The famous Graz clock tower on the Schlossberg is a must-see destination in Austria’s second largest city. In 1809, the fortress on the castle hill was destroyed by Napoleon’s troops. The citizens of Graz paid the French a big sum of money to save the clock tower. Since then it is considered a landmark of the city. The 28 m tall building received its appearance in the 16th century. The doorkeeper had his room in the tower’s roof. From here he could oversee the city and ring the alarm in case of a fire. The tower is still home to three bells: the hour and the fire bell and the poor-mouth bell, which was rung earlier when an execution took place.
The clock tower can still be seen far beyond the city limits. Initially, the clock on the tower had only one hand for the hour. In the 18th century the minute hand was added, but it was made smaller than the hour hand. Each dial on all four sides of the tower has a diameter of more than five meters.
Today, the Clock tower and the Schlossberg are a well known attraction and recreational space. Few cities can point to a mountain in the middle of their urban area. With a height of 123 meters the Schlossberg forms the highest natural point of the city and offers a 360 ° view. There also are some cafés and restaurants on the hill. During the Second World War, a more than 6 kilometer long tunnel system was created in the Schloßberg, which served up to 40.000 people as an air raid bunker. Some of these tunnels are still in use today.
Many roads lead to the Graz clock tower
On foot you can climb the hill from Schloßbergplatz. 260 steps later the so called Felsensteig will lead you directly to the clock tower. You can also use the lift which was built inside of the mountain for a small fee. Another option is to take the Schloßbergbahn – a funicular – to the summit of the Schlossberg. From there it’s an about 5 minutes downhill walk to the clock tower. The final option is to walk on foot from Karmeliterplatz. Following the somewhat steep road uphill you will reach the top in about 5-10 minutes.
For more information, please visit the Graz tourism website.