The folk dancers in Graz’s Glockenspiel twirl dizzily 3 times a day – 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. There’s a lady in Styrian garb clutching a handkerchief and a bearded man in lederhosen raising a glass of wine. Above them, in the iron turret, 24 bells ring out Alpine yodels, Christmas carols, and contemporary tunes.
The detail of the wine glass is important, since the Glockenspiel owes its existence to Gottfried Maurer, the canny owner of the wine & spirits shop below. In 1929, Maurer gifted the Glockenspiel to the city, on the condition that it always play.
It didn’t – in World War Two, the bells were used for ammunition. Happily for campanologists (and the tourism bureau), the Glockenspiel was resurrected in 1956. Today, at the end of the dance, a golden cock crows the revelers in Graz’s Bermuda Triangle to bed.