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Cities in germany - Stuttgart

Stuttgart, capital of Baden-Württemberg state (pop. 11 millions, 36.000 square kilometers) and the Administrative District of Stuttgart (pop. 4 millions, 11.000 sq km), is located in the center of the very densely populated southwestern Stuttgart Region (2.7 million inhabitants, 3.700 sq km) of Germany, close to both the Black Forest and the Swabian Jura. The city center (situated in a lush valley, ringed with vineyards and forests, close to the River Neckar) itself has an approximate population of 600,000 and covers an area of 210 sq km. Stuttgart with its metropolitan area (the political entity "Stuttgart Region" plus the 50 km away cities of Tübingen, Reutlingen, Heilbronn and their surroundings) is one of the most prominent and well-known German towns, especially due to its cultural, administrative and huge economic importance.


The coat of arms shows a black, rampant horse on a yellow or golden field. It's a canting seal due to the fact that the name "Stuttgart" is an over the centuries modified version of "Stutengarten", in English roughly "mare garden" or "stud farm". About 950, Stuttgart was originally founded by Duke Liudolf of Swabia, one of the sons of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I the Great, and used for horse breeding (especially for his father's cavalry, see Battle of Lechfeld). Later on (about 1300), Stuttgart became the residence of the counts of Württemberg. In 1496, the counts of Württemberg were promoted to dukes by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. After Napoleon's breakup of the Holy Roman Empire, the dukes of Württemberg earned the title of kings and Stuttgart became a royal residence.

The name of the royal family of Württemberg and of the state originates from a steep Stuttgart hill, formerly known as Wirtemberg, nowadays called Württemberg. On top of that hill, the mausoleum from 1824 of Queen Katharina (daughter of Czar Paul I of Russia) and King Wilhelm I of Württemberg is located.

In 1871, Württemberg joined the German Kaiserreich (Empire) as an autonomous kingdom. After World War I, the monarchy broke down and the Free State of Württemberg was etablished. In 1920, Stuttgart was the seat of the German National Government (since the administration had to flee from Berlin, see Kapp Putsch). During World War II, the city center of Stuttgart was nearly completely destroyed due to air raids.

In 1945 the Allied Forces took control of Germany. They merged parts of the former German States of Baden and Württemberg and later on the new, democratic state Baden-Württemberg (3rd largest German state) with Stuttgart as its capital was created by a referendum.

After World War II, an early concept of the Marshall Plan to support the reconstruction and economic/political recovery of Europe was presented during a speech given by US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes at the Stuttgart Opera House (September 6, 1946). This speech led directly to the unification of the Bristish and American occupation zones, resulting in the so called bi-zone. Two years later, the French also joined the bi-zone, creating the tri-zone and thereby paving the way for the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany. Stuttgart, like Frankfurt, was a serious contender to become the federal capital, but finally Bonn succeeded.

During the Cold War, the joint command center of all American military forces in Europe, Africa and the Atlantic was moved to Stuttgart (US European Command, EUCOM). EUCOM is headquartered there till today.

Stuttgart is also the seat of a Roman-Catholic (Diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart) and a protestant bishop (Protestant State Church of Württemberg).


Approximately 150,000 companies are located in the Stuttgart region. The area is known for its high-tech industry; some of its most prominent companies include Daimler-Chrysler, Porsche, Bosch, Celesio, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, all of whom located their world or German headquarters here. In fact, the Porsche badge, as seen on the front of Porsche cars has this town's name in the centre of the badge, something that is unique amongst the vehicle makers who are based in this town. An unproven theory suggests that also the Ferrari logo "Cavallino Rampante" had its origin in the Stuttgart coat-of-arms.

Stuttgart is the place where the motor bike and the four-wheeled automobile have been invented, it's hence the starting point of the worldwide automotive industry. So famous and prestigious brands as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Maybach are produced there. Also the very first prototypes of the eventual VW Beetle have been fabricated in Stuttgart, based on a design by Ferdinand Porsche.

The region currently has Germany's highest density of scientific, academic and research organisations, and tops the national league for patent applications. More than 11% of all R&D-expenses in the Federal Republic of Germany are generated in the Stuttgart Region (approximately 4.3 billion Euro per year). In addition to several universities and colleges, the area has six institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, four institutes for collaborative industrial research at local universities, two Max-Planck institutes, as well as one large-scale research centre—the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Stuttgart holds top place of all European Union regions according to the share of employment in high-tech and medium-high tech manufacturing with a figure of 21.0% (2001 data from Eurostat).

The Stuttgart Stock Exchange is the second largest in Germany (only behind Frankfurt) and important financial companies are headquartered in Stuttgart (e.g. Allianz Life Insurance, LBBW Bank or Wüstenrot), as well.

In addition to these global players the Stuttgart economy consists of many highly versatile and dynamic medium-sized enterprises (the so-called "Mittelstand").

People of Stuttgart

Stuttgart is known for its cultural life, in particular the Staatstheater and Staatsgalerie. The Staatstheater contains an opera house and three smaller theaters, where opera, ballet, theatre and concerts are produced. The world-renowned Stuttgart Opera won the prestigious "Opera of the year" (Germany/Austria/Switzerland) award for five years running (1998-2002). The famous Stuttgart Ballet is connected to names like John Cranko and Marcia Haydée. The city also offers two broadway-style Musical theaters, the Apollo and the Palladium Theater (each approx. 1800 seats).

Stuttgart exhibits fine pieces of architecture from all times. Among them: 1200 - 1600 Collegiate Church (Exterior: Romanesque/Gothic); Interior: Romanesque/Gothic/Modern); 1300 - 1500 Old Palace (Renaissance Style); 1700 - 1800 New Palace (Baroque / Classicism); 1700 - 1800 Solitude Palace (Baroque); 1850 King's Building (Classicism); 1910 Market Hall (Art Nouveau); 1920 Main Railway Station (Pre-Modern); 1920 Weissenhof Estate (Bauhaus / International Style); 1950 TV Tower (World's First TV Tower); 1980 New State Gallery (Postmodern); 2000 International Airport (Modern).

The city also has a reputation for organizing major sports events. It hosted the 1993 World Championships in Athletics and many other world and European championships of all kind of sports. The town will be one of the twelve hosts of the Football World Cup 2006. I.a. the 3rd and 4th place playoff of the World Cup will be held at the City's Daimler Stadium.

Stuttgart's Swabian cuisine, beer and wine (produced in the area since the 1600s) are also well known. Yearly one may attend the "Cannstatter Wasen", a famous beer festival which is second only in size to the Oktoberfest in Munich. The Christmas Market of Stuttgart is the largest and one of the oldest and most beautiful in Europe.

The famous "Wilhelma" is Germany's only combined zoological and botanical garden. The whole compound has been built around 1850 as a summer palace in moorish style for King Wilhelm I of Württemberg. Close to the Wilhelma, there are the Stuttgart city districts of Bad Cannstatt and Berg situated, exhibiting the second largest mineral spas in Europe (only excelled by Budapest).

Important towns which are also located in the Stuttgart Region are Ludwigsburg with its enormous baroque palace, Sindelfingen and Esslingen.

Famous People from Stuttgart

  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - philosopher
  • Friedrich von Schiller - poet
  • Gottlieb Daimler - inventor
  • Wilhelm Maybach - inventor
  • Robert Bosch - inventor
  • Count Stauffenberg - member of the German Resistance who tried to kill Hitler
  • Ferdinand Porsche - creator of the VW Beetle and founder of the Porsche car company
  • Theodor Heuss - First German Post-War President
  • Richard von Weizsäcker - German President, Lord Mayor of Berlin
  • Günther Behnisch - architect
  • Frei Otto - architect
  • Roland Emmerich - director