Stuttgart is where the automobile was invented – by Karl Benz. It therefore comes as no surprise that it is the home of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. It is also the home of Siemens and Bosch and VDO and pretty much all the Who's Who of German industrial and engineering companies, all of whom have their headquarters here. It is a major industrial center, but one that cloaks a lovely and supremely interesting city center. The city is actually built around a large park that is surrounded by historic buildings, museums, shops and cafés, and encircled by forested and vineyard-covered hills, some with gorgeous 19th-century villas. Somewhere in there, too, lies a cultural heart with a rollout of endless offerings that are as varied as they are rich, from classical music to modern musicals, some straight from Broadway and the West End. Thus, what we are left with is a city that can fairly be described as a delectable soft-centered treat, where both the coating and filling leave an impression.
Stuttgart is the capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated in the southwestern part of the country, skirted by the river Neckar. It occupies a lush valley at the northeastern end of the Black Forest, about an hour's drive from the latter. It has a population of around 607,000, and is among the most diverse in its composition.
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