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The city of Stuttgart

With about 600,000 inhabitants, Stuttgart is the sixth-largest city in Germany. The metropolitan Stuttgart Region has a population of about 2.7 million. Stuttgart is the state capital of Baden-Württemberg. Situated in the valley of the Neckar river, between the hilly environments of the Swabian Alb and the Black Forest, it is often called "the city between forest and vineyards". Being one of the most prosperous centres of industry in Europe, many renowned companies such as Daimler-Chrysler, Porsche, Bosch, IBM, have their factories in the greater Stuttgart area. In addition, numerous smaller companies which produce machine tools, textiles, precision instruments and luxury items are also situated in and around Stuttgart.

Inside the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart

Stuttgart offers a large variety of cultural highlights including the state opera, ballet, theatres, concert and musical halls, art galleries, the Mercedes-Benz Museum with an exhibition of 160 fascinating vehicles, the Porsche museum, museums of ethnology, natural history and viticulture. Stuttgart hosts the "Wilhelma", the largest zoological and botanic garden of Europe, and mineral bathes famous for their medicinal effects. The "Weissenhofsiedlung" which was errected in Stuttgart in 1927 is one of the most significant landmarks left by the movement known as "Neues Bauen" and the "Fernsehturm" is the world's first TV tower built from concrete. For those who prefer peace and tranquillity, the extensive parks offer the ideal opportunity for walks and relaxation.

Stuttgart hosts every year top-level sporting events. Stuttgarts major football club VFB Stuttgart is one of the top German teams and won the German football championship 2007. Stuttgart experienced an unforgettable sporting world event in the summer of 2006 - the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. For four weeks millions of fans from all over the world celebrated a happy, gripping and unforgettable football festival.

Residence Castle Ludwigsburg, former residence of the kings and dukes of Württemberg

The state capital also welcomes thousands of visitors to its annual festivals - the elegant Summer Festival, the convivial Stuttgart Wine Village, the traditional Cannstatt Beer Festival and the nostalgic Stuttgart Christmas Market. The magnificent castles and palaces, historic towns and splendid vine - yards in the Stuttgart region entice visitors to enjoy wonderful walks, cycle tours and boat trips on the River Neckar and the many idyllic lakes.

Due to Stuttgart's central location it is easy to visit numerous neighbouring European countries including The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and the Czech republic all of which only take a few hours by car or train.

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