Impressive palaces, stunning debut performances at Graz National Theatre, art exhibitions and readings: Styria’s repertoire of high-quality cultural offers ranges from Peter Rosegger’s famous literature to contemporary design. The fruitful coexistence of the old and the new, the varied and the extraordinary is living proof of how big and buzzing the urban and rural cultural and creative scene of Styria is.
The modern creative scene is alive and kicking in the city of Graz. Once known as the capital of literature, Graz was named European Capital of Culture in 2003 and UNESCO City of Design in 2011. Why? The answer is obvious: The creative scene there is varied and meets challenges with plenty of innovation and inspiration. The exceptional buildings and quirky shops in the Old Town are testament to the city’s affinity towards object and architectural design.
Styria’s architecture is about much more than just the Graz Art Museum. It also encompasses the rich cultural heritage of the rural regions, manifesting itself in the area’s many architecturally interesting palaces, wineries and restaurants. Many of these culinary hotspots offer guided tours and tastings – the perfect opportunity to combine cultural highlights with culinary delights.
Music, literature, theatre, opera – Styria also stands for classical art. Graz Opera regularly stages breathtaking productions ranging from musical theatre plays to ballet performances. Many of the theatre plays performed there are surprisingly innovative. In addition, Graz National Theatre offers a creative programme boasting well-known classics as well as exciting debut performances.
Exceptional buildings have a long history in Styria. From historic palaces to lovingly restored wineries and eye-catching Graz Art Museum, Styria gives the “green” light to innovative architecture. The multitude of architecturally interesting buildings in the province’s urban and rural areas testifies to a growing trend towards aesthetics.
For instance, many Styrian wineries and restaurants have a very distinct architectural language, successfully blending traditional structural shapes with the principles of modern architecture.
With its unique use of elements like glass, concrete and steel, the city of Graz displays a fascinating approach towards contemporary architecture. Innovative buildings like Graz Art Museum or the Island in the Mur perfectly blend in with their surroundings.
Styria stands for regional and sustainable products with innovative details. The design scene has undergone an exceptional evolution during the past years, growing exponentially compared to other branches of the creative industry. As a UNESCO City of Design, Graz has been counted among the world’s most future-oriented cities since 2011, turning it into the creative hotbed of Styria. Our tip: Every year during May, the city celebrates the annual “design month” with special events during which the design industry presents their unique services and products. For those interested in design, designforum Steiermark displays fancy designs, drafts and product innovations from the different regions of Styria.
The artistic side of Styria is documented by a multitude of exhibitions. Art enthusiasts especially love the capital city of Graz with its many fine arts highlights at Neue Galerie, Alte Galerie, Graz Art Museum and Künstlerhaus. With their many permanent and temporary exhibitions, the city’s museums create a fascinating world of graphics, paintings, sculptures and more.
Art only happens in the capital city? Of course not! Kunsthaus Weiz in East Styria as well as Kunsthalle Leoben and Kunsthaus Mürz in Upper Styria are impressive testament to the surrounding regions’ creative spirit.
The green heart of Austria has been home to many exceptional writers: For instance, the folkloric side of Styrian literature is represented by Peter Rosegger, who alongside Jules Verne used to be the most-read author of his time. During the 1960s, there was another famous group of writers that emerged around the Forum Stadtpark. The founding members of the so-called “Grazer Gruppe” included the likes of Gunter Falk, Barbara Frischmuth, Peter Handke, Wolfgang Bauer, Wilhelm Hengstler, Klaus Hoffer and Alfred Kolleritsch.
Ready for a one-of-a-kind literary experience? Where once upon a time texts were written in old monasteries and castles, you can now walk on literary trails and enjoy special readings.
Many more literary hotspots can be found in the cultural region of Styria, among them Literaturhaus Graz with its even balance of Styrian, Austrian and international writers, Literaturmuseum Altaussee and Admont Abbey Library.
Culture comes in many shapes and sizes in Styria. Whether it’s amateur or professional plays, in the capital city or in the surrounding regions: The theatre stages of Styria couldn’t be any more varied.
Graz National Theatre is one of Austria’s biggest theatres and known for its interior splendour as well as for its creative programme. As one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses, Graz Opera stages a multitude of musical theatre performances, ranging from opera to operetta and from ballet to musicals. In addition, many more venues in Styria offer cultural delights.
The concert venues of Styria are home to many different musical genres, from more traditional tunes to alternative pop culture. The green heart of Austria beats in time with folk tunes, classical melodies and modern-day hits. Places-to-be for music lovers include Brahms Museum Mürzzuschlag, Graz Opera, Blasmusik Museum Ratten, Orpheum Graz, MUMUTH and Kasemattenbühne.
Styria hosts select musical performances, exhibitions and festivals throughout the year. To sway in time with the rhythm of Styria, check out the following cultural facilities and music venues: