Destinations Magazine

Stuttgart Lapidarium – One of Stuttgart’s Quirkiest Attractions

By Expatgermany @Laurel_Robbins

lapidarium_statues headsThe lapidarium  is one of the quirkiest attractions in Stuttgart.  I felt like I should know what a “lapidarium” was, but I confess that I didn’t before reading about it.  According to Wikipedia a lapidarium is “a place where stone monuments and fragments of archeological interest are exhibited.”
lapidarium_statuesThe lapidarium in Stuttgart has 200 such monuments ranging from sculptures to remnants of buildings destroyed in the bombings of WWII.  Despite this, I was surprised to find that the lapidarium was an idyllic place based on an Italian Renaissance Garden.  The monuments were displayed in an open air museum, on Karlshöhe as part of a park.  There were lots of trees and birds chirping.
lapidarium_wall of monumentsIn many ways the lapidarium reminded me of My Favorite Attraction in Stuttgart.  I was in awe of how both attractions (the lapidarium and my favorite attraction in Stuttgart) managed to bring alive the historic and architectural elements of Stuttgart that was largely destroyed in the WWII bombings. As a result of the bombings, and perhaps not surprisingly many statues were missing pieces:

lapidarium_dog statue

Many of the statues were missing pieces. On this statue part of the dog's left leg is missing.

But perhaps it’s better to be missing part of a leg than what this one was missing:

lapidarium_man statue

Look closely....Can you see what's missing? Hint, most men would be horrified to lose this body part.

One of my favorite artifacts in the lapidarium was this door and window:

apidarium_portal and window

lapidarium_signage of artifacts
The artifact above dates back to the mid 1300s and is from an old stone house – as indicated by the sign on the left.  I loved the signage of the monuments displaying the age of the monument and sometimes even the building it came from, or the significance of the monument.  The signs really helped bring the monuments to live.

Concerts and literature events are also sometimes held in the lapidarium.  I think it would be a unique venue for such an event so I’m keeping my eyes open for an interesting event.

Our visit to the lapidarium, only lasted about 30 minutes, but I really enjoyed it and admission was free (although donations are accepted).  After that we headed up the stairs on the east side of the lapidarium further up Karlshöhe to the Beer Garden where traditional Swabian food is served.  Not to mention it has one of the best views of Stuttgart:

View of Stuttgart from the Beer Garden above the lapidarium

View of Stuttgart from the Beer Garden above the lapidarium

I would highly recommend a trip to the lapidarium and the beer garden on the hill above it (Tschechen & Söhne) in Stuttgart.  The lapidarium is such a quirky attraction, yet it really brings some of Stuttgart’s history alive in such an interesting setting.  And I think at least one trip to a traditional German beer garden should be on every visitor’s list.  All in all, an interesting way to spend a couple of hours in Stuttgart.

The lapidarium is located at:  Mörikestraße 24/1.  It is only open between May – Sept on Wed – Sat from 2 – 6 and on Sunday from 11 – 6.  Admission is by donation.  For more info see the official site at: Städtisches Lapidarium (in German only, but you can translate the page).

Have you ever been to a lapidarium?  What were your impressions?  If you haven’t gone would you consider going to a lapidarium?


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