Extremely diverse landscapes – state-of-the-art industry. Baden-Württemberg has some of the Federal Republic’s most scenic countryside. The Black Forest is one of the most popular recreation areas in Germany. Lake Constance, the exceedingly varied valleys of the Rhine, Danube and Neckar rivers, the rugged Swabian Jura, the gentle Markgräfler Land and the striking hilly Kaiserstuhl region in the Upper Rhine Plain (famous for its wine) are popular holiday resort areas. Every year more tourists come to Baden-Württemberg than the state has inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is an important business and industrial location as well; global companies such as Daimler-Chrysler, Bosch, Porsche, SAP and IBM have their headquarters here. The state’s economic strength is manifest, for instance, in the fact that the volume of its exports is nearly equal to that of Spain, Sweden or Singapore and that it exports more than any other German state. This is attributable not only to the productivity of large-scale industry: Hundreds of smalland medium-sized businesses manufacture highly specialized products which are in demand all over the world. The people of Baden-Württemberg are born tinkerers – their ingenuity is legend. Thanks to the state’s mild climate, cultivation of special crops such as ornamental plants, hops and tobacco is also possible in addition to traditional agriculture.
Investing in the future. In proportion to its gross domestic product, Baden-Württemberg’s expenditure for research ranks near the top worldwide; endeavors presently focus on information technology as well as energy and environmental technologies. Biotechnology and especially genetic engineering are likewise playing a key role today: In this area the state’s research infrastructure ranks at the top in Germany and in Europe – in terms of both quality and quantity. Biotechnology departments have been established at numerous universities and industry-aligned research institutions, and several hundred firms are active in the field. A high-speed data transmission network links the state’s nine universities, 39 Fachhochschulen and roughly 130 research institutions (including the Research Centre in Karlsruhe, the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, and several Max Planck and Fraunhofer institutes). International private universities opened their doors in Bruchsal and Stuttgart in 1998. There are also a number of vocational colleges as well as universities specializing in art and music. In the field of the humanities, special mention must be made of the German Literature Archive in Marbach on the Neckar River, which among other things houses the literary legacy of most German writers. Scholarship and research have a long tradition here: The University of Heidelberg, founded in 1386, is the oldest university in Germany; the first technical college was founded in Karlsruhe.
Cities worth seeing. Situated in a picturesque basin, the state capital Stuttgart (582,000 inhabitants) enjoys an enviable location. from the “Liederhalle“ concert hall to the Wilhelma Botanical andZoological Gardens, from the airport to the folk festival “Cannstatter Wasen“, from the trade fair complex atop the Killesberg to the postmodern New State Gallery, the city offers all the attributes of a modern metropolis.
The distinctive architectural feature of Mannheim (309,000 inhabitants) is the geometrical layout of the city center. Together with its twin city of Ludwigshafen on the left bank of the Rhine in the state of Rhineland Palatinate, Mannheim is an important industrial center, yet with its art collections in the Fine Arts Museum and the Reiss Museum, the State Museum for Labor and Technology as well as its longstanding National Theater it is also a city with a remarkable cultural flair.
Karlsruhe (277,000 inhabitants), seat of the highest German courts – the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice – has a layout which is just as distinctive as that of Mannheim: 32 streets of the former Baroque Grand-Ducal capital radiate in the shape of a fan from the palace dating from 1715. Favorably situated along major traffic routes, this industrial city has a busy Rhine port.
Freiburg im Breisgau (201,000 inhabitants) with its university dating from 1457, old city gates and Gothic Minster with a delicately articulated spire lies in a picturesque setting between the southern slope of the Black Forest and the Rhine Plain. Heidelberg (139,000 inhabitants) is a tourist magnet famed for its historic city center with the Late Gothic Church of the Holy Ghost, the Old Bridge with the Neckar Gate, the castle and quaint old student pubs.
The landmark of the city of Ulm (116,000 inhabitants) on the Danube River is its Minster with the highest church tower in Germany; the Gothic Town Hall boasts a famous astronomical clock. Other important cities in Baden-Württemberg are Heilbronn (120,000 inhabitants), Pforzheim (118,000 inhabitants), Reutlingen (110,000 inhabitants) and Tübingen (81,000 inhabitants).
Land of philosophers and artists. Nearly a thousand museums (such as the Clock Museum in Furtwangen with its unparalleled collection of Black Forest cuckoo clocks), two state theaters, 150 municipal, independent and private theater festivals, film festivals and the Solitude Palace Academy near Stuttgart: Cultural life finds exceedingly varied forms of expression in Baden-Württemberg. Literary memorialsand literature prizes recall the many great figures in Germany’s intellectual history who were born here: Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), Wilhelm Hauff (1802-27) and the philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling (1775-1854) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).
Qualified media location. The state is also an important media center and the domicile of major publishing companies; 33 percent of Germany’s magazines and 22 percent of its books are published here.
Growth areas such as telecoms, IT, entertainment and multimedia are being systematically developed. The state’s qualification as a media hub is attested to by the fact that there are 156 different media-related courses of study available.