The capital of the southwestern state of Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany is the city of Stuttgart. It is home to the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. There are many green spaces, impressive architecture, museums and amazing landmarks.
A viewing platform can be found atop of the Hauptbahnhof building. Once you reach the 9th floor a staircase goes up to the platform. There are amazing views of the city and the vine-cloaked hills.
Stuttgart’s commercial life revolves around the pedestrian-only street Konigstrasse. This shopping precinct stretches for more than 1 kilometer southwestward from the Hauptbahnhof.
In this area you’ll also find the Schlossplatz. This is the city’s main public square. In the middle of the square is the Konig Wilhelm Jubilee Column that is topped by a statue of winged Concordia and flanked by two fountains representing the eight river of Baden-Wurtemburg.
Rising above the square is the majestic three-winged Neues Schloss which Duke Karl Eugen von Wurttemberg created so it would be similar to the Versailles. This Baroque neo-Classical royal residence is home to state government ministries.
The neighborhood of Bohenviertel has a Bohemian kind of atmosphere. It got its name from beans when the Americans introduced them in the 16th century. During that time beans were grown as the staple food of the poor tanners, dyers and craftsmen living in this area. Today you can stroll along the cobbled lanes and view the gabled houses. There are lots of galleries, workshops, bookstores, wine taverns and cafes.
The Landesmuseum Wurttemburg is housed in the turreted 10th century Altes Schloss or Old Castle. It displays regional archaeology and architecture. Visitors can view Celtic jewelry, Neolithic pottery, diamon-encrusted crown jewels and rare artifacts such as 35,000 year-old figurines carved from mammoth ivory.
Like something out of the future is the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It gives a visitors a chronological look through the history of Mercedes. Here you can see the 1885 Daimler Riding Car, the world’s first gasoline-powered vehicle and the record-breaking Lightning Benz that hit 228 km/h at Daytona Beach in 1909.
British architect James Stirling designed the curvy building that is home to the Staatsgalerie. It exhibits a collection of European art from the 14th to the 21st centuries as wells as American post-WWII avantgardists.
Housed in a glimmering glass cube is the gallery Kunstmuseum Sttutgart with collections of modern and contemporary art offering the artwork of Otto Dix and Dieter Roth. Up on top in the Cube Cafe you can get a 360-degree view over Stuttgart. In front of the museum you’ll find a mobile created by Alexander Calder.
Looking like it’s ready for take-off is the Porsche Museum. It offers visitors a look at the history of Porsche from the very beginning in 1948. You can see the 911 GT1 that won Le Mans in 1998.
Once a royal palace Wilhelmina has become a 30-hectare zoo and botanical garden located in the northern suburbs of Stuttgart. This is Europe’s only combined zoo and botanical garden. It is home to more than 8,000 animals representing over 1,000 different species and has more than 5,000 species of plants. In the upper section of the zoo is an impressive stand of sequoia trees.
The Solitude Palace dates from 1763 and was built as a hunting lodge and summer residence. It became a palace complex with sprawling gardens, a game park and woodland. The main building was meant to be a centerpiece. Inside you can see late Rococo and early Neo-classic styles. Among the highlights is the White Hall with a doomed roof. There are frescoes and ceiling murals. In one of the buildings you can find the Solitude Palace Academy which supports young artists. Another annex is home to the Fritz Graevenitz Museum that displays artwork by this Stuttgart sculptor.
Duke Carl Eugen requested the construction of Solitude Alle, an avenue connecting Solitude to Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. The avenue stretches for more than 13 kilometers and is a public footpath.
The Ludwigsburg Palace Gardens consist of three parts – the upper, the middle and the lower. The park stretches from the New Palace all the way to Rosenstein Park. Here visitors and residents can relax and enjoy the fountains, beer gardens, playgrounds and place to have a barbeque and participate in outdoor activities. There are strolling paths and lanes for rollerblading and cycling.
In Stuttgart you’ll find the world’s first television tower – Ferhnshtrum or Television Tower. The tower is 217 meters high and has stood for more than 50 years. Today it is one of Stuttgart’s best-known landmarks. Here you can get awesome panoramic views of the city, the vineyards of the Neckar Valley and the Swabian countryside. Sweeping views are also possible as far as the Alb, the Black Forest and the Odenwald.
Rosenstein Park is considered to be the largest English park in southwest Germany. Here you can relax among old trees and in spacious meadows. This park was designed between 1824 and 1840 under the supervision of King Wilhelm I of Wurttemberg. The park is part of Stuttgart’s “Green U”. The park borders Wilhelmina the zoological/botanical garden, two natural history museums near the Lowentor or Lion Gate and the Rosenstein Castle.
King Wilhelm I also oversaw the construction of the Rosenstein Castle which today is home to the Museum of Natural History located on the south side of the park.
One of the architectural highlights in the west of Stuttgart is The Johanneskirche. This neo-Gothic church was designed by architect Christian Friedrich von Leins. It was the city’s first new church after the Reformation. The 66m high tower and the church were badly damaged during bombing in 1943 and 1944. After restoration many look at the tower as a war memorial.