Mission statement

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Collection history

The period from the 15th to the 18th century was marked for the then Inner Austrian provinces of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola by continuous armed raids and warlike conflicts with Hungarian rebels and the Ottoman Empire. Against this backdrop, the Styrian estates had the "Landschaftliches Zeughaus" built between 1642 and 1644 and acquired the weapons and implements of war now stored there for the purpose of national defence. As a depot, the armoury henceforth represented the most important equipment centre in the southeast of the Habsburg Empire.

With the decline of armed conflicts in the 18th century, the armoury lost its importance. When Maria Theresa, in the course of a reform, decided to centralise the army and close the armoury, the estates requested its preservation as a "monument to the history of the country". In 1882, the provincial armoury was opened to the public for the first time. With the takeover of the armoury building and its holdings by the Joanneum, founded by Archduke Johann, the final museumisation of the historical complex including its inventory took place. As emphasised in the 76th annual report of the museum for the year 1887, the Styrian Armoury was to remain "a self-contained collection". When it was incorporated into the Joanneum, it was renamed the "Landeszeughaus", and with the dissolution of the Duchy of Styria in 1918, ownership of the house was transferred to the newly created province of Styria.

Tasks and aims of the collection

The tasks of the Styrian Armoury are the preservation, scientific documentation and research of its weapons and implements of war, which largely date from the 16th and 17th centuries; the preservation of the armoury built in the middle of the 17th century in accordance with the guidelines of the Monument Protection Act and its research. The tasks of the Styrian Armoury are the preservation of the armoury, which was built in the middle of the 17th century in the Herrengasse in Graz, in accordance with the guidelines of the Monument Protection Act, as well as its research; the preservation of the building and the collection of weapons as an ensemble, which as a whole form the largest preserved historical armoury in the world; and the use of architecture and historical objects to convey specific aspects of the country's early modern war, economic, technical and social history, as well as more generally of war and violence as tragic constants in the history of mankind.

Collection strategy

The holdings of the Styrian Armoury are to be seen as a closed collection. An expansion of the object holdings is only to be sought in exceptional cases, for example if an offered object was part of the holdings at an earlier time.

Museums For Future

The Styrian Armoury supports the Declaration of Museums For Future. Even with a view to history, it is possible to contribute to raising awareness about the negative consequences of human interventions in nature and the misuse of resources. Accordingly, we strive to address climate and ecological issues in our exhibitions, events and excursions in a comprehensible way and with direct reference to the immediate living space, and to contribute to orientation in today's explosive issues by communicating historical events and facts.

In our everyday work and in the operational running of the museum, the question of sustainability will from now on consistently become an additional criterion in decision-making.

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