Information and Tourism
The south-west German state of Baden-Wurttemberg is perennially popular with tourists. The names of its cities - Heidelberg, Freiburg, Ulm - are synonymous with romantic castle ruins, medieval bridges, ancient universities and historic churches.
The city of Stuttgart succeeds in being both historic and modern, with museums and castles on a par with contemporary offices. Known as the home of Mercedes-Benz, Stuttgart is also the only city in Germany to have vines growing within city boundaries.
Much of Baden-Wurttemberg comprises the legendary pine tree-covered mountains of the Black Forest, home to that most classic of German souvenirs, the cuckoo clock. A series of long-distance paths make the Black Forest particularly popular with walkers, mountain bikers and the skiing fraternity. After wandering through the woods, the second most popular tourist activity is to visit one of its quaint medieval-style towns, with their dramatic castles and half-timbered buildings. Top of the list are places like Schiltach or Calw - the latter is known for being the birthplace of Nobel prize-winning author Hermann Hesse. Head onto Freiberg if you are in need of a spot of sunshine. It has acquired a reputation for being the sunniest city in Germany.
On the western borders of the Black Forest, the spa town of Baden-Baden was once lauded by the Romans, who first discovered the values of bathing in its natural springs. Today, it continues to tempt visitors who come to soak up the healing waters of the Kurhaus, a place that is said to have given Dostoyevsky the inspiration to write 'The Gambler'. The more highly charged atmosphere of the adjoining casino complex is also a significant draw card.
Beer festivals seem to be a regular occurrence in Baden-Wurttemberg, so it is easy to believe that tankard-wielding locals spend the whole year celebrating the region's most famous tipple. The Cannstatter Volksfest is only surpassed in size by the more famous Munich Oktoberfest. Chilly winters in Baden-Wurttemberg are punctuated by the festive spirit offered by its Christmas markets, which light up the streets in many towns and cities here.
Baden-Wurttemberg Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Germany
- Main city or administrative centre: Stuttgart
- Population: approximately 10.8 million
- Language: German
- Area: 13,800 square miles / 35,740 square kilometres
- Total distance covered by Black Forest hiking trails: 14,000 miles / 22,530 km
WORLD GUIDES TO BADEN-WURTTEMBERG
World Guide to Heidelberg, Germany
Home of the very prestigious Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, this city is extremely tourist-friendly. Visitors can enjoy a cruise along the Neckar River, a ride on a funicular railway, and some historic castle ruins known as the 'Schloss'.
World Guide to Stuttgart, Germany
A mega-city encircled by a series of satellite towns, Stuttgart resides within the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, where it serves as the capital. The Old Castle (Altes Schloss) and the historic Bohnenviertel area are notable highlights.