Many events and exhibitions are planned throughout the summer for Graz 2003, the city’s celebration for being chosen the European Union’s Cultural Capital this year. Among the highlights:

• The Tower of Babel at the city’s Eggenberg Castle provides an in-depth look at the origin and diversity of spoken and written language through Oct. 5.

• The first section, called Art, features numerous artistic interpretations throughout the history of the Tower of Babel. Outside in the castle courtyard is a forest of 33 tall poles, each labeled with the name of a different country; touch the pole and you’ll hear the language of that country. Audio guides in English are included in the admission price: 10 euros for adults; 1.5 euros for children under 15 accompanied by a parent.

• “Phantom of Desire, Visions of Masochism” is an exhibit that runs until Aug. 24 at the Neue Galerie Graz in the heart of the city. It lives up to its title: pictures, posters and photographs of the bizarre and gruesome in the world of sex. Not family entertainment.

• Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, an author whose name is responsible for the word “masochism,” lived in Graz in the 19th century. Admission: 10 euros, adults.

• “Dress and Armor, A Woman’s Life in the Armory” is at the Graz arsenal, or Landeszeug-haus, on Herrengasse, until Aug. 31. Interspersed with the arsenal’s collection of 32,000 arms and war paraphernalia are costumes worn by women in various centuries. Admission: 4.30 euros, adults; students, 70 euro cents.

• “Real Utopia,” contemporary art from Austria and other European countries is on display through Oct. 26 in the city’s inner-city neighborhood, Gries, an ethnically diverse area and former red-light district. The goal of this project is to integrate art into everyday life. You can rent a bike, individually designed by artists, for free at the Info Kiosk at Griesplatz to see all the exhibit sights. Details at:

• “Mountain of Memories,” an exhibit of memorabilia (photographs and documents) of the citizens of Graz to illustrate the history of the town runs through Sept. 28. The exhibit is in the tunnels under the Schlossberg. Admission: 2 euros, adults; 1 euro, children.

• “The Myth of the Horse, the Magic of the Lipizzaner” is at the Piper stud farm 21 miles from Graz until Oct. 26. Exhibit examines the horse throughout cultural history. Audio guide in English included in admission: 10 euros, adults; 5 euros, students; children under 6 free. Details at:

• “Tour de Charme,” featuring old-time cars, will be July 24-27. From Mercedes to Maserati, Bentley to Bugatti, these old beauties will parade through the romantic lanes of the Old Town.

• Jazz Summer Graz throughout July and August. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings there will be free live concerts at the Mariahilfer Platz featuring world-famous jazz legends.

• Kirov Ballet, now through July 14, features the ballet ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre from St. Petersburg, Russia. The company will stage 12 performances in the Graz Opera, including classic ballets such as “Swan Lake” and “Romeo and Juliet.” More info at

• AIMS, July 12 through Aug. 14, is a series of concerts by the American Institute of Musical Studies — young musicians interpreting old masterpieces. Young musicians from all over the world gather in Graz for training and performances. Details at:

• La Strada, Aug. 1-9, an international puppet and street theater festival during which the entire city turns into a stage with artists, clowns and acrobats performing in the streets and squares of the Old Town. Details at:

• A ticket valid for one day’s admission to all Graz 2003 exhibits and use of public transport in the city costs 17.90 euros for adults, 15.90 euros for young people under 26. A three-day ticket for the same is 19.90 euros for adults, 17.90 euros for young people under 26. Tickets can be purchased at the Graz 03 Info Center, Mariahilfer Platz 2, or Graz Tourismus Information, Herrengasse 16.

For general information on Graz 2003 events, go to

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