Hike around Strassengel
Past the “Bilderbuche” (decorated beech), the “Generalin”, Plankenwarth Castle, the Lindenkreuz chapel, and back to Strassengel.
OberGraz is an outstandingly spiritual region, exemplified in the many churches closely associated with the origins of Styria. One of them is the 14th-century pilgrimage church of Maria Strassengel, majestically enthroned on the Kirchberg north of Graz. It is one of the most beautiful High Gothic sacred buildings in Austria, which is no doubt why it has earned its pet name of “Steierischer Steffl”, or Styrian St Stephen’s Cathedral. A guided tour has much for you to marvel at – the “root cross” formed by nature, the “Madonna of the Wheat Ears”, refulgent stained glass, and the highest smokehouse in Styria. Or you can simply fill up on energy, for example enjoying the last rays of the sun from the old tavern opposite the provost house.
After about 45 minutes you’ll hit the Höhenweg (Grazer-Umland-Weg GUW 563) from Graz Gösting to Plankenwarth. Branch off to the right and after a few minutes you’ll reach the mighty “Bilderbuche”, an ancient beech decorated with crosses and pictures from hikers. Here, the Höhenweg 563 path crosses the hiking path 30 from Thal.
Stay on the Höhenweg 563 and enjoy the splendid view. After a short descent you can make a detour up at the right to the grave of the “Generalin” on the Generalkogel (the former chatelaine of Plankenwarth Castle is buried here with her three favourite dogs). We walk along forest paths and through a beautiful deciduous forest towards Plankenwarth Castle. The pilgrims’ path from Thal crosses at the wayside shrine. Keep right and follow the asphalt road. At the former Binder inn, follow the gently ascending road in the direction of St Oswald until you reach Plankenwarth Castle (privately owned). At the castle car park the way takes you to the right and into the woods. Follow trail no. 12 in the direction of the Lindenkreuz chapel.
After about a quarter of an hour you’ll reach the chapel, built in 1812. It is an inviting place for you to take a pleasant break before you wander on to the metalled road towards the Kugelberg hill. Yet again a wonderful view opens up onto the pilgrimage church of Maria Strassengel. At the first fork in the path, descend on trail no. 14. You’ll reach the town centre of Strassengel after approximately an hour and a half.
More details on train and bus connections: www.verbundlinie.at and www.oebb.at
T +43 3124 51 25 5
Refreshment points: Marianne confectioners, Kirchenwirt (church inn), and the Cuuk, Lammer, and Posch inns