For many visitors, the highlight of one of Stuttgart’s oldest standing structures, a moated castle built in the 13th century and redone in the 16th century in Renaissance style, is the spectacle of two rams locking horns every hour on the hour on the clock face high above the courtyard. Step through the massive castle doors to find a treasure trove of all things Swabian, Swabia being the ancient lands of which Stuttgart was long the capital. Cases show off the crowns of the kings, 14th-century swords, and some other extraordinary but not altogether unexpected treasures, along with some stunners of local design, like a cooly contemporary-looking silver tea service from the late 19th century and an 18th-century automaton, a wind-up, gold-leafed bird that struts and prances. The archological collections display a wealth of artifacts left behind by past residents over the millennia, including a stone mammoth carved by local cave dwellers as long as 35,000 years ago and a treasure trove of jewelry unearthed in Celtic graves. Shedding light on more recent cultures is a riveting exhibition of local living rooms and household artifacts from the 19th through 20th centuries.
- Frommer's Staff