In the beginning of this month I went to Stuttgart for the Christmas market and to Tübingen for the Chocolate market! Even the season is not the nicest I enjoyed my trip a lot. There are so much to do in the Stuttgart area – well, in the whole southwest area of Germany! There is the Black Forest “Schwarz Wald” and beautiful towns around it (check my Baden Baden story here). There is the biggest outlet city in Europe: Metzingen. The amusement park Europa Park must be nice during the summer. And then there are several castles. I went to the Hohenzollern castle – soon about that. But before, I explored Stuttgart and some of its museums.
Mercedes Benz museum and Porsche museum
I was told to go to the Porsche museum before the Mercedes Benz museum because Mercedes would be much more comprehensive. That is right: The Mercedes Benz museum is awesome! Even I am not that much into cars I liked it a lot. The museum is not only about cars but it’s a time travel to different eras starting from the late 1800s and moving till today and near future. It’s very interesting to see how fast the change has happened in a relatively short period of time, +100 years… I learned a lot about car but also the most remarkable points in history.
I learned that the first cars in the world were made here in Stuttgart area when Karl Benz and – Gottlieb Daimler together with Wilhelm Maybach – were developing those just 100 km away from each other! It’s unbelievable that these men never met but did their groundbreaking vehicles so close and right at the same time. Karl Benz got the patent for his motorised (three-wheel) car in 1886 and just after that Daimler and Maybach had their four-wheel carriage done. When Benz was focused on cars Daimler wanted to motorize the transportation on land, in sea and in air: that’s why there is they were competitors. Until the times were challenging around the First World War and the bankers were giving the pressure about unifying the business. This happened officially in 1926 when the new company Daimler-Benz AG was born. (Daimler died in 1900 already, Benz in April 1929 and Maybach same year in December). The actual car brand got the name Mercedes according to the daughter of a businessman and so called “gentleman driver” Emil Jellinek. Jellinek had insisted the head engineer of Daimler Wilhem Maybach to build a car that would be the fastest of all. When Mercedes won many races in Nizza 1901 the new star brand was born and everyone knew it. Later when DMG (Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft) and Benz merged – Mercedes Benz was born.
Beside on history the cars were like sugar on top in the museum. The old vintage cars look so handsome. The are like art pieces…
The world’s biggest pig museum!
The funny museum visit was the pig museum! There are approx. 49 000 pigs in the Schweine museum and it is the biggest in the world. At first, I was so overwhelmed that I thought it will be just a quick visit, but then it got interesting and in the end I thought it was a special visit. There is all kinds of stuff: pig pints from the late 1800s, different kind of theme rooms “a brothel for instance, there was a “Jurassic Pig” collection, all kinds of cute things and extraordinary things – and there was a Birthday calendar room where you could check the box and your “Birthday pig”. It was funny. No one else was in the museum in the Saturday afternoon so that was nice too.
From Stuttgart to historical Tübingen
Tübingen is so charming! I really recommend going there. It’s a direct train trip, one hour from Stuttgart and it’s a very old historical town with beautiful timberhouses, old narrow streets and green parks. Wikipedia says it’s been mentioned in the books of history already in 1191. The university of Tübingen dates back to 1477 (while Stuttgart uni to 1829). I heard about Tübingen when I noticed that there is the annual Chocolate market after the Second Advent and it lasts for a week. There was a lot of chocolate, many booths in the beautiful old center of the town. Chocolate paintins, chocolate kebab, snowballs, tools, everything… We accommodated in Ibis Styles Tübinben, ate in Gashaus Bären, spent time by the pint in Chez Michel, drank Glüchwine in Weinhouse Beck… all was good.
Hohenzollern castle and the crown jewel
The thing I really love in Germany in general is the long history. I always remember when my Australian cousin’s boyfriend was hyping the fact that when he had been travelling in Europe and Germany aswell, it had felt crazy how some pubs had longer history than Australia has. After I started travelling in Germany I got this great feeling too. On this trip I saw the first “prince / princess castle” in my life. Hohenzollern castle was easy to reach by the public transport (train & bus – but please note that the bus goes only once per day in winter). Originally, the castle was built in the early 11th century but later it was fully destroyed in the early 1400s siege – the present version was built in the mid 1800s. The tour of the castle showed some of the decorated rooms but it was only a small part of the castle and very fast paced tour anyway. In the end of it we went to the “treasure room” where there was a real crown with many jewels. Wow. A pity there was only a moment to wonder all these treasures (and you couldn’t take any photos inside the rooms). It was fascinating to see a staircase of the castle and the narrow alleys in the basement. It was written that there might be quite some secret passage around the Hohenzollern mountain… Exciting…
I can only imagine how beautiful the 360 degrees setting and view of the castle is during the summer.
Before leaving in Stuttgart there was some time to check the 300 years old Christmas market again – but I’m not sure if that’s my place: a huge setting – beautiful though – with a lot of people is not really my thing. But if you’re into the crowds there is a lot to browse for sure! Frohe Weinachten!