Graz - Preliminary Round Host City
Six universities, the biggest medieval historic city centre in Europe (a UNESCO World Heritage site), a lively cabaret and comedy scene, outstanding restaurants and bars, a casino, the Grazer Messe trade fair centre and much more.
Graz enjoys a rich history but at the same time is bursting with modern life. It would not be an exaggeration to describe Graz as a city of opposites: its magnificent buildings bear witness to over 850 years of architecture in the city, such as the Landhaus, also home to the Styrian Armoury and its 30,000 weapons and suits of armour, the cathedral and the mausoleum, Schloss Eggenberg and the Grazer Burg with its double-spiral staircase. These ancient edifices merge in unique harmony with state-of-the-art works by internationally renowned architects, some from the Graz School, for example the Kunsthaus Graz, Joanneumsviertel, MUMUTH or the greenhouses in the Botanical Gardens.
And contrasts can also be seen in areas other than the buildings: the annual styriarte festival in June is dedicated to classical music, while the “Steirischer Herbst” festival focuses on avant-garde arts.
Without a doubt, one of the most important years for Graz recently has been 2003: the city was chosen by the EU cultural ministers as “Europe Capital of Culture 2003,” and presented a brilliant and diverse programme that attracted visitors from all over the world, with enduring success. The year of cultural events and exhibitions put Graz firmly back on the map, so that today the city is mentioned in the same breath as Vienna and Salzburg.
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Stadthalle Graz – a venue of superlatives
Stadthalle Graz is an ideal venue for events such as concerts, congresses, sport & show events. It is undoubtedly Austria's most modernly equipped venue. The daring architecture freshens up the pleasant townscape of Styria's capital.
The facility has 6,000 seats in a building that exhibits the creativity, brilliance and adventurousness of its creator - star architect Klaus Kada. The spectacular jutting roof construction above the entrance area of Stadthalle Graz reaches out to encompass the public space outside. Stadthalle Graz can also be entirely opened in the back, allowing the interior and the exterior to become a single natural unity. This open-air effect is unique in all of Europe.
The venue also contributes to an event's success thanks to the excellent accessibility of the Stadthalle Graz complex: it is ideally located for users of both public transport and cars, as it is situated between the city centre and the Graz Ost (east) motorway junction.