STUTTGART – SouthWest Germany is rich in history. This is evidenced not only by the many castles, fortresses and monasteries in SouthWest Germany, but also by numerous other historical monuments that have endured for centuries and have not infrequently been put to new uses over the course of time. We show successful fusions of old and new – from a luxury hotel in a former prison to a youth hostel in a medieval knight's castle.
Mini hotel in an industrial monument – SIST Hotelturm Karlsruhe
If the old water tower at the former Deutsche Bahn repair works in Karlsruhe could talk, it would certainly have many stories to tell: of its construction in 1877, the many locomotives and steam engines that were repaired here and the almost complete destruction of the area surrounding it during World War II. Or of the reconstruction, the closure of the factory in the 1990s and finally the demolition as part of the "City Park Karlsruhe" construction project, which only it and the canteen survived. Today, the listed tower houses a very exclusive hotel: It only has one double room.
High culture at the old railway station – Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
In the 19th century, wealthy international guests from the aristocracy, business, politics and culture gave Baden-Baden the reputation of the sophisticated "summer capital of Europe" and left a lasting mark on the spa town. The illustrious audience were able to travel comfortably by train as early as 1845. Since the first station in the Schweizerhaus style quickly no longer met the growing demands, it was soon replaced by a neoclassical domed building, which has been the entrance to the Baden-Baden Festival Theatre since 1998. With 2,500 seats, it is one of the largest classical music venues in Europe. The fact that the auditorium and stage are located on the former railway track does not detract from the sound experience.
Designer luxury behind bars – Hotel Liberty Offenburg
Thick walls, cell doors and bars in front of individual windows give a hint: The almost 200-year-old brick building in Offenburg originally fulfilled other roles. From 1845 to 2009, politically persecuted individuals, resistance fighters and criminals were imprisoned here. But nowadays, one looks in vain for cramped cells and prisoners. With high-quality furnishings and a modern glass cube, the oppressive prison atmosphere has been transformed into a feel-good temple for connoisseurs. The design hotel has 38 rooms and suites. In the restaurant, the kitchen team makes sure that more than just bread and water are served.
Speakeasy meets safe – Jigger and Spoon Stuttgart
Nothing but a discreet name by the doorbell points to the bar in the underground of Stuttgart's hospital quarter. After entering, you reach the basement via a lift and step through an enormously heavy door into another world. "Jigger & Spoon” is a bar with a touch of exclusivity. There are several separable areas and a cigar lounge. But something else makes it a mysterious place: The rooms used to serve a bank as a vault – with walls eighty centimetres thick. The bar's figureheads are the nationally renowned bar masters Eric Bergmann and Uwe Heine, who offer their guests first-class spirits, hand-crafted cocktails and fine wines.
A place of longing in a restricted area – Albgut Münsingen
Until a few years ago, tanks still rolled through the former restricted military area of the training ground near Münsingen. Today, with 6,700 hectares, this is one of the largest unfragmented natural areas in SouthWest Germany and the heart of the Swabian Alb biosphere area. The "Old Camp", once a general's and troop accommodation, now welcomes its visitors as the "Albgut". Cafés, such as the bistro "Leib & Seele", glass factories, cultural institutions, event locations and museums breathe new life into the historic buildings. In addition, the extensive area offers ideal opportunities for walking, hiking or e-biking and regularly serves as a venue for special indoor and outdoor trade fairs.
From textile printing company to inclusion café – Café Pausa in Mössingen
Fine fabrics with unusual designs used to be produced in Mössingen in the Swabian Alb. The textile printing company Pausa engaged renowned artists such as Verner Panton, Willi Baumeister or Hap Grieshaber and thus achieved international fame. With the buildings constructed by Manfred Lehmbruck between 1951 and 1961, the Pausa site is also an industrial monument of the new building. The bright rooms of the former factory canteen are now home to Café Pausa and its regional shop. In event gastronomy, people with and without disabilities work together and have set themselves the goal of preserving the cultural landscape of the meadow orchard.
Industrial park with history – Neckartal Rottweil
The history of powder production in Rottweil dates back to the 14th century. Powder mills were traditionally located in the Neckar valley below the Black Forest town, which earned it the nickname "powder hole". The expansion of the site into the Rottweil powder factory in the 19th century heralded its most successful era. After World War I, the site was further developed and also used for textile production until 1994. Some of the buildings in the listed industrial complex were designed by renowned architects such as Paul Bonatz or Heinrich Henes and today house event venues, workshops, studios and restaurants. You can explore the area on the "Industry trail" theme path.
Sleep like the knights – Wildenstein Castle Leibertingen
Perched on a rock high above the Danube valley is one of SouthWest Germany's oldest youth hostels. The construction of Wildenstein Castle also dates back a long way, to the 13th century. Today, it welcomes its guests as an early modern fortress, which it was rebuilt into in the 16th century. The large murals in the dining hall also date from this period. The castle interior can only be reached via bridges because of the extensive moats. While the grandiose view from the Spornburg once served the castle lords as an early warning system, it now primarily whets the appetite for excursions into the Danube valley, which stretches out at the foot of the castle and offers numerous possibilities.