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It was the Eggenberg family who, as wine merchants in Bad Radkersburg, acquired great fortunes on the one hand, and later also the status of a prince (1623), on the other hand, who set up a splendid monument here.
Today the castle in Graz is the largest and most important baroque castle canal in Styria and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since summer 2010.
And with its preserved furnishings, the extensive landscape garden and the collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum housed in the castle, it is one of Austria's most valuable cultural assets.
With its building and furnishing history, it shows the transformation and patronage of the once most powerful dynasty in Styria. By the way: With his new residence, Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, the intellectual creator of the palace complex, realised an architectural concept deeply influenced by the magical philosophy of nature and the idea of the order of the world.
Astronomy, astrology and alchemy, in particular, were regarded at the time as the most important components of the formation of a worldly prince.
All these aspects flowed into the concept of the new building. Construction began in 1526 and was completed in 1635.
In 1742 the Herberstein counts took over the Eggenberg inheritance and had the entire palace redesigned.
In the centre of the rear courtyard, a large castle chapel (consecrated in 1758) was built, the halls were redesigned, and new sculptures were added to the park.
It was not until 1854 that the park was transformed into a nature park of English type, initially in the French style.
In 1939 the entire stock was acquired by the Province of Styria.
In 1947-53 the severe damage of the post-war period was repaired; the castle as a whole was incorporated into the Joanneum.
The exterior design is very simple.
Representative interiors of several style epochs, all 26 rooms of the 2nd floor furnished with stuccoed friezes.
In the large ceremonial hall there are enormous mirror vaults with excellent paintings by the princely court painter Hans Adam Weißenkirchner.
The Roman stone collection is situated in the western part of the castle park. When we come to Graz he welcomes us first.
The clock tower of Graz on the Schlossberg! If you have planned to visit Austria's second largest city on your trip, then you should first come here.
Whether you take the Schlossbahn or the very modern lift to the highest elevation of the city, or you take the famous steps - the view of Graz with its red roofs is worth it.
Back down in the city, let yourself drift through the narrow streets, notice the many preserved beautiful old houses, "spat" into the courtyards, each of which are their own little work of art.
Everyone different and all rustic, cosy, full of history.
Treat yourself to a breather in a pub garden, visit a theatre or opera, stroll through Sporgasse - and they will share with countless visitors in front of you what they have already experienced: Love at first sight.
But if you are on a journey of discovery to one of the many churches, here are a few tips: The cathedral church "Zum Heiligen Ägidius", the Leech church or the Franciscan church for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Also worth seeing: the Bürgerspitalskirche "Zum Heiligen Geist", the main and city parish churches "Zum Heiligen Blut", St.
Anton von Padua, former Capuchin church, Maria-Hilf church, parish church St.
Andrä, staircase church St.
Paul im Walde, Calvary, Church of Mercy, Catfish Church, Church of Mary Snow, Evangelical Church of the Saviour, Carmelite Church and Monastery, Lazarist Church, Sacred Heart Church, Church of Mary, Dominican Church "Saint Mary Fatima".