Summer in the city

Well, it’s official, everything will be crowded with children because school holidays are in full force in Baden-Württemberg. Not only will the city be full, but all the popular (and even the less popular) travel destinations will be crowded and prices sky high.

This summer we are headed to London for a weekend for a family wedding, which we are all excited about. Besides that, however, we had nothing planned. I decided that this was not ok and even if aren’t keen on throwing money around…well, you know what they say…travel is something that you can buy, that makes you richer.

So, I am busily planning a trip to Paris! Not sure just yet if it’ll work out, but Michael has never been (I know, right? Even the whole Kok family has been there and it’s not even that far from Stuttgart!) and my friend from Sydney will be there for a few days.

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History watching over us

If it weren’t a mausoleum, it would make for a great wedding spot.

Recently we visited a place in Stuttgart atop a hill. I always see it as we are driving because it sticks out above the whole city and the architecture is beautiful.

One of the great things about Europe is that it is steeped in history. The good and the bad, it all adds to its charm and character.

The architecture in the chapel: a work of art by Italian architect Salucci, reminiscent of the Pantheon

The architecture in the chapel: a work of art by Italian architect Salucci, reminiscent of the Pantheon.
Photo credit: Michael Friz

The Grabkapelle auf dem Württemberg in Stuttgart Rotenberg houses the graves of former Baden-Württemberg royalty. It was built by William I of Württemberg for his beloved wife Catherine Pavlowna of Russia and they, along with William I’s daughter have one of the best views over the city.

Walking up the hill, you can see a part of the Mercedes Museum, the Neckar River, the numerous vineyards that blanket the surrounding hills and a panorama of the city. Above stands the mausoleum / chapel and inside it is a circular structure. A narrow staircase takes you down to the graves, reminiscent of the Vatican Papal Tombs, except that only three graves are to be seen. There are a few more spaces that were intended for the rest of the inner family circle, but they were never needed and remain empty.

What’s so special about this room is that it has amazing acoustics. Standing in the centre of the dark, circular room and clapping sends the sound ricocheting and filling the room with a full sound. It’s no wonder that choirs come here to perform in the above Chapel.

It’s a bit eerie knowing that their bodies lie here, but what else would one expect for a former king and queen? They’ve been watching over Stuttgart for almost 200 years and they will continue to do so for many years to come.