Baden-Wurttemberg has some of the country's most charming countryside. It embraces
not only the Black Forest, a very popular recreational area in the Central Uplands,
or Lake Constance, known locally as the 'Swabian Sea', but also the green valleys
of the Rhine and the Danube, the Neckar and the Tauber, the rugged Schwabische
Alb and the gentle Markgraflerland, all major holiday resorts. The different soil
conditions are ideal for fruit, wine, sparagus and tobacco.
Not only blessed by nature, it is also an ideal crossroads
for transport and communications which heightens its attractiveness to tourists
and industry. The inventiveness and business sense of the people are proverbial,
and their intellectual and artistic achievements fill many a chapter of German
cultural and literary history, as testified by such names as the writers Friedrich
Schiller (1759-1805) and Friedrich Holderlin (1770-1843), or the philosophers
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). The
central Neckar region with the state capital Stuttgart (population 584,000) is
Baden-Wurttemberg's industrial and cultural centre. Mannheim's Kunsthalle and
Reiss-Museum are outstanding landmarks. The minsters of Ulm and Freiburg are monuments
to southern Germany's architectural pre-eminence. Heidelberg's castele and the
old city centre attract visitors from all over the world. And the Black Forest's
traditional cuckoo-clocks are not confined to the Clock Museum in Furtwangen but
taken to all corners of the globe by tourists.
Cars and microchips. Baden-Wurttemberg is a highly industrialized
region and thus, in economic terms, one of Germany's most powerful states. Precision
engineering, which is concentrated in the Black Forest of cuckoo clock fame, and
the automotive industry have the longest tradition.
Traditional crafts and modern industry are the backbone
of the economy. In and around Stuttgart are to be found the headquarters of such
world famous firms as Daimler Benz, Bosch, IBM, SEL and the sports car manufacturer
Porsche. Here, as everywhere else in Baden-Wurttemberg, there is a highly organized
network of small and medium-sized firms who supply state-of-the-art parts and
equipment to the big companies.
Adjacent to the central Neckar industrial region are Karlsruhe
(273,000) with its oil refineries, Mannheim (308,000) and Heidelberg (136,000),
which make buses and printing machinery respectively, but also Freiburg (189,000)
and Ulm (106,000) with their extensive service industries. When Germany was reunited
Baden-Wurttemberg began to establish close ties, not only in the economic sphere,
with the new state of Saxony, which is similar in structure.
Science and research. Among Baden-Wurttemberg's numerous
academic and scientific institutions is the Nuclear Research Centre at Karlsruhe,
the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, as well as several Max Planck
Institutes and nine universities. Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is the
oldest in Germany, whereas Karlsruhe is home to Germany's oldest technical college.
That city is also the seat of Germany's supreme courts, the Federal Court of Justice
and the Federal Constitutional Court.
The Free State of Baveria
A white-and-blue tradition with a future. Bavaria is by far the largest of Germany's
states and has the longest political tradition, there having been a Bavarian tribal
dukedom as early as the 6th century. Bavaria owes much of its reputation as a
tourist's paradise to its cultural heritage and captivating landscapes. Germany's
most popular holiday destination, this state offers the Alps, with the country's
highest mountain the Zugspitze (2,963 m), the picturesque lakes in the hilly alpine
foreland, the Bavarian Forest with the first German national park, the valleys
of the Danube and Main and their ributaries a region of beautiful scenery and
towns through which passes the 'Romantic Route'. In former times Munich was the
rural capital of Germany's largest farming area. After the Second World War it
enjoyed calling itself 'Germany's secret capital' and became the focal point of
a rapidly growing industrial region (automobiles and aircraft, electrical engineering
and electronics industry, insurance and publishing). And with its university and
other institutions of higher education, the Max Planck Institute and its nuclear
reactor, Bavaria's capital (population 1.2 million) is also a major academic and
research centre. 1992 Munich opened a new international airport named after the
late Franz-Josef Strauss, Bavaria's long-serving minister-president.
Industry and agriculture. Nuremberg (495,000) lies at the
intersection of Europe's future motorway network stretching from Naples to Stockholm
and from Lisbon via Prague to Warsaw. Together with Furth and Erlangen, Nuremberg
forms an industrial agglomeration focussing on engineering and the electrical
and toy industries (Siemens, Quelle, Grundig). Nuremberg's annual International
Toy Fair is the most important of its kind.
Augsburg (255,000) is home to the engineering and textile
industries. Regensburg (121,000) has a young electrical and an even younger automobile
industry (BMW). Ingolstadt, too, is a car-manufacturing centre (Audi). East Bavaria's
glassworks (Zwiesel) and porcelain factories (Rosenthal, Hutschenreuther) carry
on the region's famous crafts. Large parts of Bavaria, especially the Alps and
the alpine foothills, are still mainly farming areas. The region's Franconian
wines are highly rated by connoisseurs. There are also hundreds of breweries producing
Bavaria's famous beer, which flows in abundance at, for instance, Munich's Oktoberfest.
Culture from all ages. Regensburg has retained most of its
medieval townscape. Nuremberg, the city of Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), has some
of the finest examples of late medieval treasures in its churches and museums,
whereas Augsburg has the purest Renaissance heritage. The churches in the Banz
and Ettal monasteries, Vierzehnheiligen, and Steingaden's 'Wieskirche', which
appears in UNESCO's list of world cultural assets, as well as Wurzburg, former
residence of the prince-bishops, are outstanding examples of baroque and rococo
In Munich we find not only Germany's largest university
but also the Deutsches Museum, the world's biggest exhibition of science and technology.
The city also boasts numerous historic buildings, famous art galleries and theatres.
The Herrenchiemsee, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein castles, built by the 'fairytale
king' Ludwig II in the 19th century, are tourist magnets. So too are the towns
of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl with their traditional
semi-timbered houses. Music lovers, too, are well catered for in Bavaria, for
instance at the annual Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. Richard Wagner lived there
from 1872 to 1883.