To the northeast of downtown Stuttgart, between Bad Cannstatt and Untertürkheim, there is a special class museum next to the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium, the local football stadium. The Mercedes-Benz Museum in the capital of Baden-Württemberg shows the past, present and future of the cult automobile manufacturer. After all, a period of around 120 years.
Impressive vehicles and architecture
A visit to the legendary Mercedes-Benz Museum is enough to understand why German engineers have become so successful. And just like the carefully constructed cars, the architecture of the museum also appears, which stands out impressively from its surroundings. There is no right angle here. The building structure, which weighs 110,000 tons, comprises no less than 1,800 sheets of glass.
It’s not just the exterior that is impressive: Car fanatics and those who want to become one can look forward to a meticulously researched history of the vehicles of the mega-corporation that has been neatly researched down to the last detail. On over 50,000 square meters and a total of nine floors, Mercedes-Benz is bringing the icon of the street to life – and experiencing it. Did you know, for example, that Mercedes-Benz also manufactured airplanes?
From the historic first Daimler to the futuristic concept vehicles of the modern age, a multitude of original models inspires small and large museum visitors. Not only looking is allowed. The test sitting in a sports car is guaranteed not only to make the hearts of car enthusiasts beat faster. The latest exhibitions are regularly held on the roof terrace of the huge museum complex.
Directions and opening times
The approach is easy via the A81 or the A8. There is ample parking space on the museum grounds. Those who prefer to come by public transport can take the S-Bahn line 1 to the football stadium stop, which is only a five-minute walk from the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Regular opening times are Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. Schoolchildren from 14 years of age and students receive a discount of 4 euros. Those younger than 14 are even allowed in for free. All other visitors pay the full entry price of 8 euros. But there is also a lot on offer for this. And refreshment is also provided after a long visit to the museum: The museum has a restaurant and a café with a large selection of snacks and wholesome dishes.
The pedestrian platform surrounding Cologne’s landmark, the Cologne Cathedral, has been given the catchy name “Domplatte” in colloquial language. In addition to the cathedral and the main train station, a number of other buildings that are important for the city are assigned to the squares that make up the centrally located Domplatten ensemble. This includes, in particular, the Ludwig Museum on Heinrich-Böll-Platz.
Monument to private patronage
One of the special features of Cologne’s most visited municipal museum is its history. The museum is the result of a cooperation between those responsible for the city’s cultural sector and the Ludwigs. The married couple Irene (1927-2010) and Peter Ludwig (1925-1996), who became prosperous entrepreneurs, both studied art history. Since the 1950s, the Ludwigs have been of great importance as collectors of contemporary art and as patrons of the cultural scene in the Rhine metropolis. In 1976 they transferred 350 works by contemporary artists to the city of Cologne. Together with other high-quality collections donated by art lovers, the Ludwig donation became the basis of the Ludwig Museum, which is one of the most renowned European houses for contemporary art today.
The museum management tries successfully to secure the high level of the collection, which offers a cross-section of art since 1900. The museum’s pop art collection, with works by great artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, enjoys a particularly high status in the cultural world. The Picasso collection is also world-class with almost 1,000 works by the Spanish painter legend. In addition, works of the Russian avant-garde, by collectors like Joseph Haubrich from destruction in the Nazi era, ostracized as “degenerate art”, paintings by expressionist masters, non-European art of the 21st century and one of the largest photography collections in Europe attract hundreds of thousands every year People (2017: 305,000).
LWL open-air museum
The LWL open-air museum is one of the most famous presentations of its kind in all of Europe and probably the largest folklore museum in Germany. It was opened in 1971 by its sponsor, the Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe. In particular, the size of the exhibition – a total of 120 buildings on more than 90 hectares – makes the museum a popular travel destination. Therefore, it attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually, many also from the Ruhr area, as it can be reached in two hours by car from Bochum, for example.
Location, prices & opening times
The LWL is located within the district boundaries of the medium-sized town of Detmold, south of the city center. It is open from the beginning of April to the end of October between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Mondays are closed.
Admission is € 2 for children and young people up to the age of 17 and € 7 for adults. Children up to the age of 6 have free admission. There are also various discounts for school classes and their accompanying persons, students, volunteers, people with disabilities and people who receive social benefits.
Exhibition & Activities
The museum deals with rural life, its traditions and changes, starting in the 16th century. For this purpose, it offers a collection of restored original houses and replicas that are true to the original. These are residential and manor houses as well as a number of special buildings, almost exclusively in the half-timbered style. These are historically realistic and also offer insights into various craft areas, from pottery to petrol station. The different building ensembles are grouped into several villages depending on the time and region. The permanent exhibition is rounded off by a large number of agricultural crops and various traditional breeds of livestock. These – lip geese, Siegerland red cattle and dairyman horses – are sometimes bred on site for the purpose of species conservation.
In addition to the permanent ones, the LWL open-air museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that are worth a study trip. They are often dedicated to specific phases and upheavals, such as the 1960s or the post-war period. In addition, various events such as readings, musical performances and demonstrations of various craft trades take place throughout the year.