In what was once a militarily vital section of Europe sits the Styrian Armory, a massive collection of murder equipment that began as a true armory and is now one of the most extensive collections of historical weaponry in the world.
Caught between centuries of fighting between the Ottoman Empire and Hungary, the Austrian state of Styria needed weapons. Rather than depend on imported, or arms made for demand, the locals and nobility established the “State Armoury” in the mid-1600’s. The five-story building contained only one floor of administrative space with the remaining four floors of the building given over to the storage of weapons and armor including swords, shields, guns, and primitive rocket-making equipment were all kept on hand. The armory was in use for a little over a century before it was decommissioned when Austria centralized their military forces. The building and its weapons were almost disbanded, but the Styrian citizens managed to get the site saved as a museum.
Today the Styrian Armory holds a staggering 32,000 pieces in its collection, spanning the same four floors it always has, making it the world’s largest historic armory. Suits of armor (for both horses and men) are on shining display in the polished wood galleries displaying both the expansive grandeur and militaristic might of Styrian culture.
Know Before You Go
Very easy to find, right in the center of Graz in the main shopping district.