Graz dates from 1128 and is the second-largest city in Austria. It's also one of the country's prettiest cities, capital of the state of Styria and only 90 mi/140 km southwest of Vienna.
Graz was named for the small fortress set on a thickly wooded hill that looks like a dollop of green rock set in the middle of town—graz derives from the Slavic word for fortress. Visitors can take steps, an elevator or a funicular railroad up to the 16th-century Uhrturm and Glockenturm (clock tower and belfry) on the summit. At the foot of the hill is the scenic, centuries-old Hauptplatz, or main square, surrounded by well-preserved gabled houses, some dating from the 1500s.
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