Altes Schloss (Old castle) and Schillerplatz, Stuttgart
Stuttgart's Schillerplatz is one of the most picturesque parts of the town, and perhaps the one most evocative of earlier times. The square is surrounded on all sides by historic buildings, including the Stiftskirche, the Altes Schloss and the Alte Kanzlei. In the center of the square is the monument to Friedrich Schiller, the celebrated poet who studied at the Hohe Karlsschule in Stuttgart between 1773 and 1780. The monument, or Schillerdenkmal, was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen, and unveiled in 1839.
The Old Chancellery was built between 1541 and 1543. It was originally the administrative building for the state, like an uber-rathaus, where the Duke kept track of all the local wealth that he wanted a piece of, as well as being used as a store and guest house for visitors. Today it is used for cafes, restaurants and bars. It is distinguished by a water column topped with the gilt statue of the Roman god Mercury, made my Ludwig von Hofer in 1862. You can find the Alte Kanzlei next to the Altes Schloss, on the left as you look at the two buildings from Schlossplatz.
Just to the south of the Neues Schloss, and visible from Schlossplatz, is the Altes Schloss, or old palace. This palace dates back to the 10th century, where it was originally built as a moated castle. It has a beautiful 16th century Renaissance courtyard and a Protestant Castle Church built in 1562. The palace also hosts a vast museum with a vast collection of historical artifacts from the region, dating back through the ages.
Friedrich Schiller, a great German poet, is especially beloved in the city. There are two monuments to Schiller: one in front of the Opera Theater and another in Schiller Square opposite the Old Castle.
Alte Schloss Museum - Set in an old palace, the museum features a small sampling of finery found at the Palace in the 19th Century, ancient history of pre-historical findings in the area including bronze age materials, pottery and exhibits of excavations. There is an interesting ancient clock collection and a crypt.
Altes Schloss is the old castle of Stuttgart and it was built in the 10th century. Among 1553 and 1578 the castle was modified an was built the Dürnitz building. It is a quadrangular inner court decorated with arcades built by Aberlin Tretsch. Since 1948 it is the home of the Wuerttemberg State Museum: there you can see the crown and scepter as well as the diamond jewelry of the queens bear witness to the Wuerttemberg kingdom.
In the Fruchtkasten there is an exhibition of historical musical instruments.
While this collection is not as large as the ones in Brussels, Berlin, Nürnberg or Paris, it is still well worth seeing and has interesting explanations of why certain Baroque instruments went out of fashion, for instance because Mozart stopped using them in his compositions and replaced them with newer and usually louder instruments which were being developed during his lifetime.
Admission to this exhibition is with the same ticket that gets you in to the Landesmuseum in the Old Castle, which is just across the square.
This square is named after the German poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), who is perhaps best known as the author of the Ode to Joy, which composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) used as the text of the choral music at the end of his Ninth Symphony.
A number of Schiller's plays have been made into operas. Gaetano Donizetti's opera Maria Stuarda, for instance, was based on a classic Schiller play about the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
The composer Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote four operas based on Schiller's plays. The best-known of these is Don Carlo or Don Carlos, which exists in seven different versions with French and Italian texts.
The building in the center of the photo, behind the statue of Friedrich Schiller, is the Fruchtkasten, which houses a collection of historic musical instruments (see next tip).
In the basement of the Landesmuseum there is an attractive new exhibit of historic scientific instruments and ornate historic clocks.
It's not too easy to find (I had to go up one flight of stairs, over to another staircase in an old tower, and then down two flights to the basement), but it's well worth the trouble. Just ask for directions if you can't find it.
This museum in the Old Castle has numerous exhibits showing what was going on here in Württemberg in the Stone Age, in Celtic and Roman times, and in the Middle Ages.
Admission is EUR 3.00 and with the same ticket you can also see the collection of historic musical instruments in the nearby Fruchtkasten.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
This attractive Old Castle was first build around 1330 as a simple defensive fort with a moat around it. It was expanded into a royal residence from 1553-1570.
After the destruction of World War II, the castle was rebuilt from 1948-1970. It now houses several departments of a museum called the Württembergisches Landesmuseum (see next tip).
The Old Palace (Altes Schloss) was built as a in the 10th century as a moat castle. Other wings to the castle were added around 1553. The moat surrounding the palace was severely damaged during the second world war and was removed and the palace was reconstructed. Today it is home to the Wurttemberg State Museum.
There is a beautiful renaissance inner courtyard which in summer holds concerts and theatre performances.
Württemberg Museum in the Old Palace
The palace has been built, damaged and rebuilt numerous times since the 14th century, most recently after the second world war. I didn't go to the museum, but it's apparently quite good (art museum).
Interesting square near the Evangilist Church, with a small but pretty flower and farmers market going on while I was exploring Tuesday morning.
Another key attraction in the city is Altes Schloss - the Old Castle built in the 16th century.
You can see a lot of ancient chambers, arcaded floors with museums here.