Graz Clock Tower (Grazer Uhrturm)
A look at the Clock Tower is a must for any visitor to Graz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking tours of Graz Old Town sometimes include a ride up to the Schlossberg to view the 16th-century structure. Besides the quirky clock faces, still operated by a mechanism dating back to 1712, the tower houses three different bells: one to chime the hours; one to warn of fire; and one that announced executions and (later) curfews.
Things to know before you go
- The Schlossberg offers a number of eateries at price points from cafés to fine dining.
- There is a small charge to ride the Schlossberglift elevator and the Schlossberg funicular.
- The funicular, elevator, and area around the clocktower are easy to enjoy in a wheelchair or with a stroller. Parents should note that kids must be at least 4 feet 3 inches (1.3 meters) to ride the slide down.
How to get there
Graz Clock Tower sits in the far south of the Schlossberg, a green hill above Graz Old Town that’s now a public park. The Schlossberglift elevator whisks you up through the interior of the mountain to the Uhrturm in double-quick time. It starts from the Schlossbergplatz square, as do the funicular and the 260 steps that comprise the quickest walking route.
When to get there
The Schlossberg is open 24 hours a day, but the lift and funicular close around midnight. The golden hour after sunrise but before the lift and funicular start running offers the best chance of an uncrowded, well-lit shot of the Clock Tower.
Must-See Sights in Graz
Less busy than Salzburg or Vienna, Austria’s second city has tons to offer the traveler. Don’t miss the Cathedral, a Gothic affair with a grimly beautiful medieval fresco depicting the plague; the extraordinary Kunsthaus Graz modern art museum, which crash-landed like an alien spacecraft amid the historic city; and Eggenberg Palace, a masterpiece of 17th-century baroque architecture.
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