Pigs On Parade (Stuttgart Pig Museum and Schlossplatz)
We make a quickie visit to Stuttgart, the capital of the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwest Germany recently. As we are rather pressed for time, we get on the Stuttgart Citytour hop-on-hop-off double decker bus that takes visitors round the city with an amusing and informative running commentary in eleven languages. It is a comfortable way of discovering the city with the opportunity to get off at each of the top ten selected sights. This travel article is about our visit to Stuttgart’s Pig Museum and Schlossplatz.
The city lies in a lush valley surrounded by vineyards with the River Neckar running through it. On the higher elevation of the city, vineyards carpet the slopes around residential area, a contrast from the industrial district below. Stuttgart was heavily bombed during World War II by the Allied Forces and was completely rebuilt after the war and some of the beautiful historical buildings were restored. Today Stuttgart is an important industrial city and home to Mercedes-Benz.
In The Footsteps of Kings (Schlossplatz)
In the heart of the city lies the Schlossplatz or Palace Square, the epicentre of activities in the city with regular concerts and festivals. It is a most congenial place to promenade and admire the beautifully landscaped park and the magnificent New Palace built in a diverse architectural style of Baroque, Classicism, Rococo and Empire in various periods from 1746 to 1807. It was the royal residence of the kings of Wurttemberg up till the later half of the 19th century. The Jubilee Column, built in 1841, stands in the middle of the square and was crowned with the statue of Concordia the goddess of harmony in 1863. Today the palace houses the ministries of the state government and state reception rooms. Across the road stands the Old Palace, a handsome edifice with its beautifully arcaded inner courtyard. It was originally the seat of the first counts and dukes of Wurttemberg and now home of the Wurttemberg Museum. It has the largest historico-cultural collection of works of art and royal treasures in Germany. Adjacent to the Old Palace are splendid buildings such as the imposing Collegiate Church built in the 10th century and the Museum of Musical Instruments in the Old Granary. The Market Place and Market Hall are delightful to savour the local ambience with their bustling stalls selling regional food and products.
Porcine Pleasure (Stuttgart’s Pig Museum)
We concluded our tour of Stuttgart with a visit to the world’s largest Pig Museum housed ironically in a former slaughterhouse. Seriously! Winston Churchill once remarked, “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals”. A pink bus with a giant pig’s head is parked outside the museum. Pigs statues, sculptures, paintings, figurines and toys in all shapes and sizes are displayed in 29 themed rooms over an area of 800 square metres over two floors. Some pigs are anthropomorphised as humans in sexy lingerie, outfits or as human with pig’s heads, which are quite creepy. There are interesting facts and astonishing information on pigs. If you are a porcine lover whether as a pet or food source, this quirky museum will tickle your fancy. In a bizarre twist, the museum restaurant serves grilled succulent pork, crispy pork knuckle among other Swabian delicacies. Fond as we are of the pork knuckle, we could not feast on creatures that we have just admired in the museum. I will never look at bacon in the same light again.
Some exhibits of the Museum –
This travel article covers over our visit to Stuttgart Pig Museum and Schlossplatz.
For further tourist information of Stuttgart – www.stuttgart-tourist.de/en
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