Ok, so it’s a fact that Stuttgart is a home to Mercedes Benz and also to Porsche. Stuttgart is the capital of the German state of Baden-Württenberg, and large German auto companies like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Bosch etc have their headquarters here. It is for this reason most people associate this city with industry and work. Which is true. But there is a lot to see in Stuttgart.
Stuttgart is a very stately city, the largest in the state of Baden-Württenberg. It has a very aristocratic past and even now the city retains its charms and a strong culture.
Lying on the banks of the Neckar River, Stuttgart is a beautiful valley area which has always been important for its rich and fertile soil and excellent location. The Romans had captured this area and in around 83 AD, built a massive fortified camp nearby which ensured this place remained important for many years. In around the 10th century, Liudolf, the Duke Of Swabia, started his stud farms here. The name of the city (Stuttgart) itself comes from the old German word stuotgarten which means Stud Farm.
Stuttgart has been home to many Counts, Dukes and other aristocrats. The city has plenty of old castles, monuments, parks and buildings that remind us of this era. Add to it plenty of eateries, nightclubs and a film festival scene, plus the access to the Black Forest make Stuttgart an interesting destination.
There is plenty to do this in wonderful city. Head over to the Staatsgallerie Stuttgart, which is the State Gallery for art and cultural exhibitions. The Schlossplatz, or the Castle Plaza is a vibrant town square with art galleries, movie theatres, cafes, restaurants, lawns to lounge in and plenty of shopping. Come December and the place doubles its buzz with the vibrant Christmas Market. The Neues Schloss or the New Castle is an awesome building and some of it is open to the public. The Schlossplatz also has the Kunstmuseum, or the Art Museum. There is always an exciting art show happening here…
The Schlossgarten is a gorgeous garden around a castle, and worth a visit. The Stiftskirche Church at Innenstadt is a beautiful old building worth seeing. The Linden Museum has a fantastic collection of artefacts from all over the world. The Markthalle in the centre of the city was built in 1914, and a must visit, not only for the heritage but also for all the wonderful stiff you can buy here. Outside the Markthalle on certain mornings, find the Farmer’s Market selling fresh produce.
And then of course, there is the Mercedes Benz Museum. Its definitely worth a visit. They have such a big collection that it cannot be displayed at once, so the collection changes over time. Do also check out the Porsche Museum. Both are easy to access via the Metro.
TIP: When visiting Stuttgart, do head over to Esslingen, a beautiful beautiful little village-town nearby. Traces of human dwelling from the Neolithic era have been found at Esslingen so you know its pretty old. And beautiful.
TIP: When visiting Stuttgart do take time out to also visit nearby Ludwigsberg. The town was founded in around 1704 by Eberhard Louis, Duke of Württenberg. The palace at Ludwigsberg is one of the largest Baroque Palaces in Europe. It has a fabulous University, a film school and a school of performing arts.