Fodor's Expert Review Hauptplatz
This triangular area was converted from a swampy pastureland to a town square by traveling merchants in 1164; today it's the central meeting spot of Graz. In its center stands the Erzherzog Johann Brunnen (Archduke Johann Fountain), dedicated to the popular 19th-century patron whose enlightened policies did much to develop Graz as a cultural and scientific center. The four female figures represent what were Styria's four main rivers; today only the Mur and the Enns are still within the province. The Luegg House, at the corner of Sporgasse, is noted for its baroque stucco facade. On the west side of the square are Gothic and Renaissance houses. The spectacular, late-19th-century Rathaus (City Hall) totally dominates the south side. From the Neue-Welt-Gasse and Schmiedgasse you get a superb view of the Hauptplatz.