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MY STUTTGART.

Interview with Dr. Dieter Zetsche.

Understatement and good climate.

Dr. Zetsche, you worked abroad for many years, but you have spent more time in Stuttgart than anywhere else. What are this city’s best points? There are so many! What I like, above all, is the mix of lively activity on Königstrasse, and the green vineyards, award-winning restaurants, little ‘Besenwirtschaften’, global corporations, and ‘hidden champions’. And let’s not forget the great climate: We have more hours of sun than Munich, and less rain than Nice. All the same, I notice that Stuttgarters tend to ‘downplay’ their city – but perhaps it’s exactly this understatement that makes Stuttgart even more livable and lovable.

Where can one get the best feel for the city’s distinctive character? On Eugensplatz in summer: be there with an ice cream in your hand, and enjoy the unique view of the Stuttgart Basin. The ice cream parlor on the plaza even sells ‘Mercedes ice cream’ – almond with pieces of chocolate – delicious! My tip for winter is the Markthalle. Although this place is worth a visit at any time of the year, the atmosphere is especially enjoyable during Advent when it’s surrounded by the enormous Christmas Market.

Discover Stuttgart.

On the trail of Mercedes-Benz: the city is home to a big piece of automobile history. What are the must-see attractions for a visitor? Start where it all began – in a conservatory at the Bad Cannstatt Kurpark. This is where Gottlieb Daimler built the first combustion engine more than 130 years ago. Today our biggest Mercedes-Benz production facility is in Sindelfingen, and a guided tour of the S-Class production line is a very special experience. If there’s still time and you have already been to the Mercedes Museum, the Porsche Museum isn’t bad either. I like our one better – but you can decide for yourself.

A day in Stuttgart: If friends are visiting, what must they see and do? First off, breakfast on Schlossplatz, which is framed by the Neues Schloss, the Altes Schloss, the Königsbau and the Kunstmuseum. After that, a leisurely visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum where you can look forward to 160 pieces of automotive art, presented within award-winning architecture. Your guests can decide on the evening program: with ballet, opera, jazz clubs, musicals, any number of culture festivals and Bundesliga soccer at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, there is a world of choice. At latest by the time we’re having our ‘nightcap’ I usually hear: ‘One day isn’t enough time to see Stuttgart – we’re coming back!’

Discover Stuttgart.

On the trail of Mercedes-Benz: the city is home to a big piece of automobile history. What are the must-see attractions for a visitor? Start where it all began – in a conservatory at the Bad Cannstatt Kurpark. This is where Gottlieb Daimler built the first combustion engine more than 130 years ago. Today our biggest Mercedes-Benz production facility is in Sindelfingen, and a guided tour of the S-Class production line is a very special experience. If there’s still time and you have already been to the Mercedes Museum, the Porsche Museum isn’t bad either. I like our one better – but you can decide for yourself.

A day in Stuttgart: If friends are visiting, what must they see and do? First off, breakfast on Schlossplatz, which is framed by the Neues Schloss, the Altes Schloss, the Königsbau and the Kunstmuseum. After that, a leisurely visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum where you can look forward to 160 pieces of automotive art, presented within award-winning architecture. Your guests can decide on the evening program: with ballet, opera, jazz clubs, musicals, any number of culture festivals and Bundesliga soccer at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, there is a world of choice. At latest by the time we’re having our ‘nightcap’ I usually hear: ‘One day isn’t enough time to see Stuttgart – we’re coming back!’

About horsepower and castle ruins.

Where would you recommend as the best place in the city to relax and unwind? On the Württemberg between vineyards and the Sepulchral Chapel: This little gem was built by King Wilhelm I for his wife, Katharina. The Riesling wine produced on the slopes here is very drinkable, and the view of the Neckar Valley is spectacular. For me, this is the perfect time-out from my daily routine.

What place in the area around Stuttgart is always worth an excursion? The Haupt- und Landgestüt Marbach – the one-hour drive from Stuttgart is definitely worth it – and not only for horse lovers. The landscape is fabulous too: a mix of rich green meadows and the ridges of the Swabian Alb hills. Once you enter the stud, you feel as if you’ve travelled back in time to a 19th century farm. A fountain babbles in the centre of the courtyard, panels display the lineage of the horses, while the surrounding stables are home to the federal state’s ‘aristocracy of horses’: elegant Württembergers, and the famous pure-bred Arabians. You will see for yourself: in Marbach, just 1 HP is enough to thrill horsepower fans.

Can you recommend an attractive drive with beautiful views in the area around Stuttgart? Cross the Neuffener Steige and go up into the Swabian Alb – and then continue on to Bad Urach. The route takes you past one of Germany’s highest vineyards, alongside the rock massif of the Hohenneuffen with its famous ruined castle, and through the beautiful landscape with orchards, tree-filled slopes, and the wide expanses of the Alb high plateau.

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