Graz Castle is an impressive Gothic building that was constructed in 1438 by the Austrian Emperor Friedrich III. The emperor mainly used the castle as a representational building. As part of the city’s defense it only played a minor role. Under Friedrich’s son, emperor Maximilian I., the castle was extended in the late 15th century. Over the centuries, the castle’s role varied. With the Hapsburgs’ focus on Vienna as the capital of their empire, Graz Castle lost its importance. It was used by the Emperor’s family as a place for rest during travels to the southern part of the Empire. Later, it became the seat of the local government. It kept this function until today.
During Maximilian’s reign an unknown master builder constructed the magnificent double spiral staircase in Graz Castle. The staircase is not the only and not the oldest in its form in Central European architecture, but one of the most important. It is characterized by the particularly high quality and the daringness of its construction with hollow spindles. The opposing staircases merge at each floor for a few steps. The staircase is considered a symbol of eternity.
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