Stuttgart, located on the banks of the Neckar River, is a large German city and the administrative center of Baden-Württemberg. The picturesque place, surrounded by green hills, boasts modern wide streets, beautiful parks and well-preserved ancient architecture.
Who and why should come here
Stuttgart is the largest European cultural center, which people from different countries visit with pleasure to admire churches, castles, and outstanding museum exhibits. In the historic heart of the city, you can see houses built ten centuries ago and make sure that they are in excellent condition.
Stuttgart is considered an iconic place for the German automotive industry. Back in 1886, the founders of the world brands Maybach and Daimler built a carriage on a gasoline engine here. Later work on the project was continued by Karl Benz and Porsche. For lovers of quality cars in Stuttgart, museums of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are open, telling about the achievements of the companies.
Stuttgart is one of the leaders in German winemaking. Tourists come here to walk around the famous vineyards planted on the mountain slopes. On excursions, those who wish will be told the secrets of the distillery and offered to taste different varieties of wine.
In summer, people who love to kayak or swim on inflatable paddleboards gather on the banks of the Neckar river. Here you can also ride a pleasure boat and enjoy the magnificent natural landscapes.
In Bad Cannstatt, which is one of the districts of Stuttgart, 19 mineral springs have been preserved. Thermal complexes with swimming pools and modern equipment are built around them. The spas and spas of Bad Cannstatt are visited annually by more than 500,000 people.
For a family holiday in Stuttgart, the botanical zoo, an amusement park with attractions, as well as a pig museum that tells a lot of interesting things about these animals are ideal.
Historical landmarks and architecture
In the central part of the city, it is easy to find an architectural complex built in the 9th century. The fortification with high walls and round towers eventually passed into the possession of the counts of Württemberg and became the official residence of this noble family.
Now the historical museum of the city is located in the Old Castle. Its collections contain ethnographic and archaeological exhibits, weapons. In the courtyard you can see a sculpture of Duke Eberhard and a huge bronze bell.
Not far from the Old Castle rises the New Palace, which is the residence of the kings and dukes of Württemberg. The majestic building, erected at the beginning of the 19th century, is part of the Palace Square ensemble and is considered the central landmark of Stuttgart. During the Second World War, the three-story building was partially destroyed. After restoration, it housed the Ministry of Finance and Culture.
The airy white baroque palace was founded in 1769 by order of Karl Eugene. The duke liked to relax in this mansion and to hunt in the surrounding grounds. A little later, a higher military school was opened in the castle, where Friedrich Schiller studied. At the end of the last century, the building was restored and began to be used as the home of the Swabian Villa Massimo.
Scholarship recipients are provided with spacious rooms, exhibition halls so that they can live, create and exhibit their work here.
An austere palace in the classical style was built in a suburban area in the first half of the 19th century for the royal family. Previously, ceremonial receptions were held in the summer residence. Now the Natural History Museum operates in the inner chambers, introducing guests to the nature of western Germany and the theory of evolution.
The pride of the architectural ensemble is considered to be a vast park area. Rare trees grow there and clubs with roses are broken. Opposite the main entrance is the sculptural composition “Water and Meadow Nymph”.
One of the largest baroque architectural complexes in Germany, the Ludwigsburg Palace, built for Duke Eberhard Ludwig, is located in Stuttgart. The summer residence is surrounded by a lush garden. During the tour, you can see the palace theatre, furniture, Rococo decor and the main hall used for ceremonial receptions.
A small house on the outskirts is a famous landmark of Stuttgart. The building, built in the 18th century, was intended for the recreation of the Duke of Württemberg. In a modest hunting lodge, the old interior has been completely preserved. Now a trendy restaurant specializing in national cuisine operates inside.
Churches of Stuttgart
Church of St. Nicholas
The temple, founded in 1895, belongs to the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. Emperor Alexander III allocated 75 thousand rubles for the construction of the building. The triangular building made of red brick is decorated with a dome and arches. Nearby is a chapel with a gabled roof. Inside the church, you can see gilded chandeliers and ancient icons.
In the 13th century, on the orders of the Württembergs, a Romanesque church was built within the boundaries of Stuttgart. In the middle of the 16th century, the dilapidated building was repaired and the facade was rebuilt. Now the temple belongs to the Lutheran community of the city. Going inside, parishioners and tourists can admire the painted walls, frescoes, statues. The tomb of the Dukes of Württemberg is located in the church chapel.
The majestic stone building, dating back to the 15th century, has a turbulent history. During the Reformation, an infirmary for the sick was made in it; under the Nazis, Jews, gypsies and enemies of the regime were interrogated and kept. The hospital church was bombed during the war. After reconstruction, it was reopened to the flock. Inside, the altar of 1489, an ancient crucifix and icons have been preserved. On weekends, classical music concerts are held on the territory of the temple.
St. Eberhart’s Cathedral
Not far from the Palace Square rises the Catholic Cathedral, built at the beginning of the 19th century. Its appearance resembles an old wooden church, once set within the architectural complex of Solitude. In 1944 the building was destroyed. The restoration, which began after the war according to the project of the architect Schlesser, lasted several years. Today the church occupies a significant place in the religious life of the city.
The TV tower, 217 meters high, was erected in 1956. The concrete structure with a cylindrical box on top is a popular attraction in Stuttgart. The interior houses a gift shop with T‑shirts, key chains and toys, as well as the Leonhardts restaurant, named after the designer of the TV tower.
The modern nine-story building of the central public library of Stuttgart has a strict square shape. Entering the hall, a person finds himself in a transparent cube with many panoramic windows. Literature of a certain subject is collected at each separate level. People can visit the lounges, find information on the global network and get acquainted with rare books in special rooms.
The oldest astronomical observatory in Germany operates in Stuttgart, founded in 1921 to popularize the science of the stars. Every evening (except Tuesday and Sunday) everyone can go up to the observation deck and look through powerful telescopes. Modern equipment allows you to see the planets of the solar system, comets, interstellar nebulae and constellations.
Cultural attractions and museums
Hegel House Museum
Stuttgart is the birthplace of Friedrich Hegel. The house where the great philosopher of the 18th century spent his childhood and youth can be found on Eberhardstrasse. The museum, located on the first floor of a three-story building, tells about the life of Hegel. Visitors can visit the exhibitions “From Stuttgart to Berlin” and “Stuttgart in the time of Hegel 1770–1831”, which include documents, diaries and letters of the thinker.
The new building of the art gallery has an original glass facade that attracts the attention of tourists. The basis of the museum collection is works of art belonging to Wilhelm I. The exhibition halls feature paintings by Dürer, Rubens, Vermeer. A separate building contains works by artists of the 19th-20th centuries: Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani.
The ultra-modern museum building, made in the form of a DNA helix representing the human genome, was built on the territory of the concern’s headquarters. The architectural complex includes a car shop and a home football stadium. The Mercedes-Benz Museum tells about the formation and development of the brand. Exhibits in 5 halls are dedicated to travel, famous people, transportation. There are 160 cars on the territory, including buses, trucks, sports cars and retro models.
Under the roof of the museum exhibits are collected, revealing the history of the company from the day it was founded. The territory is divided into three sections. In the first zone you can learn about the development of the brand and how the first Porsche car was created, in the second one you can see models of cars, in the third one you can get acquainted with the philosophy of the brand.
The State Opera House is the recognized cultural center of Stuttgart. The building was erected according to the design of Max Littmann at the beginning of the last century. The huge house, decorated with columns, arches and sculptures, was able to survive the Second World War without destruction.
Now ballet and opera performances are regularly held here. And in September the theater invites you to the festival. Solemn events, exhibitions, and performances begin in the foyer and on the square near the main entrance. As part of the tour, you can go backstage and see how the artists work.
The Natural History Museum is located on Hegel Square in a beautiful neoclassical building. There are permanent exhibitions dedicated to Eastern countries, Africa, Eurasia, America, Oceania. The expositions tell about Christian traditions, pagan gods, introduce the culture of Indians and Eskimos. The collection contains ritual items, ceramics, jewelry, metal products.
Ulbach has a small museum where you can learn about the history of viticulture from Roman times to the present day. The exposition explains how to grow a vine, fight pests, harvest and make delicious aromatic wine. After the tour, tourists can try Stuttgart wines, choosing any of the 20 local varieties of the drink.
Parks and entertainment
Wilhelm’s Botanical Garden
The Botanical Zoo is a favorite place for guests and residents of the city. Its history begins in the middle of the 19th century. It was then that King Wilhelm ordered the establishment of a garden on the grounds of the Rosenstein Palace. Orchids, magnolias, age-old sequoias, and spruces grow in the modern park.
Adults and children can see giraffes, crocodiles, great apes and their cubs living in spacious pavilions. Under natural conditions, a large population of hares lives, which willingly makes contact with people.
A beautiful park with neatly trimmed lawns appeared in Stuttgart in the 30s of the last century. A narrow-gauge railway has been laid throughout its territory — in the warm season, you can ride a small steam locomotive and explore all corners of the park. There is a lot of entertainment for children: swings, a playground, a menagerie. In the central part, a tower on cables rises — those who wish can climb up and enjoy the view of the surroundings.
The Stuttgart Planetarium immerses guests in the fascinating world of stars and astronomical discoveries. During the show, a realistic starry sky, comets, constellations are shown. The performance, designed for adults and children over 4 years old, is accompanied by light music and lasts 1 hour. Each visitor is provided with an audio guide in English.