A Surprising Visit of Stuttgart Germany

 Travel to Stuttgart Germany

Ludwigsburg_Palace_StuttgartOn a recent short visit to Stuttgart I was pleasantly surprised by all the city had to offer.  On my first day in Stuttgart I toured past the Old Palace and the New Palace, built in the 16th century for the Kings of Wurttemberg.  Stuttgart_New_PalaceThe New Palace is a magnificent Baroque palace complex with elaborate gardens and a Palace Square.  The next day I visited an even more splendid palace – Ludwigsburg Palace, known as the “Swabian Versailles”.  Ludwigsburg is Germany’s largest Baroque place complex preserved in its original form.  Our tour was hosted by guides in elaborate period costume.  The palace is fully furnished in beautiful period furnishings.

Then on to the spectacular MercedesBenzMuseum.  Nine levels of the spiral-shaped building featuring the history of Mercedes Benz from conception to now, as well as showing important historical events along the way.  The museum also showcases 127 years of automotive history from the first engines, transportation vehicles and over 160 cars from the beginning to now – with some really beautiful old classic roadsters and sedans.  Finished up the tour with a nice dinner in the museum restaurant.


The Treats of Stuttgart

Had to sample a few to make sure of my favorite again – dark chocolate hazelnut or milk chocolate coated cookie – both as great as remembered.While in Stuttgart, I reacquainted myself with the Ritter Chocolate bars – and found that they are made just outside of Stuttgart.

I definitely need to go back for a longer visit.  There is the hop on hop off tour of the city – I always try to take one of these tours when I visit any new town as they give me a quick overview of where everything is and they are a great value for money as you can get on and off the bus as many times as you like in a 24 or 48 hour period.   I want to be sure and visit the Stuttgart market hall next time as it looks like a taster’s paradise.  Built in 1914, with 32,000 square feet, this art nouveau styled market is a must visit for “foodies”.  And then there is the wines from the Stuttgart Region.  The Stuttgart Wine Trail is just a short hop from the main train station in Stuttgart.

Stuttgart, is the only German city to have it’s own wine-growing estate.  The city hosts an annual wine festival to be held from August 28 – September 8 in 2013.

Christmas time might be a good time to return as they have 3 different themed Christmas Markets that are reachable by public transportation – Stuttgart Christmas, the Baroque Christmas Market at the Ludwigsburg Palace and the Medieval Market at Esslingen.

With Stuttgart having so much to offer with the many sites and festivals, any time is a good time to go.

Cruises on the Neckar River feature stops in Stuttgart.

Contact us to book your Neckar River Cruise and enjoy the Stuttgart sites when it stops in that remarkable city.

The Royal Castle of Budapest

A Site Rich in Budapest History

The Royal Castle of Budapest is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. This is also known as Budapest Royal Palace. It was first completed in 1265 and has since been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries due to wars and revolutions. The castle was declared part of the Budapest World Heritage Site in 1987.

Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Budapest Castle District, famous for its Medieval, Baroque, and 19th-century houses, churches, and public buildings. It is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular.

The Gothic Hall of Buda Castle is one of the most significant surviving examples of secular Gothic architecture in Central Europe and a must see in Budapest. It was built by King Sigismund Luxemburg in the early 15th century as an extension of the earlier Anjou Palace.

Three interconnected barrel-vaulted rooms of the castle belong to the oldest part of the palace known as the Stephen’s Castle, which was built by Prince Stephen, Duke of Slavonia, in the 14th century. The northern room is covered by an east-west axial vault while the southern rooms have north-south axial vaults.

To the north of the barrel-vaulted rooms, there is a medieval cellar, later called Albrecht pince (Albrecht Cellar) covered with a Gothic brick barrel vault. The walls of the cellar are blackened from burning. The cellar was probably built by King Sigismund of Luxemburg as the Cisterna Regia, i.e. the great underground cistern of the palace.

Historical Museum of Budapest

The Historical Museum of Budapest is located in the southern wing of Buda Castle in Building E and covers four floors. This museum presents the history of Budapest from its beginning to the modern era. The restored part of the medieval castle, including the Royal Chapel and the rib-vaulted Gothic Hall, belongs to the exhibition. The Gothic statues of Buda Castle and a 14th-century silk tapestry decorated with the Angevin coats of arms- are the highlights of the exhibition. Small gardens have been recreated in the medieval Zwingers around the oldest parts of the building.

Our Danube River Cruises and Hungary Cruises offer excursions in Budapest. Book your trip on one of these cruises and visit the enchanting Buda Castle!