Graz is the second largest city in Austria, located at the foot of the Styria Alps. Founded in the place of Slavonic gord, the city is known for its monumental Old City entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. There is also the largest in Austria national museum and the House of Art, a modern symbol of the city.
Since Graz was given town privileges at the end of the 13th century, it was a royal city and then imperial. This famous past is reminded by, among others, the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Giles and the Baroque mausoleum of Ferdinand II located next to it. The surrounding area consists of the Old City with Baroque tenement houses with arcades and decorated facades. The later 19th-century neo-Renaissance town hall with a courtyard resembling Italian palaces blends well with the older buildings.
Along with giving Graz town privileges, the castle was built at the hill towering over the city. It was rebuilt many times and served as a stronghold until the 19th century. Only parts of the walls and the clock tower, which is a symbol of Graz, remained of it to this day. The half-natural park with numerous walking trails can be explored at the foot of the hill. There is also a rack railway and a glass lift which allow getting to the top.
In 2003, Graz was a European center of culture. Its meaning was then recognized and many cultural facilities and festivals appreciated. One of them is the Joanneum Museum established in the 19th century. It presents the history, culture, and nature of Styria. Worthy of attention is also a new facility - the House of Art resembling a giant glass bubble.