Travel & Mobility

For a long time, getting around was uncomfortable, time-consuming and expensive: the Mur River was the most important transport route in Styria for centuries. People as well as goods were transported here on rafts and, occasionally, on ships. Travelling to the countryside was difficult due to the poor condition of the roads. Even though the male nobility road horses and women and the sick rode in carriages, most people got around on foot. This started to change in the 17th century when coaches began to become popular throughout Europe. However, the real revolution in mobility happened here in the 19th century with the construction of the railroad. The first automobiles cruised through Graz in the early 20th century.

The Schaudepot contains several vehicles from the time before automobiles were invented: a remarkable piece is the medieval “Friedrichswagen” (Frederick’s carriage), which you can see in the right corner of the presentation. The exclusive design, the numerous coats of arms and the inscription with the imperial motto “A E I O U” point to the status of its owner, Emperor Frederick III.

Another famous figure in the history of Styria is associated with the draisine (dandy horse), which is located on the wall at the top right. The invention of Baron Karl von Drais from 1817 functioned similarly to the balance bikes popular with kids today and allowed people to roll down the street at twice the speed of walking. Archduke John was also a fan of the new vehicle—he commissioned the building of the deluxe draisine on display.

The penny-farthings hanging from the ceiling were more challenging to ride. The first penny-farthings appeared in Graz in the 1880s. According to sources at the time, it took a halfway talented schoolkid about five to six weeks to learn to somewhat ride this bicycle.

History Museum

Sackstraße 16
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9800
geschichte@museum-joanneum.at

 

Opening Hours
Wed-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm

 

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