After parking our Car, we then walked towards the Main entrance located along the Neckartalstrasse.
I was impressed before we even enter Wihelma!
Well, there was this long wall of Terracotta tiles, that really looked nice, but even more so, because infront was a very nice manicured lawn and garden. Unfortunately, the first wall which was painted with figures and animals suffered moisture damage, and in 1856 was replaced by relief-like terracotta tiles.
Then I saw my first Moorish building, which happened to be the Admission Booth. This Pavilion dates back to 1843, when the then King wanted a covered way to the Wilhelma Theatre, but also a Pavilon built along the way to overlook the Neckar River. His wish is what we see today being used as an Admission booth.
We will now buy our admission ticket and begin our tour
Would this be a one of ?...........
A Royal Palace that is now a combined Zoo and Botanic Garden's.
It's known as Wilhelma, built as a royal palace, but is now a zoo in the northern suburbs of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The Wilhelma was built in Moorish Revival style, a style I rather like! Walking around the gardens, there were many of these Moorish Building's scattered around the park. The delightful architecture is from the 19th century, and is likened to the Alhambra, so much so, that it is known as "Alhambra on the Neckar River"
It is also Europe's only large combined zoological and botanical garden and is home to over 8,000 animals from over 1,000 different species and exotic plants from over 5,000 species, quite an astonishing piece of information!
Wilhelma is open 365 days a year.
It is probably best to check the website for exact details, as for certain times of the year, times do vary.
Mostly, it opens at 8.15am and closes at 6pm.
The ticket office closes between 4 & 4.30pm, depending on what entrance you are using. There is more than one entrance.
ADMISSION FOR THE DAY IN 2011.......
Adults...12 euro & 6 euro's for children
Now you know some information on Wilhema, please join me as we visit numerous buildings, gardens and zoo animal's in the following tips.
High on the hill I saw another Moorish building.
I wondered what it was, so once again, it was another hill climb to find it was the "Belvedere," and not open to the public. The name is Italian for 'beautiful view," and I did get a beautiful view over the garden's from there.
Surrounding the actual Moorish garden is a lovely curved walkway and two smaller pavilions called the north & south Pavilon's, these were built in 1844 as an observation point in the Moorish gardens.
What a lovely area the Walkway is.
I was here on a hot, sunny day, so walked along it for quite a way, thinking what a good idea it was. Nice shady area in the heat, and in the Rain, a good place to shelter, plus the advantage of still being able to see the garden.
There were many garden seat's, ceiling decoration and wall decoration in the form of a tiled pattern. As I looked through the columns that were holding the roof, these made a frame around the garden I was viewing. On the outside of the column's, creeper was growing up and around them, making this a very pleasant sight!
This walkway is known as the "whispering galleries" corridor.
People can stand at either end and hear what is being said. It works very well between the passage at the entrance and aquarium house just across the passage towards the ape house and in the curve. Here, two parties can talk at a normal volume over a distance of about 30 to 40 meters away and still understand every word.
Give it a go when there. I have done this elsewhere, and it is surprising how well you can hear!
As soon as we entered through the main entrance I saw beautifully maintained garden's, and some pretty European Pink Flamingoes and some white-headed ducks, Stork's, Heron's and other water Bird's.
Map in hand, I then followed the pathway to the historic Greenhouse. Inside were Bromeliad's, Cacti, Orchid's, Palm's, Banana's and many other tropical and subtropical plants. A Koi Pond is a nice touch!
As I come from a tropical area, I was interested to see what they could grow here, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The plant's looked to be doing very well.
In different season's, different shrub's are flowering, such as Azalea's and Fuschia's, and others.
First visit to a zoo for many years, recommended by our hotel, and an enjoyable afternoon. Usual array of animals to entertain us, penguins Mrs Bonio's favourite, enjoyed the selection of birds myself. All set in interesting gardens, reminiscent of the Alhambra in Grenada a little.
Germany's unique zoological-botanical gardens, one of the most beautiful of its kind in Europe, was built from 1842 - 1853 for King Wilhelm I of Wuerttemberg as a Moorish garden; around 9,000 animals of almost 1,000 species, exemplary facilities and greenhouses which are open to the public, important collections of orchids, large magnolia grove, aquarium with crocodile hall and famous coral fish collection, modern ape house, bear facilities, walk-in bird free flight facility, demonstration farm with petting enclosure. With ca. 1.8 million visitors a year, one of the most visited sights in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
The animal houses are open 45 minutes after the admission office is closed and the greenhouses up to 30 minutes. The aquarium (opens at 9:00 a.m.) closes on Tuesdays one hour before the animal houses. The park can be visited until nightfall - at latest until 8:00 p.m.
Group tours from March to October with registration
The Wilhelma Main Restaurant has room for 350 guests - outside you will even find 850 visitor chairs, tables and benches. The Café Belvedere is somewhat smaller, they have 32 or 150 spaces. In the restaurant at the demonstration farm, 100 or 200 guests have space.
The Wilhelma is open daily all year round.
May to Aug 8:15 - 6:00
Apr and Sep 8:15 - 5:30
Mar and Oct 8:15 - 5:00
Nov to Feb 8:15 - 4:00 Uhr
My initial plan was to visit the botanical garden and not the zoo, as I am not usually one for going to zoos. However, I found out that the botanical garden and the zoo are the same place. Oh well I was going to visit the gardens anyway.
Wow. I was not disappointed, the garden was tremendous. You start by walking through the greenhouses where there are many beautiful plants. A toucan greets you in the first one.
After that there is the rest of the extensive gardens and zoo to see. We tried following a suggested route signposted. It was generally easy to keep to but we did stray occasionally by accident.
There are more ponds and greenhouses to see. We were here in good weather so it was nice to sit and admire.
The main part of the zoo was actually very good. Although I did feel that some of the enclosures were a bit small. That being said most of the animals were happy and healthy looking. The penguins even had their own fridge :)
A very entertaining and pleasant afternoon. I would happily visit again
Cost - €10.20 or only 7.00 in winter
Open from 0815 to 1800 in summer closes at 1600 in winter
This zoo is one of the oldest in Europe. It´s interesting to watch those old and new grounds...well the old ones are not what modern zoo enclosures look like, and some animals really don't have much space.
The new rainforest house offers more space for all animals and is one of the biggest attractions here.
Nice old fashioned zoo. Great old buildings and green houses! It was build for the king Wilhelm I of Württemberg in 1842 - 53 as a Mauritian garden. And it still looks like then a bit. I will never forget the smell in one of the greenhouses full of flowers!!
Visit the Zoo and botanical garden Wilhelma
I especially like the world renowned ape infants nursery, during feeding times its packed.
I think the best time to go is spring because of all the animal babies
The Stuttgart Zoo is called Wilhelma. They have a wide range of animals from all over the world - some of them I didn't know that existed!!!!!! They have also great garden areas and lots of oriental looking buildings, which to me really makes this zoo different from others.
Not to miss the bothanical & zoological museum of Wilhelma !!! Bring the camera with u cause several things are really amazing !!!
Relaxing place ...
Park Wilhelma, Home to botanical gardens and the city’s renowned zoo. Here you can walk along the banks of the Neckar River.