Schloss Eggenberg - Universalmuseum Joanneum
The magnificent château Schloss Eggenberg, which belongs to UNESCO World Heritage, is situated on the western outskirts of Graz. It was commissioned by Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg (1538-1634), chief minister of Emperor Ferdinand II. The layout and decorations of the building are patterned on an intricate mathematical and allegorical scheme — an architectonic image of the universe — strongly influenced by the visions of cosmic harmonies.
The highlight of the state rooms is the Planetary Room, which was completed in 1685 and which received its name from the cycle of paintings by the court artist Hans Adam Weissenkircher. With its complex artistic programme, which merged astrological and hermetical ideas, number symbolism and family mythology to form a complex allegory to glorify the Eggenberg dynasty, the Planetary Room is ranked among the most impressive pieces of early Baroque interior decoration in Central Europe.
The Archaeology Museum contains artifacts from the Roman period, when today's region of Styria was part of the Roman province of Noricum. The objects on show illustrate various aspects of life: some represent everyday activities, but there are also items with religious significance and a variety of grave goods. The Lapidarium is one of the largest collections of Roman inscriptions and reliefs in Austria.
The Coin Collection (Münzensammlung) stems from the personal collection of Archduke Johann, who presented it to the Province of Styria in 1911. The collection grew rapidly thanks to substantial donations and by 1820, had already become the second largest collection of coinage in Austria after the imperial coin cabinet in Vienna.
The Planetary Garden, an extra garden in the northern corner of the park at Eggenberg, has undergone many changes over the years: it has been a Baroque kitchen garden, a show garden for the Herberstein Nurseries, a vegetable garden and also a tree nursery. After the Second World War, it finally ended up becoming completely overgrown. Since there was no sufficient documentation of its many uses, this part of the garden had to be completely redesigned.