The Taste Capital of Austria, The design city Unesco and the Unesco World Heritage Site, the capital of Styria, are a city where past and future meet in a truly unique and spectacular intertwining.
To explore the very original architecture that draws Graz’s profile, you can start from the eighteenth century buildings in three strategic and central streets: Raubergasse, Neutorgasse and Kalchberggasse, all protected by Unesco and now united thanks to an underground structure illuminated of portholes.
It is here, in the center of Graz, that Joanneumsviertel, a complex that houses three museums: the Neue Galerie, the Natural History Museum and the Multimedia Collections. These are three historic buildings, connected by an underground visitor center, a project completed in 2011 based on a design by the Spanish architectural firm Nieto Sobejano. Especially at the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, the exhibition can be viewed until 3 July Katharina Sabernig: Knitted anatomy. The author is a researcher at the Faculty of Medicine in Vienna, which has been knitting organs and anatomical details since 2015. Inside the Neue Galerie there are also Bruseumthe special section dedicated to the artist of Styria Günter Bruswhere the first international retrospective dedicated to the work of the Romanian artist will be performed until 29 September Paul Neagu.
After a pleasant stop on the colored seats of the Joanneumviertel, you can dive into the history of the city along Herrengasse“Via dei Signori”, which has always been the capital’s main axis, a number of old buildings and stately homes, including Country house, which now houses the regional parliament. And to breathe in the elegant Central European atmosphere, it’s worth giving yourself a break Café Sacherat number 6 Herrengasse: a tumult of stucco, velvet and chandeliers, where, as in Vienna, you can taste the famous craft cake created by Franz Sacher.
Continuing the journey across the river, you will rediscover how the past and present in Graz exist in perfect harmony. Here are avant-garde buildings and museums, signed by arch-stars who have brought the capital of Styria to the Olympics in Design cities by Unesco.
An example is Kunsthausaffectionately nicknamed Friendly Alien, a curious biomorphic structure that lights up like a spaceship in the evening. This blue bubble, which pops up over the roofs of the historic center, is the temple of contemporary art, where exhibitions by avant-garde artists and photographers are set up non-stop. Until 28 August, for example, it can be admired Amazons of pop! Female artists, superheroines, icons 1961–1973 that challenges the canons of pop art itself.
Behind the museum, on Mariahilferstrasse, you can shop among unique handmade pieces, such as Da Loam, a ceramics workshop founded by Selma Etareri, an artist who produces vases and plates with gold and platinum and offers ceramics courses.
Silver is the color of the floating steel platform designed by the New York artist Vito Acconci for Murinsel, “The Island by the Mur River”. The large glass dome, resembling a steel shell, encloses an outdoor amphitheater and café as well as a roller coaster and a maze for children and is the perfect place to enjoy a break while watching the slow flow of the river.
At Schlossberg for exciting descents
To enjoy a view that embraces the entire historic center and discover the endless connections between past and present, just walk up the hill Schlossberg overlooking the heart of the city, famous for the 16th century bell tower and beautiful gardens.
At Schlossberg there are also numerous restaurants and cafés, which with a little good will can be reached on foot by almost 300 steps or by choosing one of the tracks in the dense network of scenic paths. To enjoy the beauty of this place with less effort, you can choose the cable car with a centuries-old history or a futuristic transparent elevator that crosses the heart of the hill. To go down instead, it must be tried “Slides”: the largest underground roller coaster in the world with 170 meters of exciting descent into the mountain.
Taste capital, between zero km of products and innovative chefs
Beauty and style are hallmarks that cross the entire city. This is how, in addition to having entered Design cities by Unesco, Graz is also the capital of taste. A title won thanks to the passion for good food, innovative chefs and ingredients of the highest quality provided by the region rich in crops and vineyards. Where are we going? To taste the excellent wines from Styria you go from Klapotetz, with a beautiful interior garden in the heart of the old town. A wine shop with a selection of over 100 wines that also serve fast food. Zero kilometers of delicacies can also be bought at the many farmers markets such as Lendplatz or of the square Kaiser-Josef-Platz, open every day except Sunday. To fill up on gourmandise another address is Frankowitsch, also perfect for a greedy snack.