Carl Benz was born on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg, now a Western suburb of Karlsruhe. The exact location of his birth had long been unknown but recent research shed light on the secret. Benz was born in the in named "Stadt Karlsruhe" in Rheinstraße 22 where his mother, Josephine Vaillant, was working as a servant. Later she married the locomotive driver Johann Georg Benz. The inhabitants of Mühlburg are quite proud of "their son" and that he was born in Mühlburg not Karlsruhe.
The house is gone, it was demolished when the street was extended in the 1950s. Nowadays Rheinstraße is a modern shopping street and a busy main road. However, now that the location is known, a memorial has been installed over the summer of 2011 to commemorate Benz's origins. A quite funny one, in fact...
Carl Benz has received his own parking in front of the modern shop building which is now Rheinstraße 22. A reconstruction of his first automobile of 1886 - simplified in order not to encourage vandalism and without engine, i.e. not functional - has been built. It is parked on the pavement in the street, and it even received its own parking sign. On a board the story is explained, there is also a photo of the original inn house (photo 3). And a bench to sit and rest and admire!
The rebuilt automobile is a recent addition but it is already popular with the children of the quarter, and not only the children.
Not many people know about it, only the people who live alongside the Rhine or in the Karlsruhe area know the lakes.
The lakes were built because the cities needed small stones to build up houses, so they took out the stone of the former river bed. The way and the route of the Rhine changed a lot in the last 1000 years, so there are many small water washed stones in the ground whcih are used for building houses.
The lakes most times lay in quite areas, sometimes in the forrest. There are so many that it would be too difficult to describe where they all are. In Linkenheim we have three, Leopoldshafen has 2, Neureut 2, Liedolsheim 2...
On the website below you will find all lakes in Baden-Württemberg, check it out!!!
Durlach is a suburb of Karlsruhe with the old time village charm. It was probably founded in the 12th century and was annexed to Karlsruhe in 1938.
I enjoyed a lot walking through its narrow lanes and admiring old houses.
In Durlach you can go to the top of a mountain named Turmberg. There you can go up to an ancient tower. From this you can enjoy a landscape over Karlsruhe and other places.
Durlach is located east of Karlsruhe. It 's around 5-6 km far from the city center. I went there by tram n. 1 and got out at Schlossplatz.
Baden-Baden, the famous and fashionable spa, rests in a wooded valley and is atop the extensive underground hot springs that gave the city its name (Baden=Bathe). Roman legions of the emperor Caracalla discovered the springs. The leisure classes of the 19th century rediscovered the bubbling waters, establishing Baden-Baden as the unofficial summer residence of many European royal families. Their palatial homes and stately villas still grace its tree-lined avenues.
The little palace, hardly more than a manor, is located on the southern boundary of the city. It once belonged to the Margraves of Baden-Baden. Margravine Sibylla Augusta - see my rastatt page for more about her - had it built as a hunting lodge and summer resort for occasional visits by her Italian court architect Domenico Egidio Rossi from 1698 to 1702. The palace grounds are surrounded by a circular moat.
Nowadays, you will notice striking contrasts between the main building and the surroundings. The palace is occupied by ateliers of the High School of Art. So it is semi-public, you can enter from the bridge in the south and see it, no one cares. The lawns are probably maintained twice a year and the premises have that lovable air of neglect one associates with artists.
The surroundings, however, have been turned into a golf course. The golf club, which has a rather upscale air, uses the side buildings in the north. Both spheres are strictly separated and seem to ignore each other...
Scheibenhardt is far away from any public transport. It can either be reached by car from the freeway towards Autobahn entry Karlsruhe-Süd, or by bicycle. This is no place one would cross oceans for but it makes a nice stop on a bike tour in the floodland forests south of Bulach and Weiherfeld.
If you're a fan of independent movies and strive for watching new films every week or two, then Schauburg is the place for you. With 5 to 8 movies running at the same time, you'll have a wide range to choose from. Movies from all over the world, festival winners, unknown masterpieces and classics. Featuring a nice bar and comfortable halls, you're garanteed to have a good time there. Films run mostly in the original language with subtitles. Another plus.
This is a dead end short street with some beautiful Art Deco (Jugendstil) houses. These were built between 1901 and 1903.
You can find this street entering a big arch you find into a big building. The nearest tram stop to this street is Muehlburger Tor. It isn't far from Europa Platz.
In 1802/03 a little palace was built in town, the Amalienschlösschen. It was meant for the Prince Karl Ludwig, the son of the reigning Margrave, who died quite young. The palace was then used by his widow, princess Amalie, as a summer retreat.
World War II bombs destroyed the palace in 1944. After the war the area was turned into a park, the Nymphengarten. All that is left of the palace are the basement and a few stairs.
Location: : Ritterstraße, behind the Museum of Natural Science.
Squeezed between river, port, railway and highway, the protected landscape reserve of the Burgau, South of the suburb of Knielingen, contains all the landscape types of the Rhine plain. The dike along the Rhine bank protects the area from floodings, in summer this dike puts on a beautiful coat of wild flowers.
Behind the dike you'll come across some wheat and corn fields and a farm, the Hofgut Maxau.
A narrow belt of wetland forest separates the fields from the Knielinger lake, which is home to water birds and amphibians.
Furhter inland, reed areas mix with orchard meadows.
The Rhine was originally a river with many branches and dead arms, winding through extended floodlands. In the early 19th century the river was regulated and straightened in order to make it navigable and reduce floodings. The engineer Johann Gottfried Tulla planned and organized this huge project which began in 1817. Further canalization took place in the 20th century.
Noweadays we realize the ecological problems of such projects. The floodlands serve as water reserve and storage, destroying them will not reduce but increase floodings. In addition to that, these wetland forests, river branches and lakes are homes to many endangered species, both animals and plants. The still existing remnants of the Rhine floodlands are now protected landscapes or even nature reserves.
In spite of the industrial areas in between, like the Karlsruhe port, the oil refinery and other factories - you'll see the chimneys from about everywhere -, these floodland areas are valuable habitats where birds, amphibians, dragonflies etc. can be observed.
The floodlands can be explored on foot or better, because of the distances to be covered, by bicycle. There are enough marked trails to take you around.
For hikers: Tram 6 to "Rappenwört", or tram S5 to "Karlsruhe Rheinbrücke".
The Hafentor serves as flood gate to close the port area from the Rhine in case of floods. The huge panels of the gate are usually pulled up and allow ships to pass underneath.
The Hafentor is quite useful for bikers who are on tour on the bike trail along the Rhine bank. It includes a narrow pedestrian bridge that allows crossing the water here and avoiding the long detour through ugly industrial areas round the whole port. Bikes can be pushed up the stairs and across the bridge.
Warning: Since the stairs and the bottom of the bridge are made of steel grids, people who are scared of heights may face some difficulties.
Karlsruhe's port in the Western suburbs of the city is a small river port off the Rhine where river vessels load and unload containers and other goods, mostly coal for the power plants. The two huge power plants in the vicinity of the port produce electricity and heat the water for the community's long-distance heating system (and pollute our air). You'll see the high chimneys from afar.
An alternative way of gaining energy is used on the nearby Windmühlenberg (windmill hill), an artificial hill containing a former rubbish dump, where several wind turbine generators were put up.
The port is no impressive sight and not worth a detour, but if you do a bike tour along the Rhine have a look at it. You'll have to either cycle round it (long and ugly way through industrial areas) or take the quick shortcut across the Hafentor (flood gate, see separate tip).
The passenger ship "Karlsruhe" departs from the back of the port for cruises on the Rhine. Don't expect too much, though - all you'll see is a distant line of wetland forest on both river banks. The hills of Black Forest, Kraichgau, Palatinate Forest and Vosges are too far away to be visible from the river. The Rhine banks and wetlands are much better explored by bike.
At the Euromeet 2008 (has it's own member page if you are interested) three groups of VT members were given a tour of the town by some of the VT locals. And what a great job they did too.
The starting point was the incredibly ugly state theatre. I'm sure it is nice enough inside, but the brutalist concrete outside is only tempered by a few well choosen statues. This isn't one of them.
The three legged monstrosity is only stuck in such an ugly place as it is totally unable to move on account of the fact it has the aforementioned three legs. And being made of tin. And being concreted in. If it could live, then like the tin-man form the wizard of Oz it would make a bolt for the Majolica brick road.
Apologies for the horses's a**e view, but it looks equally ugly from any angle.
The university owns a remarkable collection of sculptures, both pre and post war, which are put up among the buildings and also inside. This is not a museum - the works of art are put up all over the university quarter. Explore!
The "Kunst am Bau" rule (art on new buildings) stated that a certain percentage of the costs of building projects had to be spent on art. During the 'rich' 1960s and 1970s the university spent a lot of money buying sculptures by the best contemporary artists. Unfortunately those times are over...
Not only sculptures but also technical objects have been put up to decorate the campus - well, Karlsruhe is, after all, a technical university. In some cases it's actually hard to distinguish if an object is a work of art or technology.
See my travelogue page for more art and more pictures.
The Badische Landesbibliothek (Baden State Library), shortly referred to as "BLB", is a true paradise for book lovers. They have (almost) everything among their 2 million books, mostly in German, there are also quite a number of publications in English and other languages available.
The full use of the library's services requires a library card which can be obtained at the registration desk in the lobby within a couple of minutes by filling in a simple form. You need a valid ID and a Karlsruhe address(!) to get it. It is still free - they have been discussing the introduction of an annual fee for years but so far nothing has happened. Let's keep fingers crossed.
The library card is necessary for borrowing books to take them home and for ordering books from the closed magazines, both for the reading hall and for borrowing.
For short-term users without a library card, the reading hall and the open magazines are accessible.
The shelves in the reading hall (Hauptlesesaal) contain the 'basic' literature about all imagineable subjects, encyclopedias (also in English), scientific magazines. If you want to look up something quickly, here you go. These books cannot be borrowed, meaning they are available all the time unless somebody has just taken them from the shelf to read in them.
The open magazines ("Offenes Magazin") on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor can also be used; htere are tables and chairs so you can sit down and read in there. Attention, they are a maze, especially the 2nd floor. You need exact signatures to find what you want.
The catalogue is available online and can be used from every internet PC in the world, which is really useful. In the BLB itself, are PCs in the lobby, in the reading hall and in the magazines where you can look up signatures.
Books can be ordered online if you have a library card number and password.
Free internet is available in the entrance hall (30 minutes per person)
If you want to visit the main reading hall (Hauptlesesaal) and the magazines, leave your bags and jackets in a locker or at the desk.
Address: Erbprinzenstr. 15, next to St. Stephan's church and Friedrichsplatz.
Tram: 1, 3, 4, S1/S11, S2, S5 to "Herrenstraße"
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-18-00, Thurs 9.00-20.00, Sat 9.00-12.30
see all Karlsruhe member meetings