Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Graz: both sides of the River Mur

Generalihof Clock Tower

For our morning walk we completed our exploration of the old town centre on both sides of the River Mur, starting at the Generalihof and pausing there to admire the green stone clock tower. We walked along Landhausgasse and admired the detailing of the entrance to the Landes-Amtshaus.

We then headed off to the right into the so-called Veal District. The main sight is the Franciscan Monastery, founded in 1239 by the Minorite order. The tower was added in the 17th century.

The side entrance is quite anonymous but a helpful passer-by showed us the way in. Inside there is a sprawling complex with a wonderful cloister.

The church has no transept and the cloister is therefore not in the usual position of the angle between the nave and the south transept. It also has irregular sides. The church has a dramatic ridged vault …

… and surprisingly bright modern stained glass.

It is a few steps from the monastery to the bridge over the Mur.

The colourful sides of the bridge are covered with lovers' padlocks. We first saw these in Amsterdam, but now no self-respecting bridge of the appropriate design seems to be without its share. In the background is the Graz Kunsthaus (Art gallery) of which more in a moment.

Looking up river, you see the Murinsel, an artificial island designed by the New York artist Vito Acconci .We thought it a wild and wonderful idea.

On the far back there is a closer view of the Kunsthaus which was designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier and built in 2003. Close up it seems to be a giant balloon with a sort of gallery on top.

To one side, and now the Kunsthaus café is a rather lovely cast-iron building which was presumably once a market.

We turned round the back of the Kunsthaus and my eye was caught by this fine house with vaguely art nouveau details picked out in pink.

We walked long to Mariahilferplatz with its large 17th century Baroque church. 

There is a first view of the Schlossberg, with the castle on the left and the Clock Tower on the right.

We crossed the river via the Murinsel, which turned out to have a café and a sort of open air theatre in the centre. As we reached the other side we were struck by how full and fast-flowing the River Mur was.

Conditions: warm and sunny.

Distance: about a mile and a half.

Rating: four stars. Interesting and enjoyable, but doesn't really stand alone.

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