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Blog: Dis­cov­er the Mur habi­tat

Augartenbucht in summer
© achtzigzehn/Hinterleitner

Habitat Mur

What was once considered a border and disposal site is now considered a place for relaxation and balance. A lot has happened around the Mur in the last 50 years, so I would like to start with a short historical excursion.

  • 1980: The Mur was one of the dirtiest bodies of water in Europe. Numerous paper and pulp factories recklessly disposed of all their waste in the river. The flora and fauna suffered almost completely.
  • From 1990: 14.5 million euros flow into the “Mura Restoration Plan” – the river and fish populations are gradually allowed to recover.
  • 2019: The Mur power plant is put into operation – a controversial project that caused quite a stir. Trees had to be felled and some riverbank zones were altered. But this also offered the opportunity to carry out long overdue restoration work on the riparian zones and to redesign the Mur habitat.

A major project

The imminent reconstruction of the riverbank zones caused a rethink in Graz politics: Why not use the opportunity to improve the habitat of the Mur within the framework of the reconstruction?

The project “Habitat Mur” was launched.

Sports opportunities around the Mur

Above all, sportsmen and leisure activists are offered a variety of opportunities through the redesign of the banks of the Mur. By damming the Mur, the water level was raised and the current reduced at the same time. The river is now suitable for kayaking, SUP and many other water sports. You can find a small overview here.

Personally, I prefer to stay out of the water. Along the banks of the Mur there are several long routes for cycling and running enthusiasts. For example, there are 2 routes starting from Augarten: the “Murlauf Nord” along the left bank of the Mur in the direction of Andritz (21 km, equivalent to a half marathon) and the “Murlauf Süd” in the direction of Werndorf (40 km, also suitable for walking). I would especially recommend the Murlauf Süd to all walkers. About halfway along the route, you pass a wine tavern that invites you to take a break and relax.

Descriptions and more ideas for running and cycling around the Mur and Graz can be found here.  


Young woman jogging through the Augarten
© Katharina Hofmann
Augarten Bay with people sitting by the water
© Katharina Hofmann

The Augarten Bay

A special treat for Graz is the Augarten with the Augartenbucht, which will be reopened in 2020. Numerous benches for relaxing and direct access to the water can now be found here.

In December 2020, a very special trend also emerged here – ice bathing is the order of the day. On Sundays at 10 a.m., an ever-growing community meets to spend several minutes in the ice-cold water of the Mur after joint breathing and concentration exercises. If you had told someone from Graz 100 years ago that you could go into the water in our Mur without hesitation, they would have been amazed.

Admittedly, when I heard about the trend, I absolutely had to try it out myself. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush! But for me it will probably remain a one-time experience. You can find the video here 😉

I prefer to leave the bathing in the cold Mur water to my dog Herni.

Dog standing in the water on the banks of the Mur
© Katharina Hofmann
Dog standing in the water on the banks of the Mur
© Katharina Hofmann