Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Graz: City centre

The Glockenspiel

We are briefly in Graz, Austria's second city and a World Heritage Site, on our way to a family event in Vienna. We have arrived here in the early evening and there is just time a for a walk around the centre. We are following a route from the Tourist Office guidebook, but starting at our hotel,

Walking up Burgergrasse the first thing we noticed was the imposing Mausoleum of Friedrick II, the work of the Italian Giovanni Pietro de Pomis.

We walked round the back of the Dom (Cathedral) to reach the Burg, now the seat of the Regional Parliament, but once an imperial palace. Across the courtyard was an attractive medieval looking tower …

… and inside was a simply astonishing double spiral staircase built in 1499-1500. I am not sure that my picture does it justice.

Coming back out into the courtyard we noticed an alcove with rather lovely wall paintings dating from the late Middle Ages. We now pass the rather plain main facade of the Dom, the Cathedral. It was built 1438-64 by Emperor Friedrick II.

Then we headed down Hofgasse to discover this wonderful shop front (a bakery).

 We turned right into Sporgasse where I was struck by the unfamiliar nature of the street scape.

The Palace Saurau, which dates from 1566, was fairly mundane outside but had this rather wonderful gargoyle of a vengeful Turk just below the eaves.

Doubling back to continue along Sporgasse there is a quite beautiful courtyard once the Hof Des Deutschen Ritterordens (House of the Teutonic Knights). 

Sporgasse leads into the Hauptplatz or main square. At the end is the late 19th century Town Hall. We thought it would look better in polychrome brick like our great Victorian town halls in England.

While on the left is rather lovely art nouveau style house

Just as you are leaving the square there is the well-named Painted House with frescoes by Johann Mayer in 1742.

Continuing along Herrengasse you see on the right the imposing Generalihof.

Behind it is the Landhaus (Regional Parliament) Courtyard with a beautiful Renaissance two storey corridor by Domenico dell'Allio.

Next door (the white building) is the Armoury, now a museum.

A left into S and a left into x brought us to Farbergstrasse wit the wonderful Glockenspiel

The building next door had some nice mosaics.

Distance: about a mile and a half.

Rating: five stars. Full of interest and unlike anywhere we have ever been.

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