In August 2007 I visited the Styrian armoury (Landeszeughaus) of Graz which is famous for its large collection of weaponry and armour intended for a defensive army against Ottoman and Hungarian troops.
The Landeszeughaus was built from 1642 – 1645 by the Tyrolean architect Antonio Solar. The building got never destroyed so it is still one of the main attractions of Graz.
It happens to be the weapons were never used in a war and nobody tried to sell them later. So they are still in the armoury and the visitor of today has the chance to walk through a military depot of the 17th century in its full function.
Actually there are about 32,000 pieces of weaponry, tools and suits for battle as well as for parades stored in the wooden floors of the building.
When I visited the Landeszeughaus in August 2007 I saw weapons produced in workshops of Styria, Carinthia and Upper Austria as well as from German armourers in Augsburg, Nuremberg and Suhl.
So I walked along rows of polearms like pikes, halberds, partisans and couses at one floor. And at another floor I looked at thousands of accessories like powder flasks, bullet moulds, wheellock spanners and bullet tongs.
Of course there were also fire arms to see or simple defensive arms like helmets, shields and suits of armour. Regarding suits of armour there were a lot of meant for soldiers but also a few more luxury ones for important persons of those times.
At a stand for edged weapons like two-handed swords I had a discussion with a member of the staff there. Were these swords for the battle or just for the parade? They seemed to me by far to expensive for being used in a bloody battle.
But there were swords for the battle as well. And stuff like sabres, pallashes, estocs, cavalry broadswords and bayonets were showing me the influence of different units and nations.
The most impressive piece was probably a whole armour for a horse (!) which was made by the workshop of Konrad Seusenhof.
In my opinion the Landeszeughaus is very special for a certain reason. One can not only see 32,000 pieces of weaponry but you also see how they were stored during those times of big danger.
Sources / More info
- Landeszeughaus (Website)