GRAZ: Perfectly Preserved & Picturesque

January 12, 2015  •  4 Comments

Photos taken / written by JENNIFER MAHON  |  This post was read 1030 times

Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

 

Day 12….of 19. Leaving Budapest, we drive west 395 km (almost 4 hours of driving time) to Graz. Somehow we ended up in Slovenia and had to buy one of them parking vignettes to drive on the highway for like 30 min. An unexpected detour, but I can say that I’ve been to Slovenia – another country added to the list!

I have to say Graz was not on our list of places to go. Hell, half these places on the trip were not really on the original vacay plan – it originally started with Prague, Budapest and Moscow. But Russia was on unstable ground and I told my hubs there’s no way I was going there. So how we ended up from figuring out a 1 week trip to Prague and Budapest to a 3 week trip to 7 countries and 31 cities – I guess I might have gotten a bit carried away on Google Maps dropping pins everywhere.

 

GRAZ, AUSTRIA 
Ok – back to Graz. So it wasn’t on our list, I didn’t even know what there was to see in Graz, but I’m telling you I loved this city’s Old Town. I did not like driving in the Old Town – I ended up on a one-way street with a streetcar heading towards me! – but walking around the charming Old Town was a nice surprise. Lucked out on the Hotwire hotel, we ended up with Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann, which is a beautiful old hotel located right on the corner of the Old Town Hall and Square. There is a newer side, Graz is known as a UNESCO City of Design  - but it’s the old stuff that I love to see.

Map showing the trip route/progress. Square black numbers show the overnights, the white numbers indicate that it was just a stop for a few hours on that day number

Map showing the trip route/progress. Square black numbers show the overnights, the white numbers indicate that it was just a stop for a few hours on that day numberMap showing the trip route/progress. Square black numbers show the overnights, the white numbers indicate that it was just a stop for a few hours on that day number

 


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE......


SCHLOSS EGGENBERG 
About 15 minutes from the Old Town (we stopped here before heading to the hotel) is Schloss Eggenberg. To me, one of the most beautiful palaces in the region, dating back to the 17th century. It is said that there are 365 windows at the palace – so one can have a different view each day of the year. I didn’t bother to count, but it casts dramatic shadows in the inner courtyard on a nice sunny day. We didn’t go in (they closed at 5pm and we got there at like 5:15pm!). It was enough to walk around the palace and its surrounding park with peacocks stalking you as you walk along the paths.

SCHLOSSBERG
Barely a 2 min walk from the hotel we come to Schlossbergplatz, a cute little square lined with shops and restaurants, and at the end is the lift up to the Schlossberg (Castle Hill). There are stairs, 260 uneven steep steps to be exact, but at the end of a long day of driving…….I was not having any of that. The Schlossberg contains a quaint stump of a clock tower with reversed hands, a meandering array of paths through the trees, and….some unbelievably breathtaking views. On the Schlossberg, you’ll find: ruins of the old fortress turned into an outdoor restaurant with amazing views, Liesl (Bell Tower), Hackher-Löwe (Hackher- lion), the gun bastion, a Turkish well, Kasematten Schlossberg Stage, and the Uhrturm (Clock Tower).

HACKER-LOWE
Walking around up here you’ll soon come across the Hackher-Löwe (Hackher- lion). It’s a monument in memory of Major Franz Hackher and his lead in the defense against France in 1809.

KASEMATTEN STAGE 
More remnants of the old fortress that once stood here, these vast vaults were originally designed as food storage, and were occasionally used as a prison. Converted to an open air theatre in 1809, but laid mainly unused until it was inaugurated in 1937 with a performance of Beethoven’s “Fidelo”.

UHRTURM 
Wander about a bit more and you’ll soon reach the Uhrturm (Clock Tower), the traditional emblem of Graz. Erected in 1550, its 5-metre wide face has showed the exact time since 1712 – another strange thing about the clock is that the hour hand is longer than the minute hand.

Schloss Eggenberg

Schloss EggenbergSchloss Eggenberg

Peacocks wandering about everywhere on the grounds of Schloss Eggenberg

Peacocks wandering about everywhere on the grounds of Schloss EggenbergPeacocks wandering about everywhere on the grounds of Schloss Eggenberg

Schloss Eggenberg

Schloss EggenbergSchloss Eggenberg

 

Interior Courtyard at Schloss Eggenberg

Interior Courtyard at Schloss EggenbergInterior Courtyard at Schloss Eggenberg

Interior Courtyard at Schloss Eggenberg

Interior Courtyard at Schloss EggenbergInterior Courtyard at Schloss Eggenberg

Old interesting fountain of rocks and shells at Schloss Eggenberg

Old interesting fountain of rocks and shells at Schloss EggenbergOld interesting fountain of rocks and shells at Schloss Eggenberg Old interesting fountain of rocks and shells at Schloss Eggenberg

Old interesting fountain of rocks and shells at Schloss EggenbergOld interesting fountain of rocks and shells at Schloss Eggenberg

Schloss Eggenberg

Schloss EggenbergSchloss Eggenberg Schloss Eggenberg

Schloss EggenbergSchloss Eggenberg Walking around the back of Schloss Eggenberg

Walking around the back of Schloss EggenbergWalking around the back of Schloss Eggenberg

Walking around the back of Schloss Eggenberg

Walking around the back of Schloss EggenbergWalking around the back of Schloss Eggenberg Small pond in the gardens of Schloss Eggenberg

Small pond in the gardens of Schloss EggenbergSmall pond in the gardens of Schloss Eggenberg Hotel hallways - Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann

Our hotel - Palais Hotel Erzherzog JohannOur hotel - Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann

Grand staircases all over - Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann

Our hotel - Palais Hotel Erzherzog JohannOur hotel - Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann

Beautiful old rooms - Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann

Our room - Palais Hotel Erzherzog JohannOur room - Palais Hotel Erzherzog Johann Schlossbergplatz with the 260 steep steps leading up to Schloßberg (Castle Hill) 

Schlossbergplatz with the 260 steep steps leading up to Schloßberg (Castle Hill) 
Schlossbergplatz with the 260 steep steps leading up to Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Thank GOD there's a lift up to the top of the hill!

Thank GOD there's a lift up to the top of the hill!Thank GOD there's a lift up to the top of the hill! Amazing views of Graz from Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Amazing views of Graz from Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Amazing views of Graz from Schloßberg (Castle Hill) More....Amazing views of Graz from Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

More....Amazing views of Graz from Schloßberg (Castle Hill)More....Amazing views of Graz from Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Explore up top

Explore up topExplore up top The Gun Bastion - everywhere you go at the top of the Schloßberg - the views are amazing

The Gun Bastion - everywhere you go at the top of the Schloßberg - the views are amazingThe Gun Bastion - everywhere you go at the top of the Schloßberg - the views are amazing Kunsthaus Graz viewed from Schloßberg

Kunsthaus Graz viewed from SchloßbergKunsthaus Graz viewed from Schloßberg Looking out at the Mur River from Schloßberg

Looking out at the Mur River from SchloßbergLooking out at the Mur River from Schloßberg Schloßberg Park

Schloßberg ParkSchloßberg Park View of Graz Hauptplatz (City Hall) from Schloßberg

View of Graz Hauptplatz (City Hall) from SchloßbergView of Graz Hauptplatz (City Hall) from Schloßberg Hackher-Löwe (Hackher Lion) on Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Hackher-Löwe (Hackher Lion) on Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Hackher-Löwe (Hackher Lion) on Schloßberg (Castle Hill) More views.......I could have stayed here all day!

More views.......I could have stayed here all day!More views.......I could have stayed here all day! Kasematten Schloßberg Stage - Actually I'm standing on the stage taking this photo 

Kasematten Schloßberg Stage - Actually I'm standing on the stage taking this photo Kasematten Schloßberg Stage - Actually I'm standing on the stage taking this photo Still standing on Kasematten Schloßberg Stage, wondering when security will come and tell me to get off

Still standing on Kasematten Schloßberg Stage, wondering when security will come and tell me to get offStill standing on Kasematten Schloßberg Stage, wondering when security will come and tell me to get off Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Hauptplatz & Rathaus viewed from Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Hauptplatz & Rathaus viewed from Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Hauptplatz & Rathaus viewed from Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Sun starting to set over the city

Sun starting to set over the citySun starting to set over the city Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)

Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill)Uhrturm (Clock Tower) at Schloßberg (Castle Hill) Looking down at Schlossbergplatz, my hubs made me walk back down those 260 steps :(

Looking down at Schlossbergplatz, my hubs made me walk back down those 260 steps :(Looking down at Schlossbergplatz, my hubs made me walk back down those 260 steps :( Rathaus - Hauptplatz Graz

Rathaus - Hauptplatz GrazRathaus - Hauptplatz Graz Somewhere in Old Town Graz

Somewhere in Old Town GrazSomewhere in Old Town Graz Jakominiplatz (Mitte)

Jakominiplatz (Mitte)Jakominiplatz (Mitte) Looking down Herrengasse 

Looking down Herrengasse Looking down Herrengasse And almost getting hit by a streetcar

And almost getting hit by a streetcarAnd almost getting hit by a streetcar Trying to remember and find the name of this square, but I can't remember where in Graz this was! All I know it had the the glowing green cow with wings above one of the doorways

Trying to remember and find the name of this square, but I can't remember where in Graz this was! All I know it had the the glowing green cow with wings above one of the doorwaysTrying to remember and find the name of this square, but I can't remember where in Graz this was! All I know it had the the glowing green cow with wings above one of the doorways Peaking into the souvenir stores

Peaking into the souvenir storesPeaking into the souvenir stores

 


YOU'VE GOTTA EAT AT......


CAFÉ SACHER
Cannot for the life of me remember the names of anything we had there. Not touristy or expensive like the one in Vienna, this one was super quaint, quiet and had excellent service. The food was amazing, we took whatever our friendly waiter suggested and did.

Café Sacher in Graz 

Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz Café Sacher in Graz I wish I could remember what the names of these were!

I wish I could remember what the names of these were!I wish I could remember what the names of these were! The soup was divine (and I usually hate soup!)

The soup was divine (and I usually hate soup!)The soup was divine (and I usually hate soup!) I usually hate salad too, but this was pretty damn good

I usually hate salad too, but this was pretty damn goodI usually hate salad too, but this was pretty damn good Schnitzel....again - since I never have it at home

Schnitzel....again - since I never have it at homeSchnitzel....again - since I never have it at home


Comments

Suzanne via Twitter(non-registered)
This post was Favorited and Retweeted.
Jean via Twitter(non-registered)
Favorited this post.

I love this! You have a really great eye
Marnie W.(non-registered)
Wow! Graz looks beautiful. Didn't know there was a Cafe Sacher there, I thought there was only one in Vienna!
vancity_photographer via Instagram(non-registered)
Good job!
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