I recently became involved with InterNations, an online community for expatriates and locals worldwide. In fact, I just became a Consul for the Feuersee Stammtisch (Fire Lake Regular Get-Together) group and hosted my first event last week — an African dinner for 12 people at Ebony. The event was well attended (11/12 showed, which I hear is very rare in a good way) and we had good conversation and ate very good food. My responsibility as Consul is to host at least one event per month. Next up: Classic English Afternoon Tea Time at the Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten’s John Cranko Lounge on Sunday, March 26th.
On Sunday afternoon I attended an event planned by Harmut (“Harry”) who happens to live just around the corner from me. A group of us met at Harry’s apartment for a 2-hour walk and architectural tour of my neighborhood, Stuttgart West. I should start by saying that I know next to nothing about architecture, but the tour forced me to really look at the buildings around me and to look up, which is where most of the really interesting architectural elements can be found.
Harry called the event “Gründerzeit – Historismus -Jugendstil” which loosely translates to “Time – History – Art Nouveau.” (Jugendstil literally translates to “Youth Style” in German.) We saw examples of Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau architecture throughout the neighborhood. I should note that all of these buildings (the beautiful buildings!) were built before WWII. It is very clear, when walking down any German street, which buildings came before the war, and which were bombed and rebuilt after. The buildings that came after may be colorful (painted shades of pinks, blues, yellows) but they are very plain with flat facades made of concrete. Here I will share some photos from the afternoon, and I’ll start with my favorite building:
Here is a collage of typical buildings you’ll find in Stuttgart West:
Here is a now-school in my neighborhood that was built in 1900:
We saw so many animals! Frogs, Monkeys, Snakes, Elephants…
The Sankt Elisabeth Kirche:
There are a few hidden green spaces, located behind apartment buildings, that can be used to plant a garden, play with kids on the playground, relax in the sun when the weather is nice, etc. Here are a couple of photos of one of these green spaces:
Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly enough green spaces! Instead, most of the space behind apartment buildings was used to house factories where people worked. Today, those old factories are where people call home:
We also walked through a little tunnel in Stuttgart West and climbed a couple hundred stairs for a sneak peak of the valley. I learned that this tunnel, at the time it was built, was the longest in Germany. Funny to think about now because it’s so little!
Finally, here are a few street views:
Thanks, Harry, for a great afternoon!