Styria is a popular and especially attractive holiday destination
stretching from Salzburg to the Hungarian border in the East.
In the Dachstein Gebirge overshadowing the Enns Valley,
skiing is possible all the year round. The south of the province,
known as the Weinstrasse (Wine Road), is dominated
by large vineyards. Styria also has a wealth of
green pine forests suitable for rambles and hikes in the summer.
A recent European Capital of Culture, Graz is also
capital of the Styria region. From the 15th century, it was a major
bulwark against the Turks and, in the 17th century adopted the Baroque
before the rest of the Austrian empire. The city is compact and
most important sights are within walking distance of the market
square of the Hauptplatz.
The Landesmuseum Johanneum, a large complex of
museums, is one of the world’s oldest, and includes the Alte
Galerie with its superb Gothic paintings. The Neue
Galerie in the Herbenstrein Palace displays 19th- and 20th-century
paintings, including some works by Schiele and Klimt. The
Cathedral, the Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II
(begun in 1614), the Leech Church, the pedestrian
zone of the old quarter, the Schlossberg (Castle
Hill) with its Uhrtrum (clock tower) and Glockenturm
(bell tower) should also be seen.
Some distance west of the city is Schloss Eggenberg,
the 16th-century palace noted for its state rooms and museums. More
than any other provincial centre Graz preserves the old Kaffeehaus
culture where visitors can sit all day enjoying a leisurely coffee
watching the life of the city.
Any itinerary should include a visit to the Museum
and the Convent at Leoben and to the silver mine in Oberzeiring.
Piber includes the stud farm for the famous Lipizzaner
horses. Stübing/Gratwein, in the
forests northeast of Graz, has an excellent open-air museum of furnished
houses from all over the country.
The Weinstrasse stretches from Ehrenhausen to Elbiswald.
Also worth exploring are Bruck an der Mur, Eisenerz, Murau,
Oberzeiring, Schladming, Bad Aussee and Ramsau.