City (pop., 2001: 226,424), capital of Steiermark (Styria) state, southeastern Austria. The country's second largest city, it lies on the Mur River at the foot of the Styrian Alps. It grew from a fortress settlement and received town rights c. AD 1240. It became the centre of Steiermark during the Middle Ages and was the residence of the Leopoldine Habsburgs after 1379. Its fortifications, built in the 15th and 16th centuries, successfully withstood numerous sieges by Hungarians and Turks; the fortifications were converted into parks in the 19th century. Astronomer Johannes Kepler taught at its university, founded in 1585. A rail and industrial centre, Graz has an active trade in agricultural products; tourism is also important.