A day in Graz

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Austria’s second largest city, Graz, is an easy place to like. It’s got all the basic prerequisites for a good city. It’s pretty. It has a river running through it and a hilltop castle lording over it. It has trams. It has gorgeous architecture. It’s got plenty eateries, drinkeries and shopperies. It’s got Hitler in a stained glass window.

Hang on. It’s got what?

Stained glass

It’s nice when a city you’ve been to gives you some little hints that you’re not done with it. I’d been to Graz a couple of years ago, but only spent a day there, and so it was nice while staying again with our friends near Graz to get another day of exploration to see new things and see what else remained to be discovered.

Hitler in a stained glass window was one such thing. Our guidebook mentioned it, as a 1950s feature added to the Medieval-era parish church, the Stadtpfarrkirche. The window (left) portrays Hitler and his sidekick Mussolini watching and condoning the scouring of Jesus: a declaration that the actions of Fascism were counter to Christianity, and no doubt an uncomfortable truth for many at the time to face up to.

I didn’t get too close to the window as there were quite a few folk about and I didn’t want to give the impression that the only reason I was there was for the “Hitler window”. Which to be fair, wouldn’t have been too far from the truth.

Watching the world go byThere’s plenty more to the city, of course. The is plenty to see among the lovely streets and old government buildings of what is the provincial capital of Styria. The latter includes the official centre of the city, a small sculpture with some embarrassingly unhelpful English interpretation.

There’s an impressive art scene and a curious plethora of stencil graffiti. And there’s a famous Sacher cafe, a rare place to experience the pricey but delicious national institution that is Sachertorte, a chocolate cake with apricot.

Both times now, I’ve only really explored the city centre. Graz has much to see around its edges, not least the beautiful Schloss Eggendorf, which we sadly had neither time nor energy to get to this time. There’ll be plenty time in the future, no doubt.

Here are the other photos I uploaded to Flickr from that day.

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