I hope everyone is enjoying the nice spring weather! This week, I would like to highlight this intricately painted map of Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. Stuttgart’s history could be traced back to as early as the Roman Empire period. Made in 1912, this map entitled “Stuttgart aus der Vogelschau” shows the industrialized and urbanized city of Stuttgart just before World War I.
The map, as its title “Stuttgart from the bird’s eye view” suggests, shows the city of Stuttgart from an aerial perspective. The city is located in Stuttgarter Kessel (Stuttgart Cauldron), a fertile valley near the Neckar river. During the 19th century industrialization, Stuttgart quickly became a major center of the German automotive industry and has remained important in the global automotive industry today with companies including Mercedes-Benz and Porsche having their headquarters remained in the city.
When Stuttgart developed from a residential city to an industrial city in the middle of the 19th century, the city grew and the population increased significantly. On the upper right of the map, the railroads are the signs of its industrialization. Next to the railroads is the Central train station on Schlossstraße (today Bolzstraße), a train station built in the middle of the 19th century.
Other cultural sites are recognizable from the map. For instance, not far from the train station, one can find Neues Schloss Palace (“new palace”) and Schlossplatz (“palace square”) which were both built in the middle of the 18th century. Neues Schloss Palace, once the residence of the Kings of Württemberg, is one of the last large city palaces built in Southern Germany.
Stuttgart has the second-largest mineral water deposits in Europe after Budapest. On the two lower edges of the map, the posters seem to be advertisements of the medicinal springs in the district of Bad Cannstatt, another historic region of Stuttgart.
Have a great week！
Yidan Xu ’24