Stuttgart is one of the largest agglomerations in Germany, the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg. It is a city with a rich wine tradition, the only city in Germany where grapes are grown in an urban area. But Stuttgart is most associated with luxury cars - it is the headquarters of the German automotive companies Daimler and Porsche. Stuttgart's cityscape is characterized by many hills, valleys, green areas, and dense urban development with a large share of post-war buildings, monuments, and churches.
It lies on the Neckar River in the fertile Stuttgarter Kessel valley. It is located near (one hour away) the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest.
2.8 million people live in the city's administrative district and 5.3 million in its metropolitan area - it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany.
The city and metropolitan area are among the 20 largest European metropolitan areas in terms of GDP.
Its etymological roots lie in the Old High German word Stuotgarten or "Stud Farm", as the town was founded in 950 by Liudolf, Duke of Swabia, to breed war horses.
The Roman Empire conquered these areas in AD 83 and built a fortified military camp at the intersection of important roads near Cannstatt, the largest and most important in the middle reaches of the Neckar. A settlement was soon established near the camp and this place was the most important regional center for several centuries.
Brickyards were producing refined architectural ceramics there, and pottery was also developed.
In 746 in Cannstatt the so-called bloodbath, among others, was the death of the leaders of the Alemanni and Bavarians.
The city, as a stud farm for war horses for his cavalry, was founded in 950 by the Swabian prince Liudolf, son of the Roman Emperor Otto I. The first building of the Old Castle was built in 1089, the city grew and was founded in 1320. The fate of Stuttgart changed with the arrival of the Württemberg dynasty, who in the 15th century made it the capital of their county, duchy, and kingdom, which lasted until 1918.
Stuttgart prospered despite setbacks in the Thirty Years' War and devastating Allied air raids during World War II.
The Stuttgart area is known for its high-tech industry. Some of the most famous companies include Mercedes-Benz Group, Porsche, Robert Bosch GmbH, McKesson Europe, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sika AG - all of which have their global or European headquarters here.
Hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are based in this city. Many of them are family-owned, with strong ties to the automotive, electronics, engineering, and high-tech industries.
Its nominal GDP per capita is €57.100. Stuttgart's total GDP is €33.9 billion, of which the service sector accounts for approximately 65.3 percent, industry 34.5 percent, and agriculture 0.2 percent.
The automobile and motorcycle were allegedly invented in Stuttgart (by Karl Benz and then industrialized in 1887 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft).
In any case, it is considered the starting point for the global automotive industry and is sometimes referred to as the "cradle of the car".
Today, both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have their headquarters in Stuttgart, as well as the car parts tycoons Bosch and Mahle. Many automotive magazines are published in Stuttgart.
No other region in Germany registers as many patents and designs as Stuttgart. Almost 45 percent of Baden-Württemberg's scientists involved in research and development are located in this city.
More than 11 percent of all German R&D costs (research and development costs) are invested in the Stuttgart region (approximately €4.3 billion per year).
In addition to these universities, there is the University of Stuttgart, founded in 1829, which is a leading research university, the University of Hohenheim, the city's oldest university, founded in 1818, the Institute of Management and Technology - an international business school, and several universities of applied sciences.
Stuttgart is home to the State Academy of Fine Arts, one of the largest art schools in Germany, founded in 1761, as well as the State University of Music and Performing Arts, founded in 1857.
Historically, at the end of the 18th century, there was an elite military academy in Stuttgart, the Hohe Karlsschule, in Solitude Castle. Among its many valued graduates were Friedrich Schiller (playwright, poet, philosopher) and Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret - the most famous classicist architect of the city.
Many leading companies in the financial services sector are based in the city, including about 100 credit institutes (e.g. LBBW Bank, Allianz Life Assurance, and others).
Viticulture in this area dates back to 1108 when the Blaubeuren Abbey received vineyards in Stuttgart as a gift from "the monk Ulrich". In the 17th century, the city was the third-largest German wine commune in the Holy Roman Empire. Wine remained Stuttgart's main source of income well into the 19th century.
Stuttgart continues to be one of Germany's largest wine cities with over 400 hectares of vineyards, largely due to its location in the center of Germany's fourth largest wine region, the Wurttemberg wine growing area, which covers 11.522 hectares and is one of only 13 official areas covered by German wine law. An annual wine festival - "Weindorf" takes place there.
Stuttgart is also home to several famous breweries: Stuttgarter Hofbrau, Dinkelacker, and Schwaben Brau.
It is one of fewer than 100 schools worldwide that offer all three International Baccalaureate programs - IB Primary Years, IB Middle Years, and IB Diploma.
This is a peculiarity of Stuttgart. The rack and pinion railway is powered by electricity and runs between Marienplatz in the southern district of the city center and the Degerloch district. Stuttgart also has a funicular that operates in the Heslach area and a miniature railway powered by diesel (and on weekends, steam) in Killesberg Park, a hill overlooking the city.
The Pentecostal Gospel Forum based in Stuttgart is the largest place of worship (megachurch) in Germany. It is also the seat of a large English-speaking church, the International Baptist Church.
The most important of them is the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (opened in 1843), which houses works from the 14th to the 19th century, including works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Beuys. Next to it is the Neue Staatsgalerie, where you can admire works by Max Beckmann, Dalí, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Klee, Chagall, and Kandinsky.
The seat of the Württemberg State Museum is the Old Castle. It houses, among others, part dedicated to the memory of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a former resident of Stuttgart, who tried to murder Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944.
In second place, in terms of the number of visitors, is the Art Museum, presenting contemporary art (the most important exhibition of Otto Dix's works).
The Porsche Museum and the Hegel House - the philosopher's birthplace - are also very popular.
There are over 400 steps in the area (known as "Stuttgarter Stäffele" in the local dialect), which is approximately 20 km. As the city developed throughout history, many of the vineyards were replaced by houses and streets, and the steps remained and were used as paths connecting newly built neighborhoods. Some stairs were intricately decorated with fountains and plantings.
In 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that the European Union would officially recognize Maultaschen pasta as a "regional specialty", thus emphasizing its importance to the cultural heritage of Baden-Württemberg.