Stuttgart Lapidarium – One of Stuttgart’s Quirkiest Attractions

Lapidarium Statues Heads in Stuttgart, Germany

The lapidarium is one of the quirkiest attractions in Stuttgart.

I felt like I should know what a “lapidarium” was, but I confess that I didn’t before reading about it. According to Wikipedia a lapidarium is “a place where stone monuments and fragments of archeological interest are exhibited.”

Lapidarium statues in Stuttgart, Germany

The lapidarium in Stuttgart has 200 such monuments ranging from sculptures to remnants of buildings destroyed in the bombings of WWII. Despite this, I was surprised to find that the lapidarium was an idyllic place based on an Italian Renaissance Garden. The monuments were displayed in an open air museum, on Karlshöhe as part of a park. There were lots of trees and birds chirping.

Lapidarium Wall of Monuments in Stuttgart, Germany

In many ways the lapidarium reminded me of My Favorite Attraction in Stuttgart. I was in awe of how both attractions (the lapidarium and my favorite attraction in Stuttgart) managed to bring alive the historic and architectural elements of Stuttgart that was largely destroyed in the WWII bombings. As a result of the bombings, and perhaps not surprisingly many statues were missing pieces:

Lapidarium dog statue in Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Many of the statues were missing pieces. On this statue part of the dog’s left leg is missing.

But perhaps it’s better to be missing part of a leg than what this one was missing:

Lapidarium man statue in Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Look closely….Can you see what’s missing? Hint, most men would be horrified to lose this body part.

One of my favorite artifacts in the lapidarium was this door and window:

Lapidarium portal and window in Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The artifact above dates back to the mid 1300s and is from an old stone house – as indicated by the sign on the left. I loved the signage of the monuments displaying the age of the monument and sometimes even the building it came from, or the significance of the monument. The signs really helped bring the monuments to live.

Lapidarium Signage of artifacts in Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Concerts and literature events are also sometimes held in the lapidarium. I think it would be a unique venue for such an event so I’m keeping my eyes open for an interesting event.

Our visit to the lapidarium, only lasted about 30 minutes, but I really enjoyed it and admission was free (although donations are accepted). After that we headed up the stairs on the east side of the lapidarium further up Karlshöhe to the Beer Garden where traditional Swabian food is served. Not to mention it has one of the best views of Stuttgart:

View of Stuttgart from the Beer Garden above the Lapidarium in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
View of Stuttgart from the Beer Garden above the lapidarium

I would highly recommend a trip to the lapidarium and the beer garden on the hill above it (Tschechen & Söhne) in Stuttgart. The lapidarium is such a quirky attraction, yet it really brings some of Stuttgart’s history alive in such an interesting setting. And I think at least one trip to a traditional German beer garden should be on every visitor’s list. All in all, an interesting way to spend a couple of hours in Stuttgart.

The lapidarium is located at: Mörikestraße 24/1. It is only open between May – Sept on Wed – Sat from 2 – 6 and on Sunday from 11 – 6. Admission is by donation. For more info see the official site at: Städtisches Lapidarium (in German only, but you can translate the page).

Have you ever been to a lapidarium? What were your impressions? If you haven’t gone would you consider going to a lapidarium?

See more places to visit in Germany.

Tram World in Stuttgart, Germany

Party tram on display. They were previously available for rent in Stuttgart, but not today

Tram world in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Tram World (Strassenbahnwelt) is a museum documenting over 140 years of streetcar history with over 60 restored trams.

It seems a bit out of place considering that Stuttgart is home to two rather large automobile companies (those would be Daimler (Mercedes) and Porsche). But once I became aware that Stuttgart was the first city in Germany to provide mass transit in 1868, it made more sense.

Model with horses at Tram world
A model of one of the earliest trams used in Stuttgart dating back to the late 1800s.

I really didn’t know what to expect from Tram World, but when the opportunity came up for a guided tour in English with the Met Club (an international club based in Stuttgart) I figured why not? Our volunteer guide was wonderful and enthusiastic as he explained that the first trams were pulled with horses and that the drivers sat outside for 12 hour shifts, often in freezing temperatures.

early tram on display at Model with horses
One of the early trams used in Stuttgart.

Unlike today, riding the trams in the early days was a status symbol, something only the upper-middle class and the rich could afford. The poor couldn’t afford the price of a ticket and were stuck walking.

Horses were used to pull the trams until 1884 when they were replaced by cog wheels, which involved the driver having to change every time he reached the end of the line, enabling the tram to go back in the opposite direction. By 1891 the Stuttgart trams were all running on electric wires, much to the great relief of the tram drivers I’m sure.

Old tram on display at Tram world in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
This tram may look familiar if you’ve been to the Czech Republic.

Trams are expensive and when trams need to be replaced Stuttgart often sells trams to other countries, especially the Czech Republic, so if you’re wondering why there is German writing in your tram car in the Czech Republic, now you know why.

Party tram on display. They were previously available for rent in Stuttgart, but not today
Previously party trams were available for rent in Stuttgart, but not today unfortunately.

One of my favorite parts of visiting Stuttgart Tram World was seeing the party tram. It used to be available for rent by large groups, who could often been seen dancing in the tram as it worked its way through the streets of Stuttgart. Unfortunately it’s no longer available for rent. However, it is possible to take a vintage ride on Sundays in Stuttgart or host your own celebration at Tram World. It used to be a former tram depot, complete with tracks and markings on the floor. It’s the perfect ambiance for a tram museum, but a wedding or other formal event? I’m not so sure. I enjoyed my visit much more than I thought I would. It’s worth nothing that this was in large part to our volunteer guide who was passionate about keeping the history of trams alive. Had I just gone on my own, I wouldn’t have gotten as much from it.

Stuttgart Tram World is definitely not as slick as the Mercedes-Benz Museum, but the museum has character and I didn’t realize how little I knew or had admittedly thought about trams until my visit.

My favorite museum in Stuttgart though remains the Pig Museum, the largest in the world.

See more places to visit in Germany.

Hiking in the Black Forest in Germany

Castle Ruins in Black Forest, Germany

I absolutely love hiking in the Black Forest!

I get excited every time I see the Black Forest getting closer and closer. This past weekend it was my turn to choose a hike. When I told J.P. that I had found the perfect hike, he got a smile on his face and said “Let me guess, we’re hiking in the Black Forest to a castle.” What can I say, I’m predictable. But this time, he wasn’t quite right – this time I choose a castle ruin, not just a castle -Ruine Hohenschramberg. Hmmm…that will show him!

Castle Ruins in Black Forest, Germany
Visit Ruine Hohenschram while hiking in the Black Forest

It was a rainy day for hiking in the Black Forest, but fortunately for us that meant that we had the whole castle ruin to ourselves! I couldn’t believe it, a whole castle ruin all to ourselves! J.P. was less impressed, pointing out that it was likely because Ruine Hohenschramberg isn’t all that well known (you won’t find it in any Lonely Planet book), it was pouring rain and Hohenschramberg is located in a small town. “Details, details” I dismissed with a wave of my hand. We have a whole castle ruin all to ourselves!

Sausages and Potato Salad in Black Forest, Germany
Sausages and potato salad at the hut while hiking in the Black Forest

After enjoying the castle ruins we continued hiking in the Black Forest and headed to a marked hut which our hiking book said was famous for its sausages. What it didn’t say was that sausages were the only thing on the menu and I’m not much of a sausage person. Nonetheless, it hit the spot and the potato salad was delicious. After we dried off a bit, we headed back out hiking in the Black Forest. We were soon soaked again, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, it’s not everyday a girl from Canada gets a castle ruin all to her herself.

See also:
Hiking in the Black Forest (for another hiking in the Black Forest adventure)
Farmhouses in the Black Forest
Hiking in Germany

Castles in Germany: Hiking to Hohenzollern Castle
Hiking the Swabian Alps [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]