Graz is the capital of Styria, and with 266 965 inhabitants the second largest city of the Republic of Austria. The city is situated on the Mur in Graz Basin. The Graz area is approximately 439 000 inhabitants, according to Vienna and the area’s second largest metropolitan area in Austria. The Grazerfeld was in the Roman Empire a densely populated agricultural landscape. In the 6th Century later in Graz was built a castle, from which the name derived Graz (alpenslaw. gradec meaning small castle). The coat of arms was awarded Graz 1245, Graz from 1379 to 1619 was Habsburg residence and withstood several Ottoman attacks in this period. In 2003 Graz was the Cultural Capital of Europe.
Graz has become a university town developed with a total of over 45,000 students. It was elected to the Human Rights City and was awarded the Europe Prize. The old town of Graz and the Eggenberg belong to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Graz is the Episcopal Diocese of Graz-Seckau. Since March 2011, Graz as UNESCO City of Design, part of the Creative Cities Network.
Graz is situated on both sides of the river Mur, where they break through their Grazer Bergland and ended in the Graz Basin occurs. The city fills the northern part of the Graz basin from west to east and is almost completely surrounded by mountains on three sides, the city built the area up to 400 m tower above. To the south, the town area opens into Grazerfeld. The highest point in Graz is the Plabutsch with 754 meters to the northwest of the city, the lowest point, with about 330 meters, is located where the river Mur, the city is leaving the South. Within Graz, there are two distinct surveys: one side of the castle hill and on the other, Austein to the Calvary.
Graz is located approximately 150 km southwest of Vienna. The nearest town of national importance is Maribor (Maribor) in Slovenia, located some 60 km south of Graz. The two cities combine increasingly close cultural and economic relations. The European Region Graz-Maribor is one example.