Country Information & Resources
Graz - European Cultural Capital 2003 - is an important gateway to neighbouring countries and foremost South-Eastern Europe because of its geographical situation (2 hrs to Vienna, 1 hr to Maribor/Slovenia, 4 hrs to Venice). This position has brought Graz many synergies that have influenced the development of the city and it has contributed to its international reputation. The variety of the cultural scene is strongly influenced by the almost 50.000 students who come here to live and learn at one of the four universities or two universities of applied sciences.
For its public humanitarian commitment, the city of Graz was declared Europe’s first City of Human Rights by the United Nations. The unique old town center with its Renaissance buildings and Baroque churches, inviting places, narrow streets and alleys has become a UNESCO World Heritage site. As European Cultural Capital 2003, Graz has seized its opportunities to present itself to a broader international audience as a city, living with a rich traditional heritage that has evolved over many centuries, and which has an impressive record of new attractions added to it.
It is a city of contrasts, visible in the new spectacular architecture of the socalled Kunsthaus (House of Art), set right in the middle of the historical old town center, or in the sensitive composition of traditional and modern architecture in the university district. Large-scale projects of renowned representatives of the architectural scene of Graz have added new highlights to the cityscape, like for example the new Helmut-List-Halle, a multifunctional hall, and a synagogue, being one more clearly visible invitation to dialog. You can find traditional and modern trends coexisting in all branches of culture, and in an amazing kaleidoscope of events. The cultural festival ”steirischer herbst“ has become a synonym for avantgarde programs. ”Styriarte“ is an internationally renowned music festival.
Everyone in Graz appreciates the highly developed student infrastructure, many good bookshops, nice little pubs, affordable prices in canteens and for flats and the friendly atmosphere of a city that offers a great number of green spaces and a large network of bicycle tracks. Graz as an industrial area profits from the highly qualified men and women who work here, and the existing potential for research that provides companies with important solutions for the improvement of their products and production methods, through the intensive transfer of knowledge and technology. Successful examples of the importance of this co-operation between industry and science are the so-called ”clusters“ of the automotive industry and high technology.
Excerpt Courtesy of KFU
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