Picture a glass well. Now picture a well within that well. Now picture yourself within that well within a well. Now follow the white rabbit…
This Alice in Wonderland concept is located in the Joanneumsviertel (“Joanneum Quarter”). Sunk into the square are 5 large circles that connect 3 of the museums in the massive Universalmuseum Joanneum complex – the Neue Galerie, the Museum of Nature and Science, and the Styrian State Library. You can gain entry to any of them through the largest circle.
The name “Joanneum” is honor of Archduke Johann, the man you’ll see standing athwart the fountain in the Hauptplatz. Using his coin cabinet and mineralogy collections as a starting point, the Archduke established the first museum in Austria – the Landesmuseum Joanneum – in 1811. This is where Friedrich Mohs dreamed up the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
To get the most bang for your buck, purchase a Joanneum 24-hour or 48-hour ticket. It gives you entry into all the museums in the Universalmuseum Joanneum complex, including the Schloss Eggenberg & the Alte Galerie, the Kunsthaus, the Styrian Armory, the Museum im Palais, the Folk Life Museum, and more. The Visitor’s Center in the Landeszeughaus has a great pamphlet with all the museum info.
The Neue Galerie Graz has art from the 19th century to the present day, including works by Schiele, Waldmüller, Brandl, and the controversial Styrian artist, Günter Brus (his exhibition space carries a parental advisory for children under the age of 16). It is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday. Guided tours take place at Sunday at 3:30 p.m. or on request.
The Naturkundmuseum in the Lesliehof is a mishmash of botany, zoology, geology & paleontology, and mineralogy. It has the same opening hours as the Neue Galerie and tours are available on request.