|Styria – The Green Heart of Austria|
|Written by morgenhund|
|Sunday, 26 September 2010 11:59|
Before arriving in Vienna, I spent a year living in Styria (Steiermark) as an English language assistant on my Year Abroad. Styria is possibly best known abroad as the province of origin of Arnold Schwarzenegger – and he was raised in the province. The largest city in Styria is Graz, the second largest city by population in Austria, and European City of Culture in 2003. Graz is also the gateway to the Southern Styrian Wine Route – with Styrian renowned for its wines. Graz is also one of Austria’s biggest student cities. In the West of the province, particular in and around the Murtal, the terrain is more mountainous – with a number of ski resorts, and it backs onto the Obertauern, in neighbouring Salzburgerland, where there are a large number of ski resorts, while Schladming is also a frequent host of World Cup ski events.
Styria’s Weinstrasse is a popular attraction, and Styria is well-known for its Schilcher (rosé wine made from the Blauer Wildbacher grape). Kitzeck’s wine museum is well worth a visit – and the views from some of Europe’s highest vines can be fantastic in autumn. Pumpkin seed oil (Kürbiskernöl), used on salads, is another of Styria’s exports. Gösser and Murauer are the two most widely found Styrian beers in the Vienna area – others are of course to be found although often less frequently.
Tourism is a major industry, with Styria also having a number of lakes, and being a good staging point for breaking journeys into Italy and Slovenia. There are a number of spa resorts in Styria, including the Hundertwasser-designed resort in Bad Blumau, and for families a large number of “Urlaub am Bauernhof” (farm holiday) properties. The emphasis is definitely on comfort and relaxation and taking things easy in Styria – the pace of life is certainly a relaxed one.
Styria in industrial terms has strong connections to the automotive industry – with many companies in and around Graz supplying the industry. In the past, Formula 1 regularly visited Styria, with the Austrian Grand Prix being held on the Österreichring and latterly its scaled down successor, the A1 Ring, near Zeltweg. Jochen Rindt, a Styrian, is the only posthumous Formula 1 champion.
Getting to Styria from Vienna: trains run to Graz from Wien Meidling (either direct or changing in Brück an der Mur) as well as through Western Styria (Leoben, Judenburg) with travelling time of 2:30 – 3:00 each way, on the way to Klagenfurt and Villach. By road the A2 Autobahn runs from Vienna through Graz onto Klagenfurt and the S6 branches off going as far as Judenburg.
Some places I’d recommend visiting when in Styria would include:
Graz, Murau, Judenburg, Mariazell, Schladming, Seckau, Admont, Dachstein National park
|Last Updated on Sunday, 26 September 2010 19:44|