The unassuming facade of Sackstrasse 16 (near the Dreifaltigkeitskirche) hides a townhouse of Rococo splendor. As with Wolf Dietrich’s Residenz in Salzburg, the interior of the Museum im Palais is awash with staterooms in white & gold. Princesses of any age will particularly enjoy the chandelier-lit Mirror Hall.
Scattered among the rooms are exhibits from Graz’s Cultural Heritage Collection – status symbols from 500 years of Styrian history. There are suits of armor, chalices, bridal gowns, portraits, violoncellos, sundials, pocket watches, and one outstanding ceremonial carriage (c. A.D. 1450) used by Frederick III and his wife, Eleanor of Portugal.
The Museum im Palais Treasure Hunt
To make museum-trekking a little less dull, challenge kids to find:
- A furry crown.
- Jousting knights.
- The name of the Archduke of Inner Austria who married his niece. (It’s no wonder the Habsburgs look inbred).
- A golden sheep hanging by its waist.
- The initials H.M. (Clue: They are in a warm place of reflection).
- A Chinese Emperor sitting in a boat cabin drinking tea.
- A crossbow. In the 16th century, only the lord was allowed to hunt deer and wild boar. Minor nobles could pursue game like foxes, hare, and partridges, but farmers had to be content with shooting wolves and bears (which, of course, ate the deer).
- An illustrated German alphabet (Clue: H – “When a drunken peasant laughs, he screams ha, ha, ha.”).
- A king, queen, knight, and bishop all in one place (Clue: In German, the word for checkmate is “Schach und Matt!” Matt is the Persian word for dead and Shah is Persian for king.)
- A globe with no countries.
Tips for Visiting
The Museum im Palais is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. I went at opening time in June, and there was only one other visitor. Guided tours are available on request.
Your ticket also buys you entry to temporary exhibitions on the 3rd floor. When I was there, the museum had an excellent show on everyday objects and photographs from World War One.