Friday, March 7, 2014

Moving into March

 So March began for us with a free walking tour of the inner city of Graz that we signed up for because we were still new residents. What we thought was a 4 hour bus tour turned out to be an hour and a half walking tour but it was still good and we loved our English/German speaking tour guide Helen from England. We invited Anna, Heather and the Driggs to come with us and we all had a good time.
 We started and ended here in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) which is rather impressive.
 This is looking out from the City Hall  Entrance to the city square. Notice Schlossberg Clock tower.  This is the same location I took a Christmas time picture.
Close by is the Italian section with it's beautiful designs.
 The city is simply amazing with it's many historical massive buildings dating back centuries. This old wooden plaque dating back to the 1500's  is still on the outside wall of where the royal family resided at the time. Notice the hand holding the sword. You would be punished by death if you were found with a weapon inside. The city fathers have preserved  fabulous artifacts like this over the years and are very proud of their heritage as they should be. There was a time in the 1960's that demolishing some of the old buildings to build modern ones was discussed and a few things have been built but thankfully good sense was resumed and Graz's history was preserved.
 In the German part of the city center is the Glockenspiel which goes off three times every day. We were there to see the performance at 3:00 and hear the chimes and music. 
 This was used as a Jesuit training center in the day and is now a Catholic school for religious studies. Notice the snow man in the right corner.
 This was interesting!! This guy is actually permanent made from marble and the pond also is a permanent feature.  It was all made for some political statement with the meaning that change is eminent, Nothing can or will stay the same for long. The snowman is looking at his future. Apparently there is a reflection of a clock in the water but we were not told about it till later and we didn't notice it. You can see a little of everything here in Graz. We love it!
 One of the many Catholic Cathedrals. We actually walked around this one when we first arrived here after applying for our visas.
 Another view of the church. When we went inside, the choir was practicing so we only stayed a moment to look around. Sounded fabulous though.
 There are many hidden city courtyards from the street and when you see an open archway you never know what you will find. This is an entrance to a double entwined stairway leading up a tower adjacent to one of the buildings. Notice the two oposite sets of stairs.
 Now this is looking down from the top of this intricate rather confusing staircase. Amazing!! 
 Looking out the window at the top of the tower at the couryard.
 This is actually a floating coffee cafe on the Mur River here in Graz. It is one of the "modern" structures that we don't really love but it was interesting to go into. When the river rises, so does the cafe. The walkways anchor the facility to the river banks and I guess it is more of an attraction in the summer. 
 Walking across the love lock bridge. We bought a bright yellow lock but have not yet  locked up our love. We'll keep you posted with a picture when we do.
After the tour and stopping in to eat a Dönner (meat & vegies in a pita) we snapped this one last pic and headed for home.


Megan Hansen said...

Love, love, LOVE the architecture!! Thanks for posting all these pics. The snowman? I'm undecided. I love it, but it's so random! Possibly even too random for me. Which is saying somethin. Faviorite is the staircase from the top--so cool! Mind boggling.

The Tews said...

I'm with Megan - that snowman/pond sculpture is pretty interesting! Looks so real...I kinda like it! The buildings are so beautiful, so European, makes me have the traveling itch bad! I want to see more of the Italian district.