Historic Centre of Graz

Graz, Austria

Graz old town is one of the best-preserved city centres in Central Europe. The oldest settlement on the ground of the modern city of Graz dates back to the Chalcolithic Age. However, no historical continuity exists of a settlement before the Middle Ages. During the 12th century, dukes under Babenberg rule made the town into an important commercial center. Later, Graz came under the rule of the Habsburgs, and in 1281, gained special privileges from King Rudolph I.

In the 14th century, Graz became the city of residence of the Inner Austrian line of the Habsburgs. The royalty lived in the Schloßberg castle and from there ruled Styria, Carinthia, most of today's Slovenia, and parts of Italy.

In the 16th century, the city's design and planning were primarily controlled by Italian Renaissance architects and artists. One of the most famous buildings built in this style is the Landhaus, designed by Domenico dell'Allio, and used by the local rulers as a governmental headquarters.

Graz bear witness to an exemplary model of the living heritage of a central European urban complex influenced by the secular presence of the Habsburgs and the cultural and artistic role played by the main aristocratic families. They are a harmonious blend of the architectural styles and artistic movements that have succeeded each other from the Middle Ages until the 18th century, in the many neighbouring regions of Central and Mediterranean Europe. They embody a diversified and highly comprehensive ensemble of architectural, decorative and landscape examples of these interchanges of influence.

In 1999, Graz was added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites, and the site was extended in 2010 by Schloss Eggenberg.



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Hauptplatz 5, Graz, Austria
See all sites in Graz


Founded: 12th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Austria


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Asiyah Noemi Koso (2 months ago)
Altstadt is a wonderful part of Graz ( the old town ). We were impressed with the architecture, facades of buildings, churches and palaces. Simply beautiful and enchanting. The old town of Graz is best explored on foot or by bicycle. The narrow historic streets and streets in the old town of Graz with beautiful cafes, bakeries ( Austria's oldest bakeries ) and restaurants are delighted to us. When we are walking down the Old Town like walking through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. Because the spirit of the old era are still present. Graz is a city with countless museums, opera, home of modern art, galleries ..... Graz is also the capital of pleasure, because in many restaurants are well cooking and also in many pastry shops are very good desserts. Graz is romantic and charming.
Prem Prasad (2 months ago)
Amazing pumpkin seed icecream!!
Leila Farahi (2 months ago)
Great place to be in
Marcin Szekiel (4 months ago)
Stunning old town, with many alleys to walk around and picturesque buildings
A Griffiths (10 months ago)
The 'old' town is very pretty (classic architecture is fabulous in places). Steeped in history and some great pieces of art on show. We enjoyed our visit. Some very interesting finds.My children enjoyed the parks and climbs. Modern sections are hard to navigate, the traffic systems are confusing and very busy. Easier to catch a bus/tram/train into the city. I am a very confident driver (a former go kart champion 2006 I am in the style of Jenson Button) some sections reminded me of racing circuits with fast corners (even in the city), take extra care of tram lines. I did struggle at times at the traffic lights as cars raced off around me. My car is only a 3 cylinder Fiat it sounds good. Parking can be expensive in places. You have to be careful not to park in expensive places that get locked early in the evening after 9.00pm it is a long night otherwise with no vehicle only walking around alone and cold. Andrew
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