Travel Series Germany – Karlsruhe

City Connect offers a new travel series on Germany highlighting cities and places ideal for a weekend break or holiday. This week we are reporting on the city of Karlsruhe.

Karlsruhe is one of the culturally richest cities found in the Federal Republic of Germany. It was founded around the palace in 1715 and is situated in the Southwest of Germany, in the federal state Baden-Württemberg, near the French-German border. It has a population of about 300,000 and an unusual town planning, radiating from the palace right in the centre. The palace was home to many noble families of Germany until they were expelled in 1918 after the Great War. It is now a museum and one of the most beautiful buildings in the Southwest of the country.

The city now houses two of the highest courts of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice, making it a political centre in addition to its rich historic architecture. Highlights of the city are the palace, the Gottesau castle (portrayed below), the federal courts and various magnificent churches. The St. Stephan parish church is a masterpiece of neoclassical church architecture in Germany. It was built between 1808 and 1814 based on the architecture of the Pantheon in Rome. The neo-gothic Grand Ducal burial chapel was built between 1889 and 1896 and is situated in the middle of a forest. It also functions as a mausoleum. The population grew dramatically in the late 19th century and many suburban areas are preserved with a plethora of buildings in Art Nouveau and Gründerzeit styles.

The Rhine is also not very far from Karlsruhe and the Rhineland offers beautiful nature reserves. Further South, the famous Schwarzwald with the Spa city of Baden-Baden offers great ways to relax and spend time in nature.

An unusual exhibition on motored vehicles is currently shown in the art museum of Karlruhe. Dancing VWs, an oversized Porsche, a tarred Rolls Royce – this exhibition tries to say Good-bye to our current dreams and understanding of mobility. The exhibition aims to protest and criticise the apparent lack of innovation of the car industry and thus a variety of art pieces portray the artists’ perceptions of what modern cars represent. To me, the most stunning piece of art of this exhibition is a red Porsche which looks like it has eaten too much or has melted away in the sun (depicted below).

Karlsruhe is an ideal place for a city visit for a weekend and there are direct flights with Ryanair from London/ Stansted. For those who wish to spend a longer time in the Southwest of Germany, other famous places such as the university towns of Heidelberg and Tübingen and the city of Stuttgart are not far. The city offers great and affordable accommodation. Combined with cheap flights, this can make a city break in Karlsruhe potentially very cheap.,,