July 2022. As a teacher, Steve has the possibility to do a bigger trip in the school summer break. I don’t, or rarely do. After The Hague in 2020 and Utrecht in 2021, we decided to go to Germany for a now more or less traditional three-day weekend in July. Our eye fell on Stuttgart, in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Strasbourg or Stuttgart? Those were the two contenders for our 2022 summer getaway. It was to be Stuttgart.
We did not really know what to expect. And perhaps after a weekend there, we still not really sure what to think of Stuttgart.
“Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known as the Stuttgarter Kessel (Stuttgart Cauldron) and lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest“, Wikipedia describes Stuttgart.
Stuttgart has a population of 635,911, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.8 million people live in the city’s administrative region and 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany.
The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living; innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities in its Innovation Cities Index; and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status global city in their 2020 survey. Stuttgart was one of the host cities for the official tournaments of the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
Sure, fine. But what were our impressions?
Stuttgart has ‘typical German city’ vibe. By which I’m now shamelessly reducing it to a stereotype. But as you can often immediately feel you’re in France, in the Netherlands and I’m sure foreigners immediately see typical Belgian traits in Belgium‘s cities, there are common traits for German cities as well.
Older buildings were reconstructed after the World War II buildings and newer buildings are, well… post-war.
It was hot, it was crowded, as Jazzopen Stuttgart was on. There was also a busy food event called Hamburger Fischmarkt.
Speaking of crowds. Walking to the Mercedes-Benz Museum, that part of the city was o so quiet. Close to eery. It was inly in the evening after dining at Restaurant Ritzi we saw the crowds.
Old city centre
The Alststadt or Old Town is very walkable and the centre of commerce and city life. The Königstraße is Stuttgart’s High Street with major brands. We did some some shopping but bought nothing.
The elephant in the room is Stuttgart 21. This mega project, perhaps megalomanic project, must transform Stuttgart Main Station from a a terminus to station where trains can drive through.
Stuttgart 21 is a part of the Stuttgart–Augsburg new and upgraded railway and the Main Line for Europe (Paris – Vienna) within the framework of the Trans-European Networks. Its core is a renewed Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, among some 57 kilometres (35 miles) of new railways, including some 30 kilometres (19 miles) of tunnels and 25 kilometres (16 miles) of high-speed lines.
The project was officially announced in April 1994. Construction work began on 2 February 2010. In March 2013, total costs were officially estimated at €6.5 billion, the previous estimate being €4.5 billion in 2009.
In March 2022, Deutsche Bahn estimated the total cost at €9.15 billion.
Stuttgart 21 is highly controversial. There are heated debates regarding a range of issues, including the relative costs and benefits, geological and environmental concerns, as well as performance issues.
As of 2019, the start of operation is expected in late 2025, versus an initial estimation of 2019 (made in 2010).
2025? That seems optimistic, looking at the current state of the construction site.
Stuttgart is a good destination for a three-day getaway when you have already visited some more obvious cities. Those are? Well, from our Antwerp perspective, I’d say Paris, London, Amsterdam, Cologne, Lille, …
3 Comments Add yours
Beautiful place and photos. Thank’s for share, Timothy.
Have a nice Sunday!
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Thank you Elvira. Have a great Sunday.
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Always a pleasure.
You as well Timothy.
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