Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Austria - Murinsel

This nice card was sent to me by Haas Anneliese. I also liked the lovely stamp on it showing an impressive mountain train.
Graz is the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna and the capital of the federal state of Styria. It has a population of 291,890 as of 2010 (of which 258.605 have principal residence status). Graz has a long tradition as a student city: Its six universities have more than 44,000 students. Graz's "Old Town" is one of the best-preserved city centres in Central Europe. Politically and culturally, Graz was for centuries more important for Slovenes than Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and still remains influential. In 1999, Graz was added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites, which was extended in 2010 by Schloss Eggenberg. Graz was sole Cultural Capital of Europe for 2003 and has got the title of a City of Culinary Delights in 2008.
The Murinsel (German, literally Mur island) in Graz, Austria, is actually not an island at all, but an artificial floating platform in the middle of the Mur river. This landmark of Graz was designed by New York artist Vito Acconci on the occasion of Graz becoming the 2003 European Capital of Culture. The building in the form of a giant sea shell measures 50m in length and 20m in width. Two footbridges connect it with both banks of the Mur. The center of the platform forms an amphitheatre. Below a twisted round dome there is a café and a playground. The Murinsel is built for a maximum number of 350 visitors.

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