Lichterfest 2013

Lichterfest 2013 – Didn’t take photos, so here’s one from the newspaper (Stuttgarter Nachrichten)

Recently we did some wedding photography at Killesberg Park in Stuttgart. The park is gorgeous with a huge variety of flowers, different landscapes and a little steam train that takes visitors on a tour of the area.

Each year, at Killesberg Park, there is a huge celebration called Lichterfest, or light fest where people go to enjoy summer with the sounds of music, a range of attractions and a light show at the end with fireworks.

This year was the 63rd Lichterfest in Stuttgart but we didn’t go there. I know, right? So what is this post about? Well, apparently when it all began, Lichterfest was free to the public. Nowadays, you have to be willing to fork out 17€ per person (13€ for students) if you want entrance to the grounds. Plenty of people were willing to pay this exorbitant fee, but as a group of 7, we didn’t see the fun in paying over 100€ just for the entry fee.

Another alternative, as we did, is to head for the hills. Stuttgart is surrounded by hills and vineyards, and on a hill opposite Killesberg you have a great view of the show. There are less people there, though you still have to try to get there earlier if you want a parking spot. Snuggled up between the vineyards, we watched as the Killesberg tower lit up and then saw the fireworks astound. They were nothing compared to Sydney fireworks, but beautiful nonetheless.

The only thing you have to account for is the lag. You’ll see the fireworks before you hear them, and the music may not be in sync. But, tuning in to the local radio station, I think that it was worth it to save money and not be trampled by drunken/high teens.


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.