neudorf in Liebenau; Stifting and Ragnitz in Ries; Wenisbuch and Fölling in Mariatrost; Andritz, St. Veit ob Graz and Weinitzen in Andritz; Algersdorf and Baierdorf in Eggenberg; Straßgang (partially) and Webling (partially) in Straßgang; as well as Gries (partly), Rudersdorf, Straßgang (partly) and Webling (partly) in Puntigam.

In some cadastral community names, the reference to the old, village structure has been preserved. Three examples: Algersdorf was an independent village outside the urban area, like Thondorf in today's Liebenau or Wenisbuch in Mariatrost. Other villages and localities such as St. Johann or Kroisbach in the Mariatrost district, which formed a closed settlement core before incorporation, are not listed as cadastral communities.

Neighboring communities

Graz is surrounded by the political district Graz Umgebung , in which all neighboring municipalities are located:

Gratkorn ,
Gratwein street angel
Stattegg Weinitzen ,
Kainbach near Graz
Thal Neighboring communities Hard near Graz
Hitzendorf , Seiersberg-Pirka Feldkirchen near Graz Gössendorf ,


Graz lies within the Illyrian climatic zone. The location on the south-eastern edge of the Alps provides good protection from the westerly weather conditions prevailing in Central Europe. Larger amounts of precipitation therefore predominantly penetrate from the Mediterranean area.

The average temperatures at Graz-Thalerhof Airport are 8.7 ° C and at the University of Graz 9.4 ° C. The mean annual precipitation results in an average of 92.1 precipitation days (measuring point University of Graz) a total of 818.9 mm.

The protected location results in a mild climate, so that plant species thrive in the parks and on the Schloßberg that are otherwise only found in southern Europe. The Mediterranean influence is evident in more than 2100 hours of sunshine annually and an average July temperature of 21 ° C in the ten-year mean. The basin location has climatic disadvantages, especially in the winter months: In winter, an inversion weather situation occasionally occurs , which makes air exchange in the Graz basin difficult and can lead to the permitted limit value for fine dust being exceeded .

Graz 1994–2013
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Duration of sunshine: Precipitation: Temperature:
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Graz 1994–2013
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.1 6.6 11.7 17.1 21.8 25.0 27.1 26.1 21.0 15.6 8.9 2.8 O 15.6
Min. Temperature (° C) −4.2 −3.0 0.9 5.7 10.4 14.0 15.8 15.2 10.9 6.6 2.2 −3.1 O 6th
Temperature (° C) −0.5 1.8 6.3 11.4 16.1 19.5 21.5 20.6 15.9 11.1 5.6 −0.2 O 10.8
Precipitation ( mm ) 23.9 30.4 44.1 49.0 86.0 117.8 125.1 113.0 81.1 61.7 51.9 34.9 Σ 818.9
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 3.2 4.8 5.5 6.4 7.6 8.0 8.2 7.6 6.3 4.9 3.1 2.6 O 5.7
Rainy days ( d ) 4.8 4.8 6.6 7.9 10.6 11.5 10.7 9.7 7.5 6.3 6.5 5.2 Σ 92.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Duration of sunshine: Precipitation: Temperature:


The mountainous region north of Graz on both sides of the narrow Murtal is geologically divided into two parts: Immediately south of the longitudinal furrow of the Mur and Mürz valleys are the last eastern foothills of the central Alpine chains, the gently rounded mountains of the Stub , Glein and Koralpe to the west and the Fischbacher Alps east of the Murquertal, which runs south from Bruck an der Mur as a breakthrough valley . South of it and immediately north of the Graz Basin is the actual Grazer Bergland , which consists mainly of limestone and shows old karst phenomena with the Lurgrotto and other caves . The crystalline island of St. Radegund , for example, is embedded in this limestone zone . The central alpine foothills made of crystalline slates that accompany the Mur-Mürz long valley furrow belong to the Central Eastern Alpine Unit (MOA).

Former Paleozoic sediments and volcanic rocks predominate throughout the Graz mountainous region, which became metamorphic rocks during the Variscan and Alpine mountain formation under several kilobars of pressure and a few hundred degrees Celsius. So fossil-free marble was created from limestone containing fossils, mica schist or paragneiss from sandy-clay sediments and an amphibolite from a basic volcanite.


The city of Graz is traversed by the Mur. In addition to this, there are also a number of flowing waters. See the list of rivers in Graz .


Population development

Figures according to
year Residents
1869 98,229
1880 116,770
1890 135,660
1900 168,808
1910 193,790
1923 199,578
1934 210,845
1939 208.016
1951 226.453
1961 237.080
1971 249,089
1981 243.166
1991 237.810
2001 226.244
Jan. 1, 2002 232.930
Jan. 1, 2003 235,485
year Residents
Jan. 1, 2004 237,658
Jan. 1, 2005 241,298
Jan. 1, 2006 244.997
Jan. 1, 2007 247,624
Jan. 1, 2008 250.177
Jan. 1, 2009 252.502
Jan. 1, 2010 255.152
Jan. 1, 2011 258,847
Jan. 1, 2012 262.223
Jan. 1, 2013 265.778
Jan. 1, 2014 269.997
Jan. 1, 2015 274.207
Jan. 1, 2016 280.258
Jan. 1, 2017 283,869
Jan. 1, 2018 286.292
Jan. 1, 2019 288,806
Jan. 1, 2020 291.007
Population development from 1869 to Jan. 1, 2020 according to
Figures according to the city
year Residents
Dec 31, 2005 247,448
Jan. 1, 2007 250,099
Jan. 1, 2008 252.852
Jan. 1, 2009 255.354
Jan. 1, 2010 257,898
Jan. 1, 2011 262,566
Jan. 1, 2012 266.965
year Residents
Jan. 1, 2013 266,365
Jan. 1, 2014 271.984
Jan. 1, 2015 276,526
Jan. 1, 2016 282,479
Jan. 1, 2017 286,686
Jan. 1, 2018 289,440
Jan. 1, 2019 292,269
Jan. 1, 2020 294,630

The adjacent data can be found in the graphic in the Forecast section directly below.

The population of Graz exceeded the 100,000 mark around 1870, during the so-called Wilhelminian era . As a result, the population rose steadily until the 1970s - partly through natural growth and immigration , partly through the incorporation of neighboring towns in 1938 after the annexation of Austria by the National Socialists. From the end of the 1970s to 2001 the number decreased again as many Graz residents moved to the surrounding communities.

Although the number of residents with a main residence decreased in these years, there was also an increase in residents with a secondary residence and, since 2001, an increase in residents with a main residence. There are also younger working people living in Graz who have their main residence with their parents outside of Graz. This presents Graz with financial problems, as the city has to provide the infrastructure for all people living in and around Graz, but only receives money from the federal government for those residents who have their main residence. On the other hand, the business location and the construction industry benefit from the mostly younger people who have their second home in Graz. Graz is therefore the fastest growing city in Austria. There are around 110,000 households with 52 percent women.

On January 1, 2020, 294,630 people had their main residence in Graz. Including secondary residences, there are 331,359 inhabitants. There are 321 registered homeless people in the city.


year Residents
2018 285.174
2019 288.799
2020 292,368
2021 295,863
2022 299.255
2023 302,540
2024 305,704
2025 308.735
2026 311,604
year Residents
2027 314,315
2028 316,868
2029 319.253
2030 321,486
2031 323,568
2032 325,519
2033 327.351
2034 329.069
Adjacent forecast compared to the real development since 1990 according to information provided by the city and (see section one above)

Population structure by gender, age and nationality

On January 1st, 2015:

  • 51.28% of women in Graz,
  • 17.62% of Graz residents under 20 years of age,
  • 65.26% between 20 and 65,
  • 17.12% over 65 years old.

223,071 of the people (83.56%) with their main residence in Graz are Austrian citizens , 16,548 other EU citizens (6.20%) and 27,346 non-EU citizens (10.24%). Of the non-EU citizens, 2525 come from Africa , 1096 from North or South America , 8655 from Asia , 68 from Oceania , 1510 from Russia and a total of 10,610 from non-EU countries in Europe. 371 Graz residents are stateless .

In 2014 at least 500 people from the following countries lived in Graz: Bosnia and Herzegovina (5575), Germany (5372), Croatia (4912), Turkey (4688), Romania (4584), Hungary (2012), Russia (1510) , Slovenia (1386), Italy (1031), Nigeria (911), Egypt (716), Macedonia (675), Poland (639), People's Republic and Republic of China (Taiwan) (615), Slovakia (612), Bulgaria (591 ), Serbia and Montenegro (550).


Graz, seen from the summit of the Schöckl , in January 2007. The Graz Schloßberg can be clearly seen .


Form of organization and administration

Graz is a statutory city . This means that the community organization is regulated by its own provincial law ( statute of the provincial capital of Graz from 1967) and the community organs (especially the magistrate ) have the district administrative authority in addition to the usual tasks of a community . The Graz municipal council elections do not take place at the same time as the Styrian municipal council elections. Graz is the seat of the Styrian Landtag (in the Landhaus), the Styrian provincial government and all provincial authorities, the Graz-Umgebung District Authority, the Styrian Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Labor, the Styrian State Police Directorate, the regional courts for ZRS and criminal matters and the Higher Regional Court for Styria and Carinthia, the Federal Fiscal Court (Graz branch) and the Labor Market Service .

Municipal council

Local council election 2017
( n. K. )
19th 10 8th 
A total of 48 seats

From the 1970s onwards, there were some peculiarities within Graz's local politics: The traditionally politically strong German national camp in Graz , represented by the FPÖ , received an above-average number of votes and between 1973 and 1983 provided Alexander Götz as the mayor. After that, the FPÖ fell back on a few mandates. At the same time, Graz was the first large city in Austria in which the Greens - as Alternative List Graz (ALG) - moved into the municipal council (1983). After the majority situation was not clear in the following legislative period , two mayors shared the term of office, first Franz Hasiba (ÖVP) and then Alfred Stingl (SPÖ), who remained mayor after the election from 1988 to 2003. In the following term of office, the KPÖ became the third strongest political force with over 20% of the vote. This success is attributed to the social commitment of the then KPÖ top candidate and councilor Ernest Kaltenegger . After Kaltenegger stood for the KPÖ-Styria in the state elections ( October 2005 ) and was able to move into the state parliament, he left the Graz municipal council. His successor Elke Kahr continued this commitment.

City council

The Graz City Council has seven members who are proportionally divided between the six parties represented according to the results of the municipal council elections. Due to the low number of votes, the SPÖ and NEOS go away empty-handed.

Office Surname Political party Departments
mayor Siegfried Nagl ÖVP Mayor's office, municipal administration, presidential department, urban planning department, green space & water, city surveying office, urban planning office, economic and tourism development, citizen hospital foundation, disaster control and fire brigade, geriatric health centers, office for peace and development
Vice Mayor Mario Eustacchio FPÖ Magistrate Directorate (only with regard to security guard), Personnel Office, Citizens' Office, Health Department (only with regard to food matters, market matters and consumer protection, animal health, food and other products of animal origin and various veterinary matters), building and plant authorities, Office for Housing Matters, Housing Graz, Office for Peace and Development (only with regard to neighborhood service, neighborhood and district work, community work, integration work), Grazer Parkraum Service and GPS GmbH
City council Kurt Hohensinner ÖVP Department for Education and Integration, Social Welfare Office, Youth and Family, Children's Museum, Sports Office, Cultural Office (only with regard to city libraries)
Councilor Elke Kahr KPÖ Road office, traffic planning
City council Robert Krotzer KPÖ Health office, social welfare office (only with regard to care)
City council Günter Riegler ÖVP Finance and asset management, community taxes, accounting, real estate, cultural office
Councilor Judith Schwentner Green Environment Agency, Youth and Family (only with regard to women and equality)


The first elected mayor of Graz in the post-war period was Eduard Speck (SPÖ), who held office until 1960. He was replaced by his party colleague Gustav Scherbaum (SPÖ), who ruled until 1973. After the right-wing national camp under the FPÖ had strengthened, Alexander Götz became mayor in 1973 ; he held the office until 1983. He was followed by Franz Hasiba (ÖVP) and Alfred Stingl (SPÖ), who initially split a five-year term of office, but Stingl retained the mayor's office until 2003. He was followed by Siegfried Nagl (ÖVP), who won the municipal elections in 2008, 2012 and 2017 again was confirmed as mayor.


On the platform, administrative procedures can be dealt with from home using online procedures. Some of these forms, such as the application for funding for district heating or leaving the church, require an electronic signature with the citizen card .

Town twinning

Monument for City Friendship, Kanonenbastei, Schloßberg (2008)

Graz maintains city partnerships with the following cities:

Most of the cities with which city partnerships are entered into have some street and path names in the urban area: The most common are the names of avenues: Coventryallee, Dubrovnikallee, Montclairallee, Pécsallee are paths in the Graz City Park , Groningenplatz is an open space in the area of ​​the Burgring curve, the St.-Petersburg-Allee is located in Augarten.

Darmstadtgasse and Trondheimgasse are residential and parallel streets in the Lend district . The Pula-Kai is a Murkai between Augartenbrücke and Berta-von-Suttner-Friedensbrücke in Jakomini , the Marburger Kai in the city ​​center , as well as the Marburger Straße at the ORF regional studio. Triester Straße is one of the major roads in Graz. The cities of Timisoara and Ljubljana have no equivalent in the road network.

City arms

City arms

The city coat of arms of Graz is similar to the Styrian coat of arms and precedes it in its representation. It shows a silver , gold-armed panther walking upright sideways in the green field . It is crowned with a golden, three-leaf crown of leaves in contrast to the Styrian coat of arms, in which the panther is horned and the shield bears the ducal hat of Styria . Tongues of red flame strike from the openings in the body . The city coat of arms is similar to that of the Upper Austrian city of Steyr .

"The city flag shows a white-green field with the city's coat of arms."


ORF regional studio Styria
Villa Ferry, former ORF regional studio


Graz is a city with a long newspaper tradition. While there were five newspapers in the city at the time of Emperor Josef II , their number was reduced to one under Archduke Johann , the "Grätzer Zeitung", which was subject to strict controls. An important Graz media group is Styria , which in addition to the regional “ Kleine Zeitung ”, with a reach of 50% in the federal states of Styria and Carinthia, publishes the “ Presse ” and other magazines and newspapers in Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. Historically, four daily newspapers appeared in Graz: in addition to the “Kleine Zeitung”, the only one that survived the death of newspapers in the 1970s, the party newspapers “ Neue Zeit ” (social democratic), the “ Südost-Tagespost ”, the mouthpiece of the Styrian ÖVP , and the " Truth " of the Styrian KPÖ .

Every Austrian daily newspaper has its own editorial office in Graz. The " Kronen Zeitung " produces its own Styrian edition in Graz.

The following are distributed free of charge to the door of the apartment every week: the “Woche” and the “(Neue) Grazer” and, since mid-2014, “(Kleine Zeitung) Wohin” with an event program (as the successor to “G7”, now via drawers at tram stops). "BIG" (Citizen Information Graz of the City Administration), "Grazer Stadtblatt" of the KPÖ , a free newspaper of the FPÖ and others appear monthly . The "Woche" runs an online edition with contributions by "Regionauts" from the audience. Since around 2015, Styria has also been publishing the free weekly newspaper , which is aimed at students , and is available at the pillars of the tram stops.

The street newspaper “ Megaphon ” has been published monthly since October 1995, with a focus on social policy and integration in street sales. The weekly newspaper " Falter " ran a Styrian editorial office from March 2005 to around 2010.


In Graz, as in every regional capital, there is an ORF regional studio . From there, the full 24-hour program Radio Steiermark is broadcast. The daily TV program Steiermark heute is produced in the state studio and broadcast on ORF 2 in the evening program. Before the regional studio was set up in Marburger Strasse, ORF broadcast its program from Villa Ferry in Zusertalgasse in the Geidorf district. With Steiermark 1 and MemaTV, a broadcaster that only broadcasts programs occasionally, there were two other TV stations in Graz until 2013.

The first radio station that was able to establish itself alongside ORF radios is Antenne Steiermark . It was Austria's first private broadcaster in 1995 and was based at the Dobl station near Graz, and at the end of 2014 it moved to the new Styria building on Conrad-von-Hötzendorf-Strasse. With Radio Soundportal and the free Radio Helsinki two more radio channels can be received in Graz. Radio Kronehit , which is broadcast across Austria, has a branch in Graz. On Graz's local mountain, the Schöckl , there is the radio transmission system of the same name , which supplies Graz, the whole of southern Styria, southern Burgenland and neighboring areas with radio and television programs.


The German travel writer Johann Gottfried Seume came to Graz on his famous trip to Syracuse in 1802 . He wrote:

“I want to stay and rest here for a few days; I like the city and the people. You know that the place on both sides of the Murr is very pleasant; and the whole thing here has a sight of bonhommie and wealth everywhere that is very cozy. […] Graez is one of the most beautiful large areas that I have seen so far; the mountains all around give the most splendid views, and must have an excellent effect in the fine season. The castle, on a fairly high mountain, can be seen very far; and from it one has all around the sight of the beautifully built-up landscape, which is wonderfully grouped by rivers and mountains and a lot of villages. "

- Johann Gottfried Seume : Walk to Syracuse in 1802

Today, Graz relies primarily on the historical substance of the old town and the southern atmosphere in tourism. The city's official awards as the European Capital of Culture 2003 and as a World Heritage Site justify this marketing strategy. In 2012, Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing GesmbH made Graz the “capital of pleasure” of Austria. The reason for this was the "Grazer Krauthäuptel", a special form of lettuce that had come from Carniola to Styria at the beginning of the 20th century .

Graz is also of great importance as a congress city. Graz currently (as of 2018) has around 5,000 guest beds in the commercial area, plus around 1,000 guest beds in the non-commercial area (including camping, youth hostels and private rooms). Around 50% of all overnight stays are attributable to business travelers . Congress and seminar tourism account for around 13%. 37% is accounted for by classic city and cultural tourism . This segment has shown the strongest growth rates in recent years. In 2014, more than one million overnight stays were recorded. Graz was able to close the crisis year 2009 with around 788,000 overnight stays, which was a decrease of 1% compared to the previous year. The guest structure shows a high proportion of domestic guests (around 47%), at the same time a strong international mix. After the financial and economic crisis, the positive development continued and reached the previous high of 1,061,095 overnight stays (2017). The internationalization continues, because the share of domestic guests fell from 44.8% to below 45%.

The development of overnight stays in Graz:

year Arrivals Overnight stays
2000 332.016 .0620.922
2001 334.414 .0619,800
2002 359,591 .0683.626
2003 428,607 .0839.855
2004 381.025 .0717.963
2005 381.054 .0629.029
2006 397.467 .0738.295
2007 415.212 .0779.618
2008 421,348 .0796.560
2009 424.971 .0788.221
year Arrivals Overnight stays
2010 450.509 .0824.294
2011 488.471 .0907.964
2012 508.722 .0943.817
2013 534.384 .0984.771
2014 568.197 1,029,022
2015 604.623 1,080,409
2016 634.162 1,125,372
2017 625.717 1,161,095
2018 633.972 1,129,209


Graz old town

Graz, Mur and Schloßberg 1912
Freedom Square with the personality monument of Kaiser Franz.
Graz castle with castle garden
Facade of the country house and state armory
Herzogshof , so-called "Painted House"
Franciscan Church
City parish church


The historic old town of Graz and its roof landscape were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 because of their very good state of preservation and the visibility of the architectural development in the old town , and in 2010 it was expanded to include “ City of Graz - Historic Center and Eggenberg Castle ”. This award is linked to the obligation to preserve the historical heritage with its building ensemble that has grown since the Gothic period and to harmoniously integrate new architecture. Most of Graz's sights are located in the old town. This extends over the entire inner city district . There are also many historical buildings outside the old town, especially in the districts of St. Leonhard (II.) And Geidorf (III.).

Schloßberg and surroundings

In the geographical center of the city is the Schloßberg , which served as a fortress between 1125 and 1809. After the successful defense of the complex against Napoleon's troops under the command of Genieoberst Franz Xaver Hackher zu Hart and the conclusion of peace, the Schloßberg fortress was blown up . The citizens of Graz bought the clock tower and the bell tower so that both have been preserved to the present day. From 1839 the development of the bare rock into a park began. In addition to the two towers, some fortress remains and listed buildings from the time have been preserved, including the remains of the St. Thomas Chapel, citizen and stable bastion and the casemates (former dungeon). The Schloßberg plateau with its monuments, not all of which have been exposed, can be reached via the Kriegssteig, the Schloßbergbahn , the lift and a few footpaths. In the mountain itself there are several kilometers of tunnel systems that were used as shelters during air and bombing raids during World War II. In the present, part of it is used for events (“Dom im Berg”) or as a fairy tale train (“ The Grazer Märchenbahn ”). The mining and works railway museum in the mountain is currently not open to the public due to fire regulations.

The Schlossberg can be circumnavigated and accessed via a network of paths and roads. The tour begins with the outer Paulustor in the Paulustorgasse of the same name, the only preserved city gate of the Renaissance fortification belt, which was executed by Domenico dell'Allio . The next building into the city is the Palmburg with its mighty access ramp. Immediately next to it is the Folklore Museum and the inconspicuous Antonius Church . The sacred building was built from 1600 to 1602 after over 10,000 Protestant books were burned at its location in 1600. This area is called Paulustorvorstadt.

The entrance to Sporgasse , a steeply sloping and narrow alleyway, is dominated by the Palais Saurau with its massive portal and the half-figure of a Turk below the roof edge. This is followed by the former inn "Zur golden Pastete" with its round bay window, which is unique in Graz, the former Augustinian monastery and the staircase church , the Teutonic Knights' House and some representative town houses with shops, before the alley ends in the main square . The staircase church, which can be reached via a staircase, was part of the Paulsburg, the oldest part of the Graz city fortifications.

Sackstrasse leads north from the main square . At the beginning of the street is the "Hotel Erzherzog Johann", followed by the Kastner & Öhler department store , the landscape pharmacy, the oldest pharmacy in Graz, the inn "Zum Roten Krebsen", the Palais Kellersberg , the Witwenpalais and the Palais Attems , Herberstein and Khuenburg . The Palais Attems with its magnificent facade is “the most important aristocratic palace in Styria”, while the Admonterhof is built on the back . The Palais Herberstein houses the "Museum in the Palais"; The Graz City Museum and the Apothecary Museum are housed in the Palais Khuenburg, the birthplace of the Habsburg heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand , who was murdered in Sarajevo in 1914 . Immediately next to it is the Reinerhof , the oldest documented building in Graz.

The Kriegssteig and the Schloßbergstollen, a direct connection to the Karmeliterplatz, can be seen from Schloßbergplatz. The Trinity Church is opposite the square . It belongs to the building complex of the school nurse school . The Sackstraße leads into the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Kai, a street that, instead of a broken row of houses, lines the banks of the Mur. The Grazer Sackstraße originally consisted of three "sacks", that is, closed construction zones. Over time, a total of three no longer existing blind gates broke through the walls to gain living space. For a long time, this area was considered the most densely populated in Graz. The valley station of the Schloßbergbahn and community houses are on the quay, which flows into the busy Wickenburggasse. Remnants of the old bastion of the third sack gate can still be seen.

Historical cityscapes

Graz city crown

Conrad Kreuzer : City Crown from the East, watercolor and gouache (1841)

The city crown of Graz is located at the foot of the Schlossberg. It consists of four monumental buildings: the Gothic cathedral (St. Aegidius Cathedral) , the important Mannerist building of the mausoleum with the integrated St. Catherine's Church from the 17th century, the old Jesuit University and the Graz Castle .

  • Dom
The Graz Cathedral has been the cathedral church of the Graz-Seckau diocese and parish church of the Graz cathedral parish since 1786 . The inconspicuous-looking sacred building with a simple roof turret served the Graz Jesuits as a religious church from 1577 to 1773. It is the most important inner-city sacred building in terms of art and cultural history and was under Friedrich III. Erected in the 15th century and was the court church of the Roman-German emperors. The cathedral was once connected to Graz Castle by a corridor. The main altar is an important Baroque total work of art. In the two side aisles are the bridal chests of Paola Gonzaga from the Mantuan dynasty - created by Andrea Mantegna in the early Italian Renaissance. The outer wall of the cathedral is decorated with a fresco, the so-called plague picture .
  • Katharinenkirche and Mausoleum
Immediately next to the cathedral is the Katharinenkirche with the mausoleum, a Mannerist building . It is the burial place of Emperor Ferdinand II (1578–1637) and the largest mausoleum of the Habsburgs. Between the cathedral and the mausoleum stands a bronze sculpture of the patron saint Aegidius, which was cast based on the model of the Graz artist Erwin Huber .
  • Castle
Double spiral staircase
Graz was the capital of the Habsburgs from 1379 to 1619 . The Jesuit order is closely connected to the history of Graz . Across from the old and first Graz University, the monks lived in the canon court .

The Graz castle with the castle garden is the seat of the Styrian state government. Its construction began in 1438 under Duke Friedrich V and continued under Archduke Charles II and his son, Emperor Ferdinand II. A relic from the first, Gothic construction phase is the extraordinary double spiral staircase from 1499. Integrated into the building is the castle gate , next to the outer Paulustor the last preserved city gate of Graz.


Main square with central Archduke Johann Brunnen

The center of Graz consists of the main square, Herrengasse, Färberplatz and Mehlplatz, parts of Burggasse and Bürgergasse, Schmiedgasse, Raubergasse, Neutorgasse, Marburger Kai, Andreas-Hofer-Platz and the Franziskanerviertel with the respective side streets.

The main square is an irregular and historically grown complex with a market function, which used to extend south to Landhausgasse. It is crossed by all tram lines in the city. On the south side is the neoclassical Graz town hall , built between 1889 and 1895 according to plans by the architects Alexander Wielemans and Theodor Reuter over an older town hall from 1807. Today it is the seat of the Graz municipal council. In the middle of the square is the Archduke Johann Fountain, a work by the Viennese foundryman Franz Pönninger that was unveiled in 1878 . The larger than life bronze statue of Archduke Johann towers over an imposing metal base, at the corners of which four female statues depict allegories of the rivers Mur, Enns, Drau and Sann. Town houses and city palaces line the main square: the Weißsche Haus, the Adler pharmacy, the two stucco-adorned Luegg houses on the corner of Sporgasse, the Weikhard House with the grandfather clock of the same name and the Stürgkh Palace .

Herrengasse , a baroque grand street , runs between the main square and the second central square, Jakominiplatz . The country house with its Renaissance arcade courtyard , the state armory with the largest collection of early modern weapons in the world, the so-called “ Painted House ” and the parish church , the main parish church of Graz, are located here. Before the Herrengasse joins the Ringstrasse, it crosses the Am Eiserner Tor square with its fountain and the Marian column. The eponymous Iron Gate was a city gate of the Renaissance fortification belt until the 19th century. In the southern part of Herrengasse, geographically bounded by Kaiserfeldgasse and Schmiedgasse, the Graz Jewish Ghetto was located until 1439.

From the city crown you can reach the Graz playhouse on Freiheitsplatz , which opened in 1776, and via Hofgasse and Bürgergasse you can reach the alley system around the carillon with the carillon. At the end of Engen Gasse you can go through Stempfergasse, a shopping street, into Herrengasse or see the Bischöfliches Palais at Bischofplatz .

The Franziskanerkirche , the second largest church in Graz, stands on the east bank of the Mur and is the center of the Franciscan quarter. Because of its former island location, the first monastery in Graz is inclined. The course of the so-called "Kot (h) mur", a sewer, separated the area from the rest of the city center.

The Joanneumviertel can be reached from the Franziskanerviertel, located between Raubergasse, Landhausgasse and Andreas-Hofer-Platz. It consists of two monumental buildings and houses the main building of the largest Styrian museum, the Joanneum . In the newly designed inner courtyard there was once the old botanical garden, which had to move to Geidorf. At the place of the new Joanneum and the post office building by Friedrich Setz was the Neutor , which was demolished in 1884 . The city of Graz's municipal building dominates the Schmiedgasse street scene. The Graz Higher Regional Court is at the southern end of the Marburg quay.

The old city wall is visible in a few places above ground: Glacisstrasse and the city park are reminiscent of the open space in front of the city fortress in terms of name and space; In the Pfauengarten and in the city park a remnant of a wall has been preserved. The construction of the ring road roughly follows the course of the former moat; The location of the former bastions can be seen from the air at some corners. The Graz city park, which covers most of the old glacis , is the largest inner-city green space. In addition to numerous monuments, the Forum Stadtpark , the Künstlerhaus - hall for art and media , the music pavilion, the Stadtpark fountain and some natural monuments are located in it . Construction of the park began in 1869, and Mayor Moritz Ritter von Franck opened it in 1873 . The Graz Opera House , which opened in 1899, was built outside the city park and in the inner city area .

Bridges and bodies of water

Franz Carl Bridge (around 1910)

The description of the bridges and footbridges in Graz is limited to those that cross the Mur River or, in one case, only accompany them. (For other bodies of water see also: Grazer Mühlgang .) Two cable ferries, last in 1958, are history; Passenger shipping existed only from 1888 until the breakdown of the steamship Styria (formerly Kühbeck ) in 1889 at the Radetzky Bridge. Since 2003, when the water level was low, the “Murinsel”, actually a pontoon jetty, has been a technical curiosity. On the left bank about 70 m above the Kepler Bridge , the Graz gauge was equipped with an interactive screen in December 2016 . The city publishes water levels of the Graz creeks in particular to monitor the risk of flooding. Historically and currently there was or is the idea of ​​building a cable car for passenger transport along and over the river .

The A9 Pyhrnautobahn crosses the Mur at the northern boundary of Gratkorn . About 2.5 kilometers downstream is the narrow Weinzöttl Bridge , which was opened in 1922 and is a listed building - made of concrete, with an industrial siding, originally with gas lights. This is followed by the Pongratz-Moore-Steg and the Kalvarienbrücke, built in 1989/90 with a towering, blue triangular frame made of steel between the supporting structures.

Floßlend around 1870 - a wooden bridge in the background, presumably on the site of today's Calvary Bridge

On the right bank of the Kalvarienbrücke at Kalvariengürtel 1 (corner of Floßlendstraße) on the west facade there is the plaster painting Floßlend from around 1870 by Toni Hafner from 1969, depicting a raft made of logs lashed with chains with a rope to a bollard on the bank, behind it (upstream) an earlier wooden bridge with at least five arches.

On the left bank 700 m above the Kalvarienbrücke (only a little below the right bank Kalvarienkirche) and 1 m east of the bank-accompanying cycle path ( 47 ° 5 ′ 35.7 ″  N , 15 ° 25 ′ 10.3 ″  E ) shows a stele (between high Büschen) to the wooden cable ferry "Überfuhr", which was operated here from 1934–1958 . On the left bank you can still see six concrete steps with four iron anchors as relics, on the opposite right bank less. According to the inscription, another overpass existed about 200 m below from "1864 to the flood of 1873/74".

The Ferdinand Bridge, located northwest of the Schlossberg, named after Emperor Ferdinand I , was the first chain bridge in Styria and the largest in Austria, from autumn 1833 by the tenant of the overpass, Franz Strohmeyer, built according to the plans of the Viennese architect Johann Jäckl . April 1836 by Prince-Bishop Roman Sebastian Zängerle . It was renamed Keplerbrücke in 1920 in honor of Johannes Kepler, who lived and researched here for six years. In 1963 a new bridge was built with steel girders, the underwater sidewalk of which was opened to cyclists around 1993 and widened at the expense of the roadway. In 2006, the heavily used route for bicycle and pedestrian traffic along the left bank was passed under the longest bridge structure in Graz and named after one of the first Graz cyclists, Elise-Steininger -Steg. The steel girder elements are coated with epoxy resin - quartz sand non-slip, one of the south ramp is wheelchair-accessible, but they have expansion joints up to 30 mm wide. The joint, which got wider in the confusing north curve, was covered by a slippery, smooth NiRo sheet, later replaced by a corrugated one, the butting hump remains. The neatly designed NiRo railing with vertical struts has a handrail with laser-cut brackets that cut the skin of fingers.

The Murinsel lies downstream. The “island”, which is popular as a sight and is partially covered, is actually a pontoon bridge made of steel consisting of a large oval float that rests on runners on the bottom when the water is low. So that the "island" is also completely surrounded by water in this case, a small bed sill was built across the entire river a little below . A curved footbridge leads from the right bank to the bow of the float, which - oblong-oval, in the middle of the river - hangs on top of a steel cable that is anchored in the river and is checked by a diver every year. From the stern a bridge curved in the opposite direction leads to the left bank. Seen in the river axis, the footbridges run downwards in a V-shape to the middle of the river at low water. The float rises with high water, in extreme cases higher than the bridgeheads of the jetties on the banks. The transverse thrust of the webs rotates the island slightly around the vertical axis. The footbridges can be reached by stairs, on the left also by lift, from the right by ramp and signposted as a footpath. Shortly afterwards - in the extension of Schlossbergplatz - the Erich-Edegger -steg follows. This footbridge was named in 2003 after the local politician and campaigner for soft mobility.

Then comes the Archduke Johann Bridge. The former ford here was the first and, for over 400 years, the only bridge in Graz. In 1843 the city built a chain bridge, which was replaced by an iron structure in 1892. In 1918 the Franz-Carl-Kettenbrücke was renamed the main bridge. A simple new construction of the main bridge with a wide lane was carried out in 1964 with the intention of tearing down a row of houses in the narrow Murgasse and leading vehicle traffic across the main square. The figures of Austria and Styria that stood on the bridge are in the city park, bronze decorations came into private hands and were again offered to the city for sale around 2003 and 2014. A bronze decorative element has been exhibited on the left bank under the bridge since around 2003, as well as one made of stone that was recovered from the Mur. A terrace was concreted here around 2002, from which a striking staircase leads up to the left bridgehead on the underwater side, and downstream the Mur promenade, which has been developed as a walkway with stone benches. The modern main bridge was completely refurbished around 2006: The railing was made of NiRo steel as a gently curved, profiled railing plus a wire rope net, which now hangs full of " love locks ". The sidewalks were widened, the step on the upstream side was lowered to 3 cm and the tram route was run parallel to the southern edge of the sidewalk, making it more bike-friendly. It was not until 2013 that the almost car-free bridge was renamed Erzherzog-Johann-Brücke. The 2003 Paddle Rodeo World Championships took place on a wide water roll created by stone sizing between the central pillar and the left bank .

Since the beginning of 2018, the joint construction of the Mur power plant Graz in Puntigam and the central storage channel (left) has been progressing along the river Mur with several feed channels across the floor of the Mur, up to the Tegetthoff bridge. During construction, boating and walking on the banks of the Mur are forbidden for years, the river cut will ultimately become a reservoir up to the Erzherzog-Johann-Brücke and thus converted from a paddle to a rowing route .

Downriver follows the Tegetthoff Bridge, completed in 1975, and the listed Radetzky Bridge . With the support of a rope suspended from the Gehradweg- (GRW) bridge, surfing on boards and playboating have been practiced in the left half of the river since around 2000 with the right water flow in a roller . The Puntigam Mur power plant, which began construction in 2017, will damming this roller, as well as the point at the Archduke Johann Bridge further up, with the construction of the construction road on the left bank of the river for the Central Storage Canal (ZSK) up to the Radetzky Bridge extended to over the boathouse on Marburgerkai, so that the Christmas paddling of the Canoe Club Graz (KCG) on December 16, 2017 from the Weinzödl power plant ended for the first time before the Erzherzog-Johann Bridge with an exit at Murbeach.

This is followed by the Augarten Bridge as the last existing concrete arch bridge and the particularly elaborately constructed Augarten footbridge for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, which was built in 2003 to save costs without the connecting structure planned by the architects for the left bank. The structure as a whole was stored on rollers on the right bank, supported by crane hoists at the front of a walking frame across the river. After being placed on the bridgeheads, the four slightly inclined arches were braced by means of two hydraulic cylinders located above the middle of the river and on the right and left a little below the roadway, acting on steel struts, which were finally fixed by welding seams. It was not until 2010 that this footbridge was supplemented by a gravel road axis to the east through the park, on which even bicycle traffic was allowed.

After the Augartenbad, which followed the Augarten, the Berta-von-Suttner-Friedensbrücke (Peace Bridge), which was only named (around) 1984, crosses the Mur. It has four lanes, is heavily used by vehicles and is connected to the right bank with a loop and underpass without crossing. On the underwater side, it has a footpath and cycle path, which is characterized by poor visibility on the left bank, and on the right bank by a lack of cycle traffic upstream.

Just one scrap yard length (near the left bank) and after the snowfall on the right, the railway bridge of the Styrian Eastern Railway crosses. For boaters and swimmers - the Mur has had good bathing quality for decades - dangerous steel profiles in the area of ​​a former central pillar were removed by the fire brigade around 2009.

About 1 km downstream, the Steweag / Steg pipe walkway, which is closed to the public, leads two insulated district heating pipes plus high-voltage cables from the district heating plant (Puchstrasse) that went into operation in 1963.

Almost 1 km further and a little south of the Sturzgasse, the Puchsteg ran across the river. With beams and railings made of steel, both planked with wood, it was probably built in 1942/1943 for the forced laborers of Camp V , which was built in 1940, to reach the Puchwerk west of the Mur more quickly, although it was signposted as "built in 1949". It was released for public use in 1949 after a general overhaul and renovated as a pedestrian and cyclist bridge around 2013. The footbridge was about 75 m long, the Mur here at mean water about 45 m wide, the bridgeheads were formed by U-shaped to trapezoidal reinforced concrete foundation walls and short road ramps with a 10-15% gradient. The two pillars made of lacquered steel lattice supports stood in the water, were almost two-dimensional trapezoidal - from the point of view of the water flow a few decimeters narrow, from the point of view of the pier axis as wide as the pier at the top - about 2.5 m, below in the water about 10 m wide. On the upstream, sloping front edge and part of the sides, the pillars had wooden planking as protection against direct impact and catching of any floating debris, ice in winter or trees during floods. In 2017, by March 15, the tree growth on both banks was cleared on a stretch around the Puchsteg in order to build another Mur power plant at Olympiawiese. By December 2017, the construction road for the central storage channel in the water was built on the left bank upstream to around the Radetzky Bridge, as well as a 90 t load-bearing bridge to the middle of the river a little below the Radetzky Bridge. In this context, the Puchsteg was demolished in June 2019. The opening of a new jetty over the Mur, originally planned for summer 2019, had to be postponed due to a delay in the usage agreements for the required properties and was finally carried out on July 10, 2020. However, the usage contract with the soap factory's owner is provisionally limited to five years.

From around 2021 onwards, the power plant will offer another crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, but the cycle route on the left bank will take a detour. Compared to the new, young chairman Marcel Bloder of the Graz kayak club KCG, the power plant operator Energie Steiermark guaranteed a training course with a natural gradient for various types of water sports immediately to the left of the power plant - by the hour and for a fee. The Puchsteg located above the planned power station location was too low for the required underpassage for fire-fighting boats in terms of the water level, so it had to be removed. The new building is located about 220 m further north in the line of Sturzgasse and has been raised significantly, which, in connection with the Mur power plant, the river-crossing meshes for pedestrians and cyclists will be somewhat denser in this area in the future.

This is followed by the Puntigamer Bridge, a four-lane road bridge that was rebuilt in 1995/96 and with the southern belt (construction start in 2014, opening on May 19, 2017) will carry even more car traffic. On the south side, it is equipped with a walkway and bike path at the level of the roadway, separated from it by a stepped, orange-tiled concrete wall. Pieces of the previous building are located downstream of the bridge, where wild water, gushes and at one point a little to the right of the middle of the river even eddy water occurs. (As of 2017, an evacuation and deepening for the underwater of the upcoming power plant is to be expected.)

About 500 m to the south at Auer-von-Welsbach-Gasse, where there was a municipal gas works, the iron, wood-covered gas pipe footbridge (built in 1951) with two pillars for cyclists and pedestrians leads across the river, on the left bank with a right-angled ramp upstream Uferweg (GRW only upstream) and the parallel Murfelderstraße connected. On the right bank here the legal way to skating ends would actually be from only moving walkways allowed on the edge of the pavement-less road. This is roughly the root of the dam of the Gössendorf Mur power plant, which only went into operation in 2012 . The motorway bridge that will soon follow is located just south of the city limits in Gössendorf or Feldkirchen near Graz , exactly 1 km further from the aforementioned power station.



Of the total of eleven Graz city gates, two have been preserved: the Burgtor as a section of Graz Castle and the outer Paulustor at the end of Paulustorgasse. While the Paulustor is the only surviving wall gate of the historical late Renaissance fortification belt, which was planned by fortress builder Domenico dell'Allio , the castle gate can not be assigned to either the medieval or modern city fortifications.

Nothing is left of the medieval wall. The two Murtore in Murgasse were dismantled in 1837, followed by the inner Paulustor in Sporgasse in 1846 , the three Sack Gates in Sackstrasse have not existed since the 19th century. The city ​​gate of the same name from the Renaissance wall stood on the square of the Iron Gate . Like the New Gate, the last of the old gates demolished in 1884, it resembled the outer Paulustor. The Franzenstor at the confluence of Burggasse and Roseggergarten was the shortest. The decorative arch erected in 1835 was removed again in 1856. The demolition of the Graz city gates was legitimized by the increased volume of traffic and the increased construction activity. After the fortifications were razed in the middle of the 19th century, they lost their protective function.

Until Austria was annexed in March 1938, a pavement toll was levied at the Graz city gates (this toll was abolished almost everywhere in Europe in the 19th century).

Sights outside the old town

Eggenberg Castle

Planet garden in Eggenberg Palace Park (detail)

The Eggenberg Castle and the Castle Park are annually more than one million visitors the most frequented attraction outside the center of Graz.

Eggenberg is considered the most important baroque palace complex in Styria. Its history goes back to the Middle Ages. From 1625 it was expanded into a representative four-wing complex on behalf of Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg (1568–1634) and under the direction of the court architect Giovanni Pietro de Pomis . The castle was directly connected to the city center via Eggenberger Allee ; Of the boulevard only a small section with avenues in the immediate vicinity of the castle and a street name remain.

Eggenberg Palace is designed according to a cosmic number symbolism. The four corner towers stand for the four cardinal points and the four elements. The system has 365 outside windows for the days of a year. On the second floor, the bel étage, there are 52 exterior windows for the weeks of a year. Each floor in the house has 31 rooms for the maximum number of days in a month. On the second floor, 24 state rooms are arranged outside in a ring, which symbolize the hours of a day. The concept is intended to be reminiscent of the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582.

A cycle of 24 state rooms with original furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries is one of the most important ensembles of historical interiors in Austria. Seldom has room furnishings of comparable quality been preserved so completely. Its center is the stuccoed planet room with the cycle of paintings by Hans Adam Weissenkircher .

The publicly accessible castle park was designed together with the castle. He changed his appearance frequently throughout history. It is one of the few historical gardens in Austria that is a listed building. The planet garden, which has been newly created since 2000, is located on the north corner. Free-roaming peacocks live in the palace gardens .

Sacred buildings

Leechkirche , the university church of the Karl-Franzens-University
Rupertikirche in Graz-Straßgang, one of the oldest of the Graz churches
Grazer Kalvarienberg on the Austein
Mariatrost Basilica with Angelus Staircase
Maria Annunciation Church in Graz-Kroisbach
New construction of the Graz synagogue

In Graz, as in most cities in Catholic Austria, there are numerous sacred buildings. The oldest churches in the city are the Leechkirche near the University of Graz , the Stiegenkirche as part of the historic Paulsburg in Sporgasse and the Rupertikirche in Straßgang . The tallest church buildings are the neo-Gothic Brick Sacred Heart Church and the Franciscan Church - the lower part of the tower was once part of the Graz city wall. The Herz-Jesu-Kirche is the third highest church in Austria at 109.6 m and the tallest building in Graz. In the same district opposite the LKH Graz is the parish church of St. Leonhard, first mentioned in 1361 . In the Middle Ages, the Meierhof Guntarn was the first Graz settlement outside the city center.

Numerous religious settlements exist in Graz, many of which were dissolved in the course of the Josephine reforms of 1783. Mainly monasteries remained, devoted to nursing and education. A Franciscan monastery has been in the city center since the 13th century , while the Minorite monastery with the baroque Mariahilfer Church is on the opposite bank of the Mur . In the Sackstraße, opposite the Schloßbergsteig, is the Dreifaltigkeitskirche , until 1900 the church of the former Ursuline convent . In the Paulustorgasse there is next to the Folklore Museum the Antoniuskirche .

The larger facilities in Graz's urban area include the Dominican Convent in Münzgrabenstrasse, the Lazarist monastery in Mariengasse, and the monastery of the Sisters of Mercy right next to it . The Barmherzigen Brüder maintain two hospitals in Graz: one in Marschallgasse (further expansion from 2019) and one in Eggenberg. Orders of women who are dedicated to nursing the sick are the Elisabethinen in the Gries district and the Sisters of the Cross with a convent and private clinic in Geidorf. The Ursulines in Leonhardstrasse, the school sisters at the foot of the Schloßberg and in Eggenberg, as well as the school and monastery of the Sacré Coeur Graz, work in the school .

In Geidorf, the Grabenkirche is located as a monastery church of the Capuchin monastery, the Erlöserkirche on the grounds of the Graz Regional Hospital and the Maria Schnee church as part of the Carmelite monastery in Grabenstrasse. Next to the men's monastery is the Carmelite monastery with the church of St. Joseph , whose first convent on the former Fischplatz (today Andreas-Hofer-Platz) was closed in 1782, the building was demolished in 1934. In addition to the Kreuzschwesternkirche with the private clinic, a modern sacred building has been preserved in Geidorf with the Salvatorkirche .

The Graz Kalvarienberg is located in the fourth district of Lend. The complex on the Austein was founded in the 16th century and administered by the Jesuits. The high baroque Kalvarienbergkirche with the Holy Staircase and the Ecce Homo stage and the numerous chapels are particularly worth seeing . In the same district, the Barmherzigenkirche and the Marienkirche near the Graz main train station are also worth mentioning.

In Gries there are important Gothic and Baroque church buildings with the Church of St. Andrä , the Welschen Church on Griesplatz and the Bürgerspitalkirche . In addition to the baroque Karlauerkirche and the central cemetery church in neo-Gothic brick style, there are some modern church buildings: St. Luke with its unusual interior, St. John as part of the Trieste settlement, as well as the church and parish center of Don Bosco , in whose buildings a toll station and a powder magazine were housed. The Jakomini district is mainly characterized by the modern church building of the Münzgrabenkirche and the Josefkirche .

The Mariatrost suburb is a sacred center in Graz. The Basilica Mariatrost , a nationally known and baroque pilgrimage church on the Purberg, has officially been the destination of large streams of pilgrims since 1714. A miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary from Rein Abbey in Eisbach is venerated . The construction of the sacred building lasted from 1714 to 1779. After the Josephine reforms , the monastery tracts were used as stables. From the middle of the 19th century, the Franciscans resumed the pilgrimage tradition until 1996. In the same year Pope John Paul II made Mariatrost a minor basilica . In 1968 the Mariatroster Declaration was published in the pilgrimage church .

In addition to the Mariatrost Basilica, there are two other sacred buildings in the city district: on the one hand the Mariagrüner Church , which is considered the most important ecclesiastical foundation of a citizen of the city of Graz. Louis Bonaparte , a brother of Napoleon , often visited the church on his walks. In 1873 the Styrian writer Peter Rosegger married his first wife in the Mariagrüner Church. The other is the modern Church of the Annunciation in Kroisbach, which was integrated into a residential area and consecrated in 1974.

The parish church of St. Peter is visible from afar in the St. Peter district . In the north-east of Graz you can visit the Church of St. Ulrich with its spring shrine, the parish church of St. Veit and the Church of the Holy Family in Andritz. There is a sacred building in each of two districts: St. Paul in the Eisteichsiedlung in Waltendorf and the Bruder-Klaus-Kirche near the satellite city on the Berliner Ring in the Ragnitz.

On the right bank of the Mur, in the districts of Gösting and Eggenberg, you can see the Church of St. Anna , the Castle Church of Eggenberg Castle, the Fourteen-Nothelfer Church , the modern Guardian Angel Church , the Vinzenz Church and on a ridge in Wetzelsdorf the Church of St. Johann and Paul . In the southern district of Straßgang there are other sacred buildings in Graz with the church Maria im Elend , the castle church St. Martin , the somewhat remote Florianikirche on the Florianiberg, the Elisabethkirche and the mentioned Rupertikirche. In the youngest district of Graz, Puntigam, there is the St. Leopold parish church, built in 1967, and the asylum church in the south of the Graz South-West Regional Hospital.

The Heilandskirche , located near the Graz Opera House, is the largest Protestant church in the city of Graz. The building that exists today was built in the historicist style from 1853, after a Protestant prayer house had been located here since 1824. It is part of a building complex with parish buildings and the Martin Luther House. The Protestant denomination also includes the Kreuzkirche on the edge of the Volksgarten , whose parish home is the Mühl-Schlössl , the Christ Church in Eggenberg, the Evangelical St. John's Church in Andritz and the Church of the Redeemer in Liebenau.

In addition to the Catholic and Protestant church buildings in Graz you will find the Old Catholic Church in Kernstockgasse, the Coptic Church in Wiener Straße and centers of various denominations scattered across the city, including a parish hall of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Eggenberg .

Graz also has a synagogue . The old synagogue in Graz was built in 1892 and belonged to the Jewish community with its 2500 members. It was a successor to the synagogue in the former Jewish quarter in downtown Graz. During the so-called Reichskristallnacht from November 9th to 10th, 1938, the prayer house was burned down and the entire area was leveled in order to erase the memory of the synagogue. All Graz Jews were deported to Vienna and Graz was declared the first “Jew-free” city in the Ostmark. Until 1998 there was only a lawn with a memorial stone on the site of the destroyed synagogue. Using the old brickwork, the new Graz synagogue and parish hall were built in 1998. In August 2020, pro-Palestinian graffiti was attached to both buildings and windows were broken. The mayor was attacked with a baseball bat.

Secular buildings

Palais Kottulinsky on Elisabethstrasse
Meerscheinschlössl in Mozartgasse

On the northern outskirts of Graz is the Gösting castle ruin , a ruin with a very good overview, from which the Murtal north of Graz was once controlled. In the 10th and 11th centuries there was a predecessor complex on the Frauenkogel at this point, the remains of which, like the castle, are listed. Gösting Castle itself is dated to the 12th century and was part of a chalk fire warning system that was intended to warn the population of threats. In 1723 the castle was destroyed by lightning, today the ruin is a destination for excursions. After the destruction, the Counts of Attems built the Baroque Gösting Castle as the new seat .

The largest Art Nouveau building complex in Austria is in the east of the city, the LKH University Hospital Graz . At that time it was "considered the most modern hospital on the continent and was often referred to as a wonder of the world". However, the relatively long distance from the city center aroused the resentment of the citizens of Graz. The building complex is connected by an underground tunnel system. Each medical department has its own building. Over time, modernization measures were carried out. In the vicinity of the hospital you will also find the Rettenbachklamm , a year-round accessible gorge in the city, the Leechwald recreation area , the artificially created Hilnte pond with a Schlössl and the Hilmwarte .

Outside the city center there are relatively few palaces, most of them are publicly owned. In St. Leonhard, on the edge of the city park, there is the Palais Kees , a building from late classicism. Among other things, it housed the kuk corps command. It has been used as a student residence since a renovation at the beginning of the 21st century. The Palais Meran , the former seat of Archduke Johann, has been the main building of the Graz University of Art since 1963. The Elizabeth Street with numerous palaces and villas plants one of the Grazer boulevards from the early days . Worth mentioning are the Palais Apfaltrern, Auersperg, Kottulinsky , Kübeck and Prokesch-Osten and the Merano houses. The Graz Literature House is housed in the premises of the Palais Mayr-Melnhof . A little further out of town are the villas Kollmann and Lazarini (selection) . The Geidorf villa district stretches from Elisabethstraße via Leechgasse to Schubertstraße.

The Palais Thinnfeld in the Lend district is directly connected to the Grazer Kunsthaus . A special feature of the Palais Wertl von Wertlsberg is its castle-like character, which is achieved by two polygonal corner towers and a corner bay window. At the entrance to Dominikanergasse, the Gleispach Palace is the only palace in the Gries district. There are no palaces in any of the other Graz districts, but castles and noble farms.

Since Graz was a popular seat of aristocrats and higher officials during the monarchy, there are many castles and palaces in the city area. In addition to the numerous inner city palaces, it is above all castles and noble courts that characterize the appearance of Graz in the peripheral areas. In addition to Eggenberg Castle with its park, the Baroque Gösting Castle and Graz Castle, some buildings are worth mentioning. In the middle of Geidorf is the Meerscheinschlössl , a baroque building with a former spacious park. The Hallerschloss and Lustbühel Castle with an integrated kindergarten are located in Waltendorf. A cadet school was housed in the former Liebenau Castle, and the HIB Liebenau has been located in the premises since the 1970s.

Inner- city ​​palaces include the Messe-Schlössl , the Metahof- Schlössl near the train station, the Mühl-Schlössl near the Volksgarten or the Tupay-Schlössl in the former Schönau. In the outskirts are in a prominent location Castle St. Martin and St. Veit Schlössl , something hidden castle Algersdorf , Castle Reinthal , Castle Moosbrunn or Castle Kroisbach . In addition to the Graz palaces, there are some preserved noble farms, i.e. residences that were often exempt from taxes and were run as an estate. One example is the Weisseneggerhof on Esperantoplatz. Most of the plants are privately owned.

A special feature is the former Karlau hunting lodge . It was embedded in the original area of ​​the Karl-Au and surrounded by a zoo and the imperial hunting area. In addition to water fowl and red deer, falcons, herons and pheasants were also bred in the zoo, released and hunted in the floodplains of the Mur. Even today, several street names in the area (Tiergartenweg, Rebhuhnweg, Reiherstadlgasse, Falkenturmgasse, Fasangartengasse, Auf der Tändelwiese) are reminiscent of the zoo and hunting grounds. “Tändel”, for example, is an old name for red deer. In the course of its history, the castle was used as a prisoner-of-war house, from 1769 as a workhouse, until 1803 it was turned into a provincial prison. After many extensions and renovations, only the core of the Graz-Karlau prison has been preserved.

Monuments and fountains

Archduke Johann fountain on the main square
Statue of the Marian column "At the Iron Gate"
Rosarium fountain in the Rosegger Garden on the Opernring

Graz has an abundance of monuments. The most prominent (a selection):

  • the Marian columns (1666–1670) at the Iron Gate , at Karlauplatz (1762) and at Marienplatz (1680),
  • the pillars of plague at Karmeliterplatz (1680), Lendplatz (1680) and Griesplatz (1680), which were donated by the citizens as votive pillars after plague epidemics or enemy invasions.
  • the plague monument "Am Damm", a monument in the shape of a chapel from 1680. The increased erection of such plague columns and monuments around 1680 arose out of gratitude for the end of a plague epidemic in Graz, which killed around a fifth of the city's population with over 3,500 deaths .
  • The Archduke Johann Fountain (1878) on the main square with a larger than life bronze statue of Archduke Johann and the allegorical depictions of the four rivers Mur, Enns , Drau and Sann was designed by Franz Pönninger and unveiled on September 8, 1878. Well bowls are bordered at the four corners. The bases are decorated with allegorical bronze reliefs. Originally, the fountain was supposed to be set up in the Joanneumsgarten or at the Iron Gate. The appearance of some squares and parks in Graz is characterized by fountains. The Major Hackher monument (“Hackher Löwe”, 1909) on the Schloßberg is dedicated to the colonel of the same name, who in 1809 successfully defended the Schloßberg against Napoleon's troops. In 1909 Otto Jarl created the first lion sculpture to commemorate the centenary, which was only replaced by a bronze sculpture by Wilhelm Gösser in 1966 after it was melted down in 1943 .

Some squares in downtown Graz are provided with exposed personality monuments. The larger than life monument to Emperor Franz I (1838/41) is on Freiheitsplatz, a bronze bust of Joseph II (1887) on the Opernring, Peter Rosegger's personality monument by Wilhelm Gösser and the Rosarium fountain are in the Roseggergarten. In the city park, on the Schloßberg and near the opera, numerous monuments and busts have been erected, such as the Welden monument. The bronze figures of Austria and Styria by Hans Brandstätter , which were located on the former main bridge (currently: Erzherzog-Johann-Brücke), stand near the Stadtparkbrunnen (1873), which was made for the Vienna World Exhibition, on the Square of Human Rights . The Moritz-Ritter-von-Franck monument is also located in the city park . The monument of Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff is on Tegetthoffplatz, the Maria-Grüner monument, a column with a crowning terracotta vase and verses by Louis Bonaparte , Castelli and Anastasius Grün , is in the immediate vicinity of the Mariagrüner Church .


The mayor of Graz, Moritz Ritter von Franck, founded a large park on parts of the former glacis , which today forms the city ​​park . On the southern edge of the city park is the Graz Opera House, the second largest opera house in Austria, which, like many other opera theaters of the monarchy, was built by the Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer at the end of the 19th century . A modern steel sculpture, the "lightsaber", stands right next to the opera house. There are modern buildings on the west bank of the Mur, such as the Kunsthaus , and the Murinsel is in the river . Other important buildings in the districts close to the old town on the east bank of the Mur are the main building of the Karl Franzens University , the Technical University and the Palais Meran , with more modern additions from various eras, the seat of the University of Music and Performing Arts , and finally the Leech Church , the oldest church in Graz (1202). The Botanical Garden is not far from the Karl Franzens University .


Old Joanneum in Raubergasse
Tramway Museum in Mariatrost

Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz

The Universalmuseum Joanneum in Styria is not only the oldest and - after the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna - the second largest museum in Austria, but also the most important of the Austrian state museums because of its diversity and the size of the collection. The museum is named after Archduke Johann , who donated his private collections in 1811 with the task of "making learning easier and stimulating thirst for knowledge". The Archduke placed particular emphasis on technology and the natural sciences.

The idea for a science school came from the former Jesuit Leopold Biwald in 1775 . In addition to maintaining a lyceum and purchasing the Lesliehof, which was henceforth known as the Altes Joanneum , Archduke Johann's primary goal was to establish a state archive. His work as a collector made it possible to open it, and the first Joanneum archivist , Josef Wartinger , was able to write a first brief history of Styria . According to the Archduke's founding statutes, the Universalmuseum Joanneum - in accordance with the idea of ​​collecting, researching, preserving and communicating - still fulfills the task of showing a comprehensive picture of the developments in nature, history, art and culture in Styria.

Other museums

The most important of sixteen exhibition venues in Graz: The Alte Galerie in Schloss Eggenberg , which has significant holdings of European art from the Romanesque and Gothic to the German and Italian Renaissance to richly stocked connoisseur cabinets of the Baroque. The Neue Galerie includes important collections of fine art from the 19th and 20th centuries and the present. It has been located in the Joanneum Quarter since 2011, which houses two other museums with the multimedia collections and the natural history museum, which opened in March 2013.

Eggenberg Palace , the most important baroque palace complex in Styria, is one of Austria's most valuable cultural assets with its preserved furnishings, the extensive landscape garden and the collections housed in the palace (old gallery, coin cabinet and archeology museum). Outside the renovated Joanneum district is the art house known as the “Friendly Alien” . The Paulustorgasse houses the Folklore Museum, the oldest and most extensive folklore collection in Styria. The Landeszeughaus in Herrengasse emerged from an arsenal as a museum for armaments and weapons and with around 32,000 individual items (in their original condition) it is the largest historical weapons collection in the world.

Smaller museums

Romanesque crucifix in the Diocesan Museum Graz (around 1220)


Originally the cemeteries were laid out around the churches. From the 16th century onwards, population growth forced the construction of cemeteries outside the city walls. As part of the sanitary reform in 1782, Emperor Joseph II issued a general ban on inner-city burials. As a result, the inner-city cemeteries were abandoned and new ones built outside the city. The Graz cemeteries are all church-owned, with the exception of the urn cemetery, which belongs to the city of Graz (Grazer Bestattung), and the Jewish cemetery in Wetzelsdorf.

With an age of around one thousand years, the Feldkirchen cemetery on the southern city limits is the oldest existing cemetery that is counted among the Graz cemeteries by the “Grazer Bestattung”. He also has his own ossuary with the bones of 1,767 people from Galicia and Bukowina, who were transferred here in 1936 after the detention camp and the associated cemetery in the area of ​​today's Graz-Thalerhof airport were razed.

Architecture and urban development


Schloßberg and Franciscan Church from the Tegetthoff Bridge

The cityscape of the inner six districts is, as is typical for a Central European city, characterized primarily by rather low, evenly built structures and numerous sacred buildings. The remaining districts of Graz are a mixture of the architectural styles of the second half of the 20th century. Outside the old town, the prevailing architectural styles of the districts indicate the era in which they experienced their greatest expansion and population growth. The six inner city districts directly adjacent to the old town are characterized by the architectural style of the Wilhelminian era , historicism . Whole previously suburban districts were built with multi-storey apartment buildings with rich stucco facade.

For the newly created class of large industrialists, several elegant residential areas were also created. In the inter-war period , construction activity was subdued due to the difficult economic situation. Even so, the city managed to build some housing estates and public buildings. The greatest change in the cityscape took place in the period between 1950 and 1980, as the many war-torn houses were often replaced by high-rise buildings and the housing shortage was combated with the construction of large high-rise estates in the outskirts. In addition, large parts of the outskirts were built with a “carpet” from single-family houses. After the war, the building legacy of historicism was often perceived as tasteless and the stucco facades of many houses were knocked off (in the case of renovations, also for financial reasons), even if they had survived the war undamaged. This happened above all in those parts of the city that had been badly affected by the bombing .

In the districts of Geidorf and St. Leonhard , which survived the bombing war almost undamaged, there are still entire districts with houses whose stucco façades are intact. In 1972 the old town was placed under protection to prevent the planned demolition of entire rows of houses. In 1974, a high-rise building ban was issued for the entire city center as a reaction to the often insensitive way investors deal with the cityscape. Furthermore, parts of the outskirts were placed under protection as green belts, and the building density in the entire urban area was drastically reduced. While the protection of the old town and the green belt are now considered a great success, the high-rise ban and the low density of buildings have now been partially revised. The town planners had recognized the problem of urban sprawl ; today, the construction of high-rise buildings is allowed again in several areas outside the old town and the Wilhelminian-style district.

With the construction of the southern belt (2014 to 2017), a lot of money (> 100 million euros) flowed into structures for car traffic for several years. The large area of ​​the former Reininghaus brewery in the XIV district of Eggenberg, which is relatively close to the center, will be built on by investors over the next few years. The great demand for apartments is currently leading to the development of vacant lots and the expansion of existing houses. The settlement of young businesspeople, also in the form of co-working space , has been taking place for several years, especially around Mariahilfergasse and Lendplatz.

Modern architecture

Frog Queen of the Graz group SPLITTERWERK as the headquarters of Prisma Engineering in Liebenau

The Graz School of Architecture was founded in 1965 (not to be confused with the Graz School of Philosophy). A number of buildings in the area of ​​the universities of Graz can be assigned to it. These include, for example, the greenhouses by Volker Giencke or the RESOWI center by Günther Domenig . In 2003, Graz reinforced its reputation as the European Capital of Culture with several new buildings, including the town hall , the children's museum, the Helmut List Hall , the Kunsthaus and the Murinsel . The design of the latter ties in with the Graz school , although not by local architects and artists . The Rondo is one of the residential projects in recent years . Since 2009, the art university has had a modern venue with the so-called Mumuth by Ben van Berkel . Since 2020, the Argos apartment building has been opened on the site of the Kommod House in Grazer Burggasse after 17 years of planning and construction. The design by Zaha Hadid is polarizing to this day and is referred to as the new "Friendly Alien" after the Kunsthaus .

Green areas and parks

Stadtpark (in the background the clock tower)
View in the Augarten (2008)

70 percent of the urban area of ​​Graz is taken up by green spaces, with the gardens of the numerous single-family houses making up a large part of this area. The green belt , which is under special protection, covers the entire western, northern and eastern outskirts of the city. There are numerous parks in Graz. In addition to the Stadtpark , the largest park in Graz, the Volksgarten , Augarten, Schlosspark Eggenberg , Eustacchio Nature Park and Burggarten are also noteworthy. The Schloßberg was also planted with greenery after the castle was razed in the 19th century and has served as a recreational area ever since.

Wilhelminian style front gardens

From the middle of the 19th century - the Wilhelminian era - in the then rural suburbs of Geidorf , Jakomini and St. Leonhard, front gardens were created as a link between the house and public space in accordance with a design concept that promoted urbanity. Wrought iron fences and ornamental plants such as lilacs, magnolias, roses and hydrangeas were among the essential features of this homeowner's calling card. Front gardens have a historical, cultural and aesthetic value, they convey an urban-spatial quality and also fulfill a not insignificant ecological function. The photo documentation created by the Styrian Nature Conservation Union on behalf of Graz City Planning in 2003 shows the number of 800 Wilhelminian-style front gardens that have been protected since 2008, like the facade of the building and the inner courtyard, according to the Graz Old Town Conservation Act.

Excursion destinations

The mountains that surround the Graz Basin from west to northeast ( Buchkogel , Hohe Rannach , Leber , Lustbühel , the Platte , the Leechwald and the Plabutsch ) enable walks and hikes with views of the city; they are also easily accessible from the center by public transport. In addition, there is an increasingly dense network of mountain bike routes with the main areas of Schöckl and Plabutsch. The north-east adjoining Grazer Bergland - which stretches from Graz's local mountain Schöckl (1445 m) to Hochlantsch (1720 m) - extends these possibilities again with gorges and caves such as the Bärenschützklamm , the Kesselfallklamm or the Lurgrotte .

For those interested in history, day trips to the Austrian Open-Air Museum in Stübing, around 20 kilometers north of the city, or to the Piber Federal Stud , where the Lipizzaners are bred and trained for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, are available.

In the greater Graz area there are also churches that have been redesigned by Austrian artists: in Bärnbach the Hundertwasserkirche (by Friedensreich Hundertwasser ) and in the suburb of Thal near Graz the St. Jakob Church with the extension and furnishings by Ernst Fuchs . Ernst Fuchs built a fountain in Bärnbach.



Because of its location at the intersection of European cultures, the city of Graz has a centuries-old tradition as an international cultural center. Graz gained greater influence in the Alps-Adriatic region through its function as the capital of Inner Austria from 1379. The Romanesque and Slavic influences are mainly visible through the buildings of the old town up to the present day. In 1993 the "European Culture Month" took place in Graz. On December 1, 1999, Graz was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage for its old town . In 2003 Graz was the European Capital of Culture . The Baroque Eggenberg Palace has been a World Heritage Site since 2010.

Graz City Hall
Grazer Varieté Orpheum, large variety hall, picture postcard, around 1900


The most important Graz event locations since 2002 include the Graz City Hall on the exhibition grounds, which can accommodate 11,030 people, the Stephaniensaal in the “Congress Graz”, the Helmut List Hall with space for 2,400 visitors, the soap factory event center , in 2003 in a former soap factory opened.

One of the oldest venues is the Orpheum in Graz . Along with the casemate stage on the Schloßberg and the Dom im Berg, it is one of the so-called "Graz venues". The Orpheum, the birthplace of Circus Roncalli , is the successor to the old Graz Varieté Orpheum , built in 1950 , which existed between 1899 and 1936. The "Dom im Berg" was built for the state exhibition in 2000 in the Schloßberg tunnel and offers space for 600 people. The Schloßbergbühne Kasematten is a covered open-air stage that was used as a storage cellar or dungeon when the fortress was in existence. The Old University of Graz in Hofgasse has been available for events since 2005.

Events and festivals

The “ Styrian Autumn ”, founded in 1967, is an international multi-discipline festival for contemporary art; the “ styriarte ” is a music festival for classical and baroque music, the “ springfestival ” is an event for electronic art and music and the “ Aufsteirern ” is a festival of folk culture.

The most important Graz events include the Diagonale , an annual film festival, the Elevate Festival with a focus on contemporary music, art and political discourse, and La Strada , an international series of events for street and puppet theater. The Grazer Kleinkunstvogel has been awarded in Graz since 1987 , a prize that is considered the oldest German-speaking “springboard” for young cabaret and cabaret artists. The Mountain and Adventure Film Festival Graz has been taking place since 1986 . A social highlight of the year has been the opera redoute in the Graz Opera House since 1999 , similar to the Opera Ball in Vienna .


Austrian film production is centered on Vienna .

In 1919 the short silent films (600 to 800 meters) were made in Graz: The jump into marriage with Ernst Arnold as the main actor and The straitjacket with singers from the Graz Opera House as actors. Both came from the Graz “Alpin-Film”. The films Czaty, Die Schöne Müllerin and Schwarze Augen were also produced in Graz . All three films were directed by Ludwig Loibner and produced by Mitropa-Musikfilm. A special feature of these silent films was that there were no subtitles, as instead singers and orchestra accompanied the film, for which Adolf Peter arranged ballads by Carl Loewe and songs by Franz Schubert . Of course, coordinating the orchestra and singers with the speed of the film was problematic, which is why, apart from the premiere of the films on September 19, 1921, no further performances are recorded.

Also in Styria, the documentary film pioneer Bruno Lötsch , father of environmentalist and museum director Bernd Lötsch , made his first recordings for the “Steiermärkische Filmjournal”, a newsreel in Graz's preliminary program, which appeared in 1920 .

In March 2004 the CINESTYRIA was used according to its own definition as a regional, national and international interface for film funding, information, service and support for Styria-relevant film and TV projects. The improved promotion of art and young talent led to new impulses in the local film scene.

The young film group LOOM shot their film Jenseits (2006, directed by Stefan Müller , with Andreas Vitásek ) in Graz in 2005 . a. in the districts of Mariatrost, Liebenau and St. Leonhard.

Two more recent television productions that are set and filmed in Graz are: Die Liebe has the last word (2004, directed by Ariane Zeller , with Günther Maria Halmer and Ruth Maria Kubitschek , among others ), and Die Ohrfeige (2005, directed by Johannes Fabrick , among others with Alexander Lutz and Julia Stemberger ).

The location of the triple winner of the Austrian Film Prize 2011, The Unintentional Kidnapping of Mrs. Elfriede Ott, is Graz.

In 2014, The Eternal Life (director: Wolfgang Murnberger) was filmed in Graz based on the book by Wolf Haas .


The best known band from Graz is Opus with the world hit Live Is Life from 1985. Wilfried (Wilfried Scheutz) represented Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 with Lisa Mona Lisa . Graz is connected to the most famous Austrian pop singer Falco through his ex-wife.

In 2004 and 2005 the bands Shiver and Rising Girl , whose band members come from Graz, landed in the Austrian charts. Other bands that are attracting attention in the regional area as well as across Austria and also in Germany are Binder & Krieglstein , Jerx , Antimaniax , The Staggers , Facelift and Red Lights Flash .

In 2002 a new orchestra was formed: The Recreation - Großes Orchester Graz , which often appears in a small cast. The World Choir Games also took place once in Graz.

In 2015, the dialect band Granada was founded in Graz , which is mainly characterized by the title song of the film Planet Ottakring and their 2018 album "Ge Please!" has become known.


The literary magazine manuskripte has been published in Graz since 1960, the Perspektive since 1977 and the clearings since 1979. Important locations in the literary scene are the Forum Stadtpark and the Graz Literature House on Elisabethstrasse . Associated with Graz are the writers 'associations of the Graz authors' assembly and the Graz group .

Contemporary Arts

Since 2013, the Künstlerhaus - Hall for Art and Media in the Stadtpark has been run by the independent, non-profit "Kunstverein Medienturm im Künstlerhaus" with the aim of presenting contemporary international art and outstanding local artists to a wide audience.


Soccer game in the Merkur Arena

By far the largest sports club in Graz is the Graz section of the Austrian Alpine Club with almost 20,000 members. It was founded in 1870 and operates seven refuges and two observation posts in Austria.

With the SK Sturm and the GAK , who have dueled at eye level for decades, the city is two of the great traditional clubs of Austrian football. While Sturm is currently playing in the Bundesliga , the GAK had to file for bankruptcy in 2012; the successor club GAK 1902 started again in the lowest division.

Graz is represented in the top division of the Austrian ice hockey league through the EC Graz 99ers , and also in the Styrian elite league through the ATSE Graz .

In American football, the Graz Giants are active in the Austrian Football League .

Running is also very popular among the citizens of the Styrian capital. The city and the surrounding area offer a variety of training opportunities. The Mur Cycle Path and the Leechwald local recreation centers (21.5 km of walking paths) and Platte offer signposted and measured walking paths. These trails are also popular among mountain bikers and Nordic walkers . The highlights of the running season are the Graz Marathon (end of October), the Grazer Volkslauf, which was held for the first time on April 17, 1983 and is therefore the oldest fun run in Austria, the business run and the women's run, and finally the Graz New Year's Run as the end of the year. The so-called USI run or cloverleaf run, which is held once a year by the sports institute of Graz University, is also known. It is accompanied every year by the USI festival, which always follows the clover leaf run in the evening and is the largest student festival in Europe with up to 25,000 visitors. Graz is also the center of orienteering with three resident clubs (Sportunion Schöckl Graz, OLC Graz and HSV Graz) that regularly organize national and international competitions. With the Sportunion Triathlonverein Steiermark Austria's largest triathlon club is based in Graz.

The “Grazer Altstadtkriterium”, a cycle race with a winding route through the narrow, steep and cobbled streets of Graz's old town, attended by top international cyclists such as Lance Armstrong and Jan , brought international attention a total of 24 times on Tuesday after the Tour de France from 1984 to 2007 Ullrich attended. A revival was planned for 2020; Due to the corona pandemic , a race on a 5.1 km long course at the airport will be held on September 12th instead.

The old building (wheel) criterion developed in Graz for indoors leads around a very narrow circuit, typically in an apartment. In July 2018 a MTB race will start from Freiheitsplatz. Unicycling and artistry are learned by children and young people in circus school courses in summer. Municycling and bike trials are also operated as specialties . From around 1964 to around 1989 and around 2005, mountain sprint bike races were held on the Grazer Schloßberg; Since 2015, a similar mountain individual time trial, the Schlossbergman , has been held here. Since 2001 there has also been a 20 km city ​​skating in Graz around the summer half-year on Friday evenings when it is dry, until 2016 from Tummelplatz, since 2017 from OBI Baumarktparkplatz, Conrad-von-Hötzendorfstraße.

Skateboarders meet in marketplaces and at facilities such as halfpipes .

In summer the city offers numerous bathing and swimming opportunities. The outdoor pools of the Grazer Freizeitbetriebe Augarten ( Jakomini ), Eggenberg, Margarethen ( Geidorf ), Stukitz ( Andritz ) and Straßgang are visited by bathers every summer. The bathing lakes in Kumberg (Well-Welt) in the Graz area , the Schwarzl leisure center in Premstätten and the Copacabana in Kalsdorf near Graz attract mainly Graz guests every year. In the leisure centers, but also in the outdoor swimming pools, there is a wide range of sports (beach volleyball, soccer, paddle, mini golf and so on).

In 2003 the Paddle Rodeo World Championship took place on a roller under the main bridge . With the Graz Puntigam power plant construction from 2017, the Mur will be dammed up almost to the Mur Island and three of these will be shut down with a natural flow of water via stone blocks that are working with excavators at low water.

In recent years, winters that are getting warmer have barely allowed natural ice skating on the Hilnteich , the pond in the Volksgarten or in the shadow of the Kirchberg in Mariatrost. The only artificial ice rink is in the Liebenau ice rink. As a free attraction a few weeks around the turn of the year, an artificial ice rink has been built in recent years, now at Karmeliterplatz.

Skaters of the ice skating club of the gymnasium Graz in 1909

Ice skating and figure skating have a long tradition in Graz and Styria. The Styrian Ice Skating Association was founded in 1923 with its first President Leo Scheu . In honor of Scheu, a large ice skating event , the Icechallenge (the Leo Scheu Memorial ), is held in Graz every year . This event with up to 150 athletes annually has been held a total of 35 times in the Liebenau ice rink since 1971.

The Styrian Ice Skating Association was able to record some successes in terms of sport. In the last five years, Karin Brandtstätter in 2005, Kathrin Freudelsperger in 2007 (both from the Grazer Eislaufverein ) and Denise Kögl in 2008 (ice sports club) won a total of three Austrian state championship titles in the women's category. In addition, with Kathrin Freudelsperger in 2007 and Denise Kögl in 2008, Styrian individual athletes in figure skating were sent to world championships for the first time.

Also, Ultimate Frisbee is played professionally in Graz. Three Austrian national players train in Graz. The Austrian national team became world champions in Portugal in the summer of 2004.

Well-known athletes who come from Graz are the medal winners at the Olympic Games: Harald Winkler (gold, four-man bobsleigh 1992), Franz Brunner and Walter Reisp (silver, handball 1936), and Ine Schäffer (bronze, athletics 1948 ) and Marion Kreiner (bronze, snowboard 2010).

Kastner & Öhler department store
The Puch high-rise in Thondorf
Puntigam Brewery


Due to its favorable location in the south-east of Austria, Graz has an important location function for international and national companies. The central area of ​​Graz generates more than a third of the industrial added value of the federal state of Styria and offers more than 40% of Styrian employees a job. Graz and Styria are Austria's innovation center and technology factory, every third high-tech innovation in Austria comes from this region.

In 2003, 184,135 people worked in 10,692 workplaces in Graz, around 70% of them in the service sector (especially public service, trade, money and insurance). For comparison: In 2001 there were 158,268 people. In 2003, 996 new Graz companies were founded. The Graz Autumn Fair and numerous trade fairs in the Messecenter Graz have been held annually since 1906, and often more than 200,000 visitors are registered. Due to the great economic attraction of the city, more than 75,000 of the workers are in-commuters. More than 40% of the entire Styrian economic output is generated in the central area of ​​Graz.

Company and economic history

Graz is the seat of major global and national companies and the most important business location in the region and southern Austria. The large and well-known employers include the plant manufacturer Andritz AG and the automobile manufacturer Magna Steyr , an internationally active group founded by Austro-Canadian Frank Stronach , which is located on the site of the former Eurostar automobile plant . The predecessor company was Steyr Daimler Puch . The factories of the Puch works in Thondorf were adapted by Steyr. The Graz entrepreneur Johann Puch had founded his factory in 1899 in Grazer Strauchgasse; the plant was relocated to Thondorf during the Second World War in order to be able to produce for the armaments industry.

Graz is known worldwide for highly specialized mechanical engineering and environmental technology companies, especially those in the SME sector. The Schuhkönig shoe retailer was founded in Graz in 1919. The AVL List under the direction of Helmut List and Anton Paar are based in Graz, as well as the insurance group Der Grazer Wechselseiten and Merkur Versicherung , numerous banks, as well as various medium-sized, small and micro-businesses from trade and industry. The brewery of the same name is located in Puntigam and is now part of the Heineken Group. The Reininghaus brewery existed in Eggenberg until it was closed in 1947 . The Reininghaus beer is bottled in Puntigam.

In the course of its long history, many historically interesting companies have emerged in the Graz city area. Former Graz companies are, among others , the machine and engine manufacturers Simmering-Graz-Pauker , the automobile manufacturer Ditmar & Urban , which existed from 1924 to 1925 and only produced one model, the Graz sugar factory founded in 1825 and closed at the end of the 19th century , the first Styrian sparkling wine cellar and wine wholesaler of the Kleinoscheg brothers or the hat factory Josef Pichler & Sons .

Car cluster

The rapidly growing Autocluster Styria (or "ACstyria") is an amalgamation of more than 180 Styrian companies that are active in the automotive supply industry. The center of the car cluster is Graz. The largest company and lead company is the Magna group. In 2006 around 44,000 people worked in the car cluster, generating sales of 9.6 billion euros and added value of 1.6 billion euros. KTM manufactures its X-Bow sports car in the newly built plant in Graz (St. Peter district).

Graz "Hauptplatz": Entrance to Sackstrasse (left) and Sporgasse (right)

In addition, industries such as nano- and biotechnology, environmental technology, medical technology and aircraft construction are developing at a rapid pace within the city limits.

Shopping streets and shopping malls

Graz is a supraregional shopping city whose catchment area extends far beyond the city limits and the surrounding area to southern Burgenland, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia.

Herrengasse in the inner city is a popular shopping street . The Anne Street , which leads from the main square to the west towards the main station, used to be a very busy shopping street. In the meantime, despite some attempts at revitalization, it has lost much of its former importance. Other shopping streets are the Sackstraße , where many small galleries and craft shops can be found, the Sporgasse and the Murgasse .

The large or “Alpenland department store ” Kastner & Öhler , the oldest department store in Graz, is in Sackstrasse. There are a number of shopping centers in and around Graz: The “Shopping-Center West” on Weblingergürtel, the Murpark shopping center on the Liebenauer Tangente, the “Citypark” on the Lazarettgürtel and the “Shopping Nord” shopping center in Gösting, at the intersection of Wiener Straße - North motorway slip road.

The largest shopping center, the Shopping City Seiersberg, is located in the neighboring municipality of Seiersberg in Graz . An outlet center is being planned in Puntigam. Since the opening of “Shopping Nord” in March 2008, Graz has had the highest density of shopping centers in Austria. This means there is at least one square meter of shopping center for every resident of the city.


Graz is the largest agricultural community in Styria. Around 7,600 cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and other poultry as well as goats and farmed game are kept in around 340 farms in the city area. Farmers offer culinary delicacies from their own production all year round at 14 different farmers' markets. The markets at Kaiser-Josef-Platz and Lendplatz are among the largest and oldest markets in Graz. The city's famous and rapidly expanding top-class gastronomy also benefits from a wide range of fresh, organically grown food.


Energie Graz, administration building (2008)

Electricity, water and waste disposal

Solar system on the training hall of the ice rink in Graz-Liebenau

Graz has a pronounced district heating supply with a connected load of more than 500 MW. In winter, the heat is mainly used from waste heat from electricity generation, in summer the energy comes partly from industrial waste heat and gas boilers. Graz is breaking new technological ground: Thermal solar systems with several thousand square meters of collector surface provide several megawatts of heat: on the roof of the training hall of the Graz-Liebenau ice rink (right next to the Merkur Arena ) with an output of 700 kW, on the Berliner Ring housing estate (1300 kW), at the district heating power plant and on the roofs of the municipal AEVG (waste disposal and recycling GmbH, 3000 kW) and at the waterworks of Graz AG (2000 kW).

Energie Steiermark is currently (as of 2016) planning to work with other companies to significantly increase the proportion of solar district heating . For this purpose, a solar park consisting of solar collectors with a size between 15 and 45 hectares and an associated seasonal heat storage facility are to be built. If the 45-hectare variant is implemented, the system should deliver around 230  GWh of thermal energy, which corresponds to around 20% of Graz's district heating requirements. The associated storage facility for seasonal compensation would have a capacity of around 1.8 million cubic meters; the cost of this variant is estimated at around EUR 200 million.

The water supply in Graz is provided by the Grazer Stadtwerke. The water comes exclusively from the groundwater of the Quaternary gravel fillings of the Mur valley. The sources are in Friesach, in the Andritz district and in St. Ilgen am Hochschwab. The distribution system in Graz has a length of 835 km; including around 30,000 house connections, 1,273 km. The Grazer Stadtwerke has 23 elevated drinking water tanks with a total storage volume of 34,742 m³.

Waste disposal in Graz has been handled by the AEVG since 1984. It is a company of the Grazer Stadtwerke and the City of Graz. The company disposes of around 135,000 t of waste every year, of which around 20,000 t ends up in a landfill. The company bears the Emas seal of approval for tested environmental management. The wastewater from Graz is treated fully biologically in a sewage treatment plant in Gössendorf south of the city and after a total of 20 hours it is fed into the sewer network and sewage treatment plant of the Mur. Before a planned expansion, the system is designed for 500,000 population equivalents as of 2018 . The length of the urban sewer network is 858 km.



Aerial view of the university hospital
The UKH and the LKH Graz II location west
Main building of the LKH Graz II location south

In Graz seven hospitals, several private clinics / sanatoriums as well as over 40 pharmacies and numerous resident doctors cover the health care of the population. The LKH University Hospital Graz is a maximum care hospital with over 1500 beds and 7190 employees. It covers the supply of the eastern part of Graz and is a tertiary care provider for patients from all over Styria and the surrounding regions. The LKH Graz II has two locations in Graz - the south and west locations . The south location is a public special hospital in Straßgang, where patients with mental, psychosomatic and neurological diseases are cared for on an outpatient and inpatient basis. 780 beds are available for them. The west location is in Eggenberg and has 280 beds and around 500 employees. The AUVA accident hospital with 180 beds and around 440 employees is located in Eggenberg.

In the west of Graz there is also the Albert Schweitzer Clinic Geriatric Hospital in Gries with over 300 beds, the Hospital of the Barmherzigen Brüder I in Lend, the Hospital of the Barmherzigen Brüder II in Eggenberg with 260 beds and the Hospital of the Elisabethinen in Gries with around 180 beds. There are several private clinics in Graz: the Kastanienhof private clinic, the Leech private clinic, the Kreuzschwestern private clinic, the St. Leonhard sanatorium, the Hansa sanatorium and the Graz-Ragnitz private clinic.

The VinziDorf hospice for the homeless has existed since 2017 .

Ambulance service

The rescue service in Graz is covered by the Austrian Red Cross with two ambulance vehicles , two emergency vehicles (Jumbo) and more than 30 ambulances (RTW). The emergency vehicles called "Jumbo" are special in Graz and unique in the Austrian rescue service, as they are manned by so-called emergency physicians from the medical corps (doctors or medical students shortly before graduation) and are to be classified between ambulance and emergency medical vehicles. Graz is also the location of the state control center of the Styrian Red Cross.

In addition to the Red Cross, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), the Maltese and the Green Cross are responsible for transporting the sick. Additionally on is Graz Airport of Christopher Notarzthubschrauber C12 stationed.

In Graz there is an emergency medical service that offers general medical care in and around Graz outside of the practice opening times.



The State Police Directorate of Styria, based in Straßganger Straße , acts as the security authority for the city . Attached to it as the guard body for the city area, with 13  police stations and a police detention center , is the Graz City Police Command.

Security guard

The municipal police station serves as a supplement to the police . It serves to monitor local security, but is not allowed to prosecute any criminal offenses and does not carry out any monitoring activities in the area of ​​road traffic.

fire Department

Like almost all other large Austrian cities, Graz also has a full-time fire brigade . With a total of three guards in the districts of Lend, St. Leonhard and Puntigam, the city is covered in regular service by the professional fire brigade , and there is also a fire station of the Graz volunteer fire brigade in the Mariatrost district. The volunteer fire brigade acts as a supplement to the professional fire brigade, which is alerted if necessary. The majority of the vehicles of the volunteer fire brigade are stationed in the fire station south of the professional fire brigade in order to utilize synergy effects. A special feature is the Mariatrost fire station, which was closed by the professional fire service and handed over to the volunteer fire service. Since then, this guard has been manned exclusively by the volunteer fire brigade, a solution that is unique in Styria.


Inland traffic in Graz is mainly characterized by motorized individual traffic, which covers almost 42% of the way. Local public transport reaches around 20%, with around 19% being covered by bike and on foot.

Pedestrians and cyclists

The Augartensteg, a pedestrian and cyclist bridge
One-way except for cyclists, with red floor marking

The city center of Graz is characterized by large pedestrian zones . Urban planning is actively promoting the expansion. Nevertheless, there is an increase in motorized individual transport.

The positive development of the Graz cycling network 's commitment was Erich Edeggers crucial. In 1980 activists marked a cycle lane with a cycle symbol. They were punished by the police; however, Vice Mayor Edegger bought up the stencil of the symbol. The type of marking was adopted, and driving in the pedestrian zone in Schmiedgasse and driving against the one-way street were also regulated by law. After Edegger's death in 1992, the initiatives he had started stalled. The pedestrian and cycle path between Schloßbergplatz and Mariahilferplatz is named after the city politician.

Graz is a relatively cyclist-friendly city with around 120 km of cycling facilities. The declared aim of the urban traffic planners is to increase the bicycle traffic share of 14% (2007). A resolution from 1980 to build a network of 190 km of bicycle traffic facilities should not be implemented until 2035. In addition to the construction of three footbridges over the Mur, there are bike and footpaths on both banks. The city carries out surveys on the bicycle behavior of its citizens at regular intervals with a bicycle climate test .

The 365 km long “ Mur Cycle Path ”, a tourist cycle route and after the “Danube Cycle Path” the second most frequented cycle path in Austria, as well as the mountain bike route “Alpentour” lead through Graz. The surrounding area can be explored on the mountainous cycle route “Around Graz”.

In the cycling lobby ARGUS Steiermark , which emerged from the Verkehrsclub Steiermark around 1995, volunteer activists have been committed to taking into account and promoting cycling since the 2000s. In cooperation with Fahrradküche and Critical Mass , ghost bikes have been erected as white memorials for killed cyclists since 2013 . When two cyclists were killed by open car doors in April 2015, the campaign was intensified for sufficient distance. Cyclists should therefore keep 1.20 m distance from car doors, overtaking drivers 1.50 m away from cyclists.

Since 2007, the protest initiative critical mass has repeatedly called for more space for cycling in the city. Ever since the Green Vice Mayor Lisa Rücker took over the transport department, the expansion of the cycle network has been accelerating. This includes a liberalization of cycling in the center (pedestrian zones, parks, one-way streets), the quality improvement of cycle paths, the promotion of cycling as a healthy form of movement, as well as the consideration of the wishes of the users (Radfalle campaign), in addition to a significant reduction in car traffic.

Motorized private transport

Graz has a road network of around 1000 km. As one of the first Austrian cities, a model test "Tempo 30" began on September 1, 1992, there was a significant reduction in the number of accidents. Around 80% of the Graz road network are now "Tempo 30" zones.

After the massive construction of underground car parks in the city center, among other things lavishly under the historical building of the Kastner & Öhler department store , car parking spaces were expanded in department stores, large companies and on the outskirts by 2007. With the second tube in the Plabutsch tunnel , the north spine (belt underpass) and extensions on the south belt, large-scale effective capacities were created.

The entire city center plus neighboring districts are short-term parking zones that are subject to charges and are divided into blue and green zones. For the blue zone you have to pay at least one euro for 30 minutes and six euros for the maximum parking time of three hours. The minimum fee in the green zone is 0.80 euros for 30 minutes, but day tickets can also be purchased for nine euros. Billing takes place using parking ticket machines, where a parking ticket has to be released within ten minutes, then brought to the car and placed clearly visible behind the windshield. Overpayment will not be refunded; the ticket may also not be passed on. A second payment system uses the mobile phone (“mobile phone parking”). The system is monitored very closely by the city's own monitoring bodies.

A Park & ​​Ride system has recently been promoted with parking garages on important access roads and motorway slip roads. The tariff includes a day ticket for one person for public transport; this day combination ticket costs 8.50 euros.

A smaller level crossing in Gösting was closed without replacement in 2013, despite protests from neighbors. For the urban development area Reininghaus, an additional railway underpass will be built in the western extension of Josef-Hubergasse in the next few years.

Public transport

Cityrunner tram , Jakominiplatz
Graz Schloßbergbahn around 1905

Graz has a relatively well-developed public transport network that is part of the Styrian Transport Association . Six regular tram lines and many bus routes run through the city area. The network is dense and frequented by many Grazers (66.4 km of trams and 250 km of buses). The Graz Linien operate a funicular , the Grazer Schloßbergbahn , which can be used with normal tickets, and a paid elevator to the Schloßberg. Night buses operate on the nights from Friday to Saturday and from Saturday to Sunday, as well as on the nights before public holidays .

The original horse-drawn trams (1878–1895) were replaced by electric trains. The first Graz tram line ran from the old Südbahnhof (now the main train station) over a distance of 2.2 km to Jakominiplatz. After the steady expansion of the route network until after the Second World War, a large part of the facilities fell victim to the increased volume of private transport in the 1950s and 1960s. Ring line 2, which no longer exists, was affected. It was deleted without replacement and is not included in the line numbering. Exhibits reminiscent of the historical development of the Graz tram are on display in the Tramway Museum at the Mariatroster terminus.

Jakominiplatz , where all tram lines, ten bus lines and all night bus lines meet, and Europaplatz in front of Graz main train station, which serves as a bus station for regional traffic, form the most important junction for inner-city public transport . Between 2005 and 2007, tram lines 4, 5 and 6 were extended - the first notable extension (a total of 3.5 km) since almost half of the tram network was closed in the post-war period. The municipal council decided to expand the tram network in a south-westerly direction to the Don Bosco local transport hub and to the Reininghaus urban development area , as well as the construction of a city center unbundling route. Other projects, such as a north-west line or the connection to the Karl-Franzens University, have been postponed for financial reasons. In the recent past, the high volume (airborne and ground-borne noise) of the new - heavier and slightly wider - Variobahn railcars is causing a stir.

Rail transport

Graz Central Station (2006)
View towards the city center with the Graz-Köflacher-Bahnhof (2006)

The main train station , for its functional interior design with the Brunel Award awarded and VCÖ rated -Passagier surveys in 2003 and 2004 as the most beautiful train station in Austria, lies on the southern runway . It is the starting point of the Styrian Eastern Railway and the Graz-Köflacher Railway (GKB). S-Bahn trains to all parts of Styria and direct InterCity trains to Vienna , Salzburg and Innsbruck leave from here. EuroCity trains connect Graz directly with Marburg an der Drau and Ljubljana in Slovenia , Zagreb in Croatia , Brno and Prague in the Czech Republic , Zurich in Switzerland , as well as Frankfurt am Main and Saarbrücken in Germany . Zurich can also be reached directly by EuroNight , Budapest in Hungary with a daily through car connection. The Koralmbahn , which is currently under construction, is intended to significantly improve the historically and geographically poor connection between Graz and the European rail network and connect Graz directly with Italy.

In the Graz city area there are six train stations (as of 2016), as well as further (demand) stops for the S-Bahn service. In addition to Graz Central Station , which was destroyed by air raids in World War II and then rebuilt, there are the Ostbahnhof , a brick building opened in 1873 that is now a listed building, and the Köflacher train station, as well as three other train stations ( Don Bosco, Murpark, Puntigam ), which were built in the course of the expansion of the Styrian S-Bahn on the Südbahn and on the Koralmbahn, which is currently under construction, as well as on the Styrian Ostbahn and act as network nodes of the network lines (train, bus, tram).

One year after the Koralm Railway went into operation with the Koralm Tunnel, the Semmering Base Tunnel , which has been in progress in all construction phases since 2016, should also be completed. It is expected that from 2023 the travel time by rail between Graz and Vienna could be reduced from 2.5 to 2 hours. The travel time from Graz to Klagenfurt would be reduced to 1 hour. With the opening of the Semmering Base Tunnel, the operational restrictions and obstacles to be overcome on the existing line of the Semmering Railway no longer apply to freight traffic .

The Styrian S-Bahn was opened in December 2007 with six lines and is in the expansion phase. Work on this project has been going on since 1998. The partial commissioning took place on December 9, 2007. On December 11, 2016, another two S-Bahn lines went into operation. The S-Bahn network should be in full operation with the commissioning of the new Koralm Railway and the Koralm Tunnel, and the greater Graz area should be served by nine S-Bahn lines with increased regularity. The S-Bahn currently offers several connections every hour. In full operation, the cycle intervals should be compressed on all lines depending on the infrastructure. The S-Bahn is a cooperation between the railway companies ÖBB , STLB and GKB .

The new construction and conversion to a local transport hub of the main train station was completed in 2016. The transfer options between the trains and the urban transport were adapted and the tram was connected to the main station with an underpass of the Eggenbergergürtel and an underground route with double stops in the basement.

Long-distance buses

Most long-distance bus lines start several times a day and at Graz main train station, often in stock buses , with toilet and WiFi . The ÖBB offer the Intercitybus (option: 1st class) to ( Wolfsberg and) Klagenfurt (journey time 2:00; connection to Venice), Westbus / Blaguss serves via St. Michael Vienna (2:45) and Klagenfurt (3:00 ). With Flixbus - u. a. from Girardigasse 1 - you can reach Linz, Vienna, Trieste, Maribor and Ljubljana. Only Dr. Richard / MeinFernbus .de runs (since November 26, 2014) from Jakominiplatz and Murpark to Vienna in just under 2:30. The longest, but sometimes only at the weekend, are bus connections on the guest worker routes: Via Varaždin daily to Zagreb (at 4:15; from Vienna) by Blaguss / Eurolines / AP-Varaždin with departure at the main train station but in front of the old post office. Bosfor (with Ulusoy via Budapest , Belgrade and Sofia ) and Imperial Reisen offer trips from Vienna to Istanbul in 22 to 30 hours .

Graz Airport

Tower of Graz-Thalerhof Airport (2008)

Graz Airport is located about 10 km south of the city center in the municipal areas of Feldkirchen and Kalsdorf . It can be reached via bus and train connections from Graz. In terms of freight volume, the airport is Austria's third largest airport after Vienna-Schwechat and Linz airports. The Austrian Aviation Museum has been located at the airport since 1981 . In 2017, 959,166 passengers used the airport.

Austrian Airlines offers regular services to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Vienna, EasyJet to Berlin, KLM to Amsterdam, Laudamotion to Palma de Mallorca, Lufthansa to Munich, Swiss to Zurich and Turkish Airlines to Istanbul. The main destinations for charter traffic are Mediterranean destinations.

Trunk roads

East portal of the underground route of the southern belt of Graz (2017)

Graz lies at the intersection of the Pyhrn Autobahn A 9 and the Süd Autobahn A 2, which intersect at the Graz-West junction. The A 9 runs almost completely underground through the ten kilometer long Plabutsch tunnel in the west of Graz. Plans to run an urban freeway through populated areas were abandoned after citizen protests. The A 2 can be reached from Graz via the Graz-Ost motorway slip road.

Furthermore, Grazer Straße B 67 crosses the city ​​from north to south in the west; it has been expanded to four lanes throughout and is an important inner-city transit road. From it three sections branch off, the B 67a, the B 67b and the B 67c. These establish connections to three state highways (former federal highways) : Gleisdorfer Straße B 65 (starting at the Elisabethstraße / Merangasse intersection), Weizer Straße B 72 (starting at Geidorfplatz) and Kirchbacher Straße B 73 (starting at the Münzgrabenstraße / Liebenauer junction Main road). In addition, the Packer Straße B 70 branches off at the Gürtelturm crossing .

The state road B 67a (Grazer Ringstraße) leads from Andritz via Geidorfplatz and Plüddemanngasse to Graz-Messendorf and then as the southern belt via Puntigam to the Webling distribution circle . In this section, the underground route "Südgürtel" was opened to traffic on March 19, 2017 after a long planning and construction period. This means that the southern part of the B 67a can be used in four lanes.

Street names

The spelling of the names of the Graz traffic areas follows the principles of the Vienna Nomenclature Commission . Karl A. Kubinzky publishes examples of his work on street names in newspapers.

In July 2014, the municipal council commissioned the examination of all Graz street names. A 14-person commission headed by Stefan Karner examined 1630 Graz streets and squares with regard to their names. The 1,000-page final report was presented in March 2018. 82 street names were classified as historically "critical" and 20 as "highly questionable".

After a year of reflection, the Graz city government decided that no streets would be renamed on the basis of this report. However, it is planned to set up information boards first for the 82 “critical” and later also for all other streets that are named after personalities and to publish the results of the historian's commission on the Internet.


Kindergartens and schools

The city is primarily responsible for the kindergartens and compulsory schools, for which it provides the infrastructure. There are 51 primary schools (VS) and 21  new secondary schools in Graz. As the city grows, capacities will be expanded by 2018, and VS Smartcity is due to open in 2019.

It also works with the federally run general and vocational secondary schools . There are 23 federal high schools in Graz (for example the BRG Kepler ), of which one independent international high school ( Graz International Bilingual School ) and four Catholic private schools, including the Episcopal High School .

In Graz there are eight higher technical institutes (HTL), four commercial academies / commercial schools (HAK / HASCH) and eight schools for business professions (HBLA). The St. Peter school center includes two high schools and six state vocational schools .


Karl Franzens University, main building
Graz University of Technology, Archduke Johann University, main building
University library, reading room
Main building of the Art University Graz in the Palais Meran
Campus of the Joanneum University of Applied Sciences

With almost 60,000 students, four universities, two teaching colleges and two universities of applied sciences, Graz is the second largest university location in Austria after Vienna. Around every sixth inhabitant is a student.

The Karl Franzens University (Carola-Franciscea), located in the Geidorf district, was founded in 1585, making it the second oldest university in Austria after the University of Vienna. With 32,000 students, the University of Graz is also the second largest university in the country and offers a wide range of courses and subjects. 16,000 students attend the Technical University (Erzherzog-Johann-Universität) and a further 4,300 are enrolled at the Medical University (Leopold-Auenbrugger-Universität). These two universities are also the second largest in their respective fields in Austria. The series of universities in Graz is complemented by the University of Music and Performing Arts with 1,880 students (2,196 including co-participants).

With over 40 student associations, Graz is one of Austria's “ liaison strongholds ”.

Graz is the largest Austrian university of applied sciences center with the Joanneum University of Applied Sciences , which is the second largest university of applied sciences in Austria with 4417 students, and the 02 University of Applied Sciences , which trains 1272 students. In addition to these, the universities of teacher education (before the winter semester 2007 still academies) of the Styrian University of Education and the Church of Graz University of Education are located in Graz. The Johann Joseph Fux Conservatory of the State of Styria is responsible for music education below the university level . There is also the Conservatory for Church Music in the Graz-Seckau diocese.

There is also a school for general health and nursing care in Graz.

Adult education

Providers of vocational further education are the Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut (WIFI), the Berufsförderungsinstitut (BFI), the Volksbildungshaus “Urania”, the Vocational Promotion Institute Styria, the Volkshochschule Styria, the Gymnasium for Working People in Graz, the BHAKB Federal Commercial Academy for Working People , the Technical University of Applied Sciences and FH Campus 02.


In addition to the Styrian State Library , the Graz City Library with six branches, a media library, a book bus and the delivery service to all Graz post offices as well as the library of the Graz Chamber of Labor are available to the general public . The Mariahilf audio library has existed since 1998 . In the academic sector, the libraries that are to be mentioned are those that are set up at all colleges, universities and technical colleges. The oldest, most important and most extensive is the library of the University of Graz, founded in 1573, with more than three million media.


The science city of Graz is shaped to a large extent by teaching and research at its four universities. In addition to the academic educational institutions, there are a large number of scientific projects and institutions. These include primarily Joanneum Research GmbH, which with around 20 institutes and 400 employees is the second largest non-university research facility in Austria and has its headquarters and several institutes in Graz. The Austrian Academy of Sciences is also represented with its Institute for Space Research and around 85 employees.

Other non-university institutions are:

  • IFZ - Inter-University Research Center for Technology, Work and Culture
  • Acoustics Competence Center
  • Applied Biocatalysis Competence Center

The criminal lawyer and criminologist Hans Gross lived and worked in Graz. He is considered to be the founder of criminology , the teaching of the means and methods of combating individual crimes and criminality. A museum is dedicated to him and his work in the basement of the main building of the Karl Franzens University.


Born in Graz

The two emperors Ferdinand II and Ferdinand III are among the most famous people born in Graz . , the baroque master builder Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach , the orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (1774–1856), the Archduke Franz Ferdinand , who was murdered in Sarajevo in 1914, and the noble Roman von Ungern-Sternberg . In recent history, Graz was the place of birth: Chasan Leo Roth , author Gerhard Roth , composer and music teacher and owner of a music school Jakob Stolz , composer Olga Neuwirth , composer Robert Stolz , composer and conductor Leopold Stolz , conductor Karl Böhm , actor Rudolf Lenz , the former racing driver and current motorsport advisor to Red Bull Racing Helmut Marko , newspaper publisher Hans Dichand , the architect Friedrich St. Florian , the film producer Curt Faudon as well as the former Austrian President Heinz Fischer , the internationally known fashion designer Lena Hoschek , the photographer Inge Morath , the artist Susanne Wenger . Maria Schaumeyer was President of the Austrian National Bank from 1990 to 1995 and the first woman in the world to hold this position. The cabaret artist Lore Krainer worked in the time-critical Ö1 show Der Guglhupf from its start in 1978 until it was discontinued in 2009, and from 1988 also as its director.

Personalities who are connected to Graz

Memorial plaque for Johann Nestroy in Elisabethstrasse 14
  • Johann Nestroy appeared as an actor in Graz between 1826 and 1833 and died there too.
  • Fritz Pregl , Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry, worked at the Institute for Medicinal Chemistry in Graz from 1913 and refined the method of elemental analysis for the smallest sample quantities.
  • Jochen Rindt , Formula 1 world champion, grew up with his grandparents in Graz.
  • Peter Rosegger , Styrian poet and publicist, spent a large part of his life in the city.
  • Leopold von Sacher-Masoch studied law, mathematics and history at the University of Graz. On October 28, 1863 he founded the Corps Teutonia Graz with six other people .
  • Friedrich Schmiedl developed his postal rockets in Graz in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Erwin Schrödinger , Nobel Laureate in Physics (professor at the University of Graz 1946–1950).
  • Peter Handke , Nobel Prize for Literature, studied in Graz from 1961 to 1965 .
  • Hugo Schuchardt , Romance scholar and linguist, researcher of Basque . Professor at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz from 1876.
  • Joseph Schumpeter , economist (professor at the University of Graz 1910–1920).
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger , bodybuilder, actor and Governor of California from 2003 to 2011, attended school in Graz, did his military service and began his training in the city.
  • Oskar Stocker , artist, “Facing Nations” shows 124 large-format portraits of Grazers of different nationalities. These pictures were first shown in Graz in 2008, then in the UN building in Vienna in 2009 and finally in 2010 in the UN headquarters in New York on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of human rights.
  • Karl Ritter von Stremayr : Stremayrgasse was named after him on June 7, 1905 .
  • Nikola Tesla received his education from 1876 to 1878 at the Technical University of Graz .
  • Alfred Wegener , founder of the continental drift theory (professorship at the University of Graz from 1924).

Honorary ring bearer and honorary citizen

The city of Graz made honorary citizens and honorary ring bearers among others: Karlheinz Böhm , Nikolaus Harnoncourt , David Herzog , Helmut List , Fritz Popelka , Grete Schurz , Arnold Schwarzenegger - he returned the honorary ring on December 19, 2005 - and Heinz Fischer .

With the award of the Grazer Bürgerbrief to five other women and six men, a total of 121 personalities received this award on May 12, 2016.


The main belt asteroid (2806) Graz was named after the Styrian capital.

Panorama pictures

Panorama from the Schloßberg
Panorama from St. Leonhard towards the old town
Panorama from Graz main square

See also

Portal: Graz  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Graz


  • Walter Brunner on behalf of the City of Graz, Cultural Office (Ed.): History of the City of Graz. 4 volumes. Self-published by the City of Graz, Graz 2003, ISBN 3-902234-02-4 .
  • Herwig Ebner: Castles and palaces Graz, Leibnitz and West Styria . Birken, Vienna 1967, ISBN 3-85030-028-5 .
  • Alois Kölbl, Wiltraud Resch: Paths to God. The churches and synagogue of Graz. Styria, Graz / Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-222-13105-8 .
  • Karl A. Kubinzky, Astrid M. Wentner: Grazer street names. Origin and meaning . Leykam, Graz 1996, ISBN 3-7011-7336-2 .
  • Fritz Posch: The settlement of the Grazer Boden and the foundation and earliest development of Graz. In: Wilhelm Steinböck (Ed.): 850 Years Graz 1128–1978. Styria, Graz 1978, ISBN 3-222-11040-9 .
  • Andrea Kleinegger, Gertraud Prügger: A look into the front gardens of Graz. Nature Conservation Association of Styria. Weishaupt Verlag, Gnas 2003, ISBN 3-7059-0182-6 .
  • Alfred Schierer: Graz - A Brief History of the City. Ueberreuter, Graz 2003, ISBN 3-8000-3997-4 .
  • Ingrid Schubert: Graz. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 2, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-7001-3044-9 .
  • Horst Schweigert: DEHIO Graz . Schroll, Vienna 1979, ISBN 3-7031-0475-9 .
  • City of Graz (Hrsg.): Historical yearbook of the city of Graz ( Memento from 23 September 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Graz annually from 1968.
  • Werner W. Strahalm, Peter Laukhardt: Graz - A city history . Strahalm, Graz 2008, ISBN 978-3-900526-84-9 .
  • Claudia Friedrich, Eva Klein: Big show of advertising. Advertising in Graz between upheaval and continuity. Unipress, Graz 2009, ISBN 978-3-902666-04-8 .
  • Stefan Rothbart: The Grazer Schlossberg (= The Secret History of Austria's Cultural Monuments. Volume 3). Pichler, Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-85431-633-6 .
  • Ottfried Hafner: Hidden things in Graz. H. Weishaupt, Graz 1989, ISBN 3-900310-65-3 ( online ).

Web links

Commons : Graz  - Collection of Images
Wikivoyage: Graz  - travel guide
Wiktionary: Graz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: Graz  - Quotes

Individual evidence

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  1. a b The municipal council of Graz decided on May 27, 1920 to rename the Albrechts-, Franz-Karl- and Ferdinandsbrücke into Tegetthoffbrücke, Hauptbrücke and Keplerbrücke. - See: Little Chronicle. (...) Street renaming in Graz. In:  Neue Freie Presse , Morgenblatt (No. 20025/1920), May 29, 1920, p. 6, bottom center (online at ANNO ).Template: ANNO / Maintenance / nfp
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on December 10, 2007 .