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Austria’s second-largest city, Graz, owes its importance to the defence of central Europe against the Turks. From the fifteenth century, it was constantly under arms, rendering it more secure than Vienna and leading to a modest seventeenth-century flowering of the arts. Today Graz celebrates its reputation as a city of design, thanks to a clutch of modern architectural adventures and a large student population, and it’s a fun place to spend a few days without the tourist traffic of Innsbruck or Salzburg.

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