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February 12, 2017 Our old city

I noticed some furends being interested in those old buildings and other historical facts of my city, Graz. So I thought I’d post some pictures about the history of the buildings you often see in my photos.

What is known for sure is that the area of Graz was settled from about 3000 before common Era, which was in the Copper age. It had probably people living here for much longer than that though. Of course back then it wasn’t called Graz. Graz started being a city in the early middle ages, and from then on it grew. In 1379 it became the capital of inner Austria, during the long reign of the Habsgurgers. In 1619 a new Habsburg emperor decided to move the court to Vienna, which became the capital city from that point on. If anyone is interested, there is a timeline on wikipedia about Graz.

The castle hill (Schlossberg) was part of a massive fortification of the city. On the hill itself was a huge fortress, which goes back to the 10th century and grew from then on. The castle was never conquered, but unfortunately, after the Napoleonic wars, the fortress was largely demolished, as part of the Treaty of Schönbrunn of 1809. The parts that are still visible today where simply to massive and strong to be demolished back then. They would have removed every single thing up there if they would have been able to. The clock tower and the bell tower were only spared because the city paid a ransom basically.

Thanks to this, those two towers still stand and still have their original old bells in them. Most other bells in church steeples for example, were taken down and destroyed under the treaty (the Napoleonic forces had them molten and made into new cannons, since it was the same kind of metal needed for cannons).

The fortified city (For the larger version click HERE)

Fortified Graz seen from the east
The fortified city around 1645. The view is to the West. (Source: Institut für Städtebau TU Graz http://bit.ly/2lOAWMA)
The fortress on castle hill
The fortress on castle hill. Looking towards the North. Source: Festung Kupferstich Matthäus Von Matthäus Merian der Ältere

The closest view that I could find, looking towards the castle hill today, HERE.

graz-historic-historical-maps-of-the-habsburg-e
The castle hill with fortress, looking towards the North. (Source: Österreichischer Städteatlas at mapire.eu)

And the same buildings that the arrows are pointing to, today:

The Clock tower
The castle hill clock tower (Source: Von Andreas E. Neuhold)

The clock tower has 3 bells. One rings at every full hour, and is the oldest bell in the city. It’s from 1382 and I recorded it’s sound this Friday:

Then there is the bell from 1645, which was rung in old times to warn people, every time a fire broke out in the city. It rung the number of the district the fire was in. For example for my district, which is the forth, it would have rung 4 times. It was rung not just once, but with a break in between those 4 times.
The 3rd clock, from 1450, rung every time a person was executed… In the 19th century, it rung when the gates of the city walls were closed and locked.

The Liesl bell tower
The Liesl bell tower. (Source: Von Marion Schneider and Christoph Aistleitner)
The huge bell in the Liesl bell tower
The huge bell in the Liesl bell tower. (Source: Von Uoaei1)
The Liesl bell
Thats how huge the bell inside the Liesl bell tower is. Source: meinbezirk.at

The Liesl bell rings 101 times at 7am, 12pm und 19pm. The bell tower was build 1588.

Then there is the old steeple, at the church near my home. It’s visible on that old map, and it’s this one that one of the arrows points at. It’s the old steeple of the church called Mariahilfer Kirche. The two high steeples came much later and weren’t visible yet on that old map.

February 5 2017 2:12pm

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There are many beautiful old buildings throughout the old city center, like the city hall, which looks like a castle really.

City Hall building
City Hall building (Source: Von Taxiarchos228)
City hall seen from bastle hill
City hall seen from castle hill, with zoom though. (Source: Von Marion Schneider and Christoph Aistleitner)
February 9 2017 2:49pm
Another beautiful old building downtown
February 9 2017 2:51pm
One of the many beautiful old houses seen downtown
February 9 2017 2:50pm
Typical narrow alley from medieval times

On special holidays, like christmas, every church in the city will ring their bells for mass. I recorded a bit of it on Christmas morning in 2016:

I think I’ve made this post long enough lol.

Here are the sources to the images that are not mine:

The fortified city around 1645. The view is to the West.
Source: Institut für Städtebau TU Graz, Link 1, Link 2

The fortress on castle hill. Looking towards the North.
Source: Festung Kupferstich Matthäus
Von Matthäus Merian der Ältere – File:Topographia Austriacarum (Merian) 200.jpg, Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46412714

The castle hill with fortress, looking towards the North. (Arrows and text added by me, the original image can be found through the following Source)
Source: Österreichischer Städteatlas http://mapire.eu/oesterreichischer-staedteatlas/graz/#OV_17_2

The castle hill clock tower
Source: Von Andreas E. Neuhold – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16708923

The Liesl bell tower
Source: Von Marion Schneider and Christoph Aistleitner – Eigenes Werk (own photography), Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1468029

The huge bell in the Liesl bell tower
Source: Von Uoaei1 – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15965814

Man with the huge bell in the Liesl bell tower
Source: https://www.meinbezirk.at/graz-umgebung/leute/ueberpruefen-der-kloeppelanlage-der-schlossberg-liesl-der-kloeppel-misst-rund-vier-meter-m2342248,288979.html

City Hall building
Source: Von Taxiarchos228 – Eigenes Werk, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13128328

City hall seen from castle hill
Von Marion Schneider and Christoph Aistleitner – Eigenes Werk, Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5066608

7 thoughts on “February 12, 2017 Our old city

  1. Many many thanks for the tour of Graz an the bell video…I love the sound of bells ringing…
    I did not know a lot about Austria altho’ it was supposed to be the original place of my Father’s ancestors’.
    Your town is so beautiful; so much history & so well taken care. And City Hall is absolutely AMAZING!
    Our country turns 150 old this year; we have very little ‘old history’ as many of us came from other countries. Our Aboriginal history is very interesting tho’.
    If I could travel your country would be on my list of places to visit for sure!
    {{{hugs}}} Sherri-Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! Glad you liked it 😺💗💕💗 There’s so much more amazing stuff in my city. I’m thinking of doing history posts about my city and general posts with photos and videos around here every now and then. I love history. My family on my Mamas side came from Slovenia and the ancestors of my Papas side also came from a Slavic country, around the time when WW1 broke out. I wish I would know more about my ancestors, but there’s nothing I could look up. I love my Mamas maiden name though, it’s ‘Prašnik’ which means correctly translated ‘Pollen’ from flowers. But if I just translate the word itself it says ‘Petal dust’ and in German it’s ‘Blütenstaub’ 🌸😺🌸

      Yes I heard from my aunt that it’s a big year for Canada with the 150 celebrations😺 Canada is insanely beautiful. And the aboriginal history is really interesting.

      Many 1000s of years ago, long before any civilization, there was an easier connection over land from Europe to North America, due to the ice. So there were people walking from Europe and Eurasia to north America. At least that’s what they think. Who knows. It’s definitely interesting.

      I would love to visit Canada again. Last time I’ve been there, I was a child of 4 years lol. But I have lots of memories from it.

      Going to stop now, talking too long again lol. I’m going to reply to the other comments tomorrow.

      Murli and I are about to go to sleep ✨😽💕✨ Good night dear Sherri-Ellen and Siddhartha Henry 💗 Hugs and purrs, and nose kisses from Murli 😽💕 Natascha 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You do know quite a bit of your family history…I am impressed! Interesting how you have Slovenia/Slavic origins & the family ended up in Austria. And to think my Father’s ancestors started in Austria & ended up in Hamburg, Germany, lol.
    You were in Canada?? What parts of it?? It is such a HUGE country! And beautiful……
    150 yrs old is really still infancy compared to Europe & the United Kingdom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, yep, have Slavic origins from both sides of the family😺 But that’s all I know lol. I wish I would know more. I would just be so curious where I would find ancestors many 100s of years back. I would think they were mostly all over Ex-Yugoslavia.

      I love Croatia for example. The climate in the coastal region there is purrfect! Everytime I was there, I usually never had migraines. Not even the heat caused much of a problem, since it’s simply a different kind of climate. Oh, and the smell! It smells soooo good there! And it’s so beautiful.

      I was in Winnipeg, when I was 4 years old lol. My aunt I told you about lives there (my Mamas sister). Even though I was small, I remember it pretty good! Especially Lake Winnipeg and it’s sandy beaches.

      LOL I thought it was the ocean back then. It was mind boggling to my 4 year old self when they told me its a lake lol. Since all lakes I knew at that point were small ones.

      It really is a wonderful country! So much wild nature, and the huge lakes and all. And the snow in winter! So much snow lol!

      Haha, yeah Europe is really old😹

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL @ the snow in Canada! You are so right Natascha…it is one snowy place. We used to call Winnipeg Manitoba; Winnipeg Manisnowba! HAHA! :)
    I am so lad you did see part of Canada. Ontario is fairly scenic. Our big cities are too big tho’. That is why I moved away from Hamilton; too noisy & too big.
    I know Ancestry.com now does DNA testing to establish a person’s origins. I do not know how much it costs…..but I sure am curious! Knowing 3/4’s of my heritage is pretty good…however I still wonder whether I am Polish? Czech? Roma?
    I find Heritage & Ancestry VERY interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes it really is… I’m always amazed when my Aunt tells us about the winter there, with that amount of snow and also the extreme cold. I just love snow and the winter. As long as it’s really really cold, I feel the best regarding migraines.
      Oh btw, my Aunt in Winnipeg also came from Slovenia. Logical, since she’s my Mamas sister. Another Aunt (another sister of my Mama) lives in Germany. They were all just working in those countries for a while, but then met their husbands. So one Aunt stayed in Canada, and the other stayed in Germany, while my Mama worked in Austria and met my Papa.

      Oh really!? Now that’s interesting that Ancestry.com does DNA testing. I’d totally love to have that test done! I also think Ancestry very interesting! I’m just so curious lol.
      It could totally be possible that some ancestors of mine were in lots of other countries, considering that Austria was a very big country for many 100s of years, before world war 1. And 1000s of years before that, there were Celts living all over Europe. And then the Roman empire expanded all over Europe, so who knows, some ancestors could be Roman too lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not know how much Ancestry blood testing costs but I think it would be worth it. I too, am curious…..wondering what that 1/4 of my heritage is.
    Funny how your Mother & her 2 sisters spread out….like my Father coming to Canada….there was nowhere else for him to go once he was freed from the Camp. He spent a year in northern Ontario; then a year in Montreal, Quebec & then came to Hamilton, Ontario. He then had a chance to go to New York, USA but he decided to stay in Canada & become a citizen. Throw in an arranged marriage & that is how I came into existence!

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