The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Graz

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GRAZ, or GRATZ, gräts, Austria, the capital of the crownland of Styria, on the river Mur, 140 miles by rail southwest of Vienna. The town is noted for its beauty and its picturesque setting in attractive scenic surroundings amid the Styrian Alps. It is traversed by the river which spanned by seven bridges connects the inner town on the left bank with the town on the right bank. The inner town is built around the former fortified Schlossberg, dismantled by the French in 1809. The Stadt-park is at the foot of the Schlossberg, the summit of which commanding a beautiful outlook is reached by a cable tramway. The mediæval ramparts and bastions have been replaced by attractive tree-lined promenades. Graz dates from the 9th century. Among the chief buildings are the 11th century castle, now used as government offices; the 16th century Renaissance landhaus where the local diet assembles; the arsenal dating from 1644 and containing a valuable historical armory of 15th to 17th century weapons; the town hall built in 1807, and rebuilt in German Renaissance architecture in 1892; the university buildings dating from 1573; the law courts; the Joanneum Museum founded in 1811 with its important collections and great library, and the technical college founded in 1814. The Gothic cathedral of Saint Ogidius, dating from 1450-62, occupies the site of a former church founded 1157. The Gothic parish church finished in 1520 was restored in 1875; the Augustinian University church; and the small 13th century Leech Kirche are also interesting buildings; the early Gothic Herz Jesu-Kirche, completed in 1891, has a tower 360 feet high. An important railway centre with extensive railway shops, and direct communication with the Köflach coal-fields. Gratz is a busy industrial town manufacturing and carrying on a lucrative trade in iron and steel wares, paper, artistic printing and lithography, physical and optical instruments, chemicals and a domestic commodities. Pop. 152,000.