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A Day at the Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany

By adriana - July 21, 2015 (Updated: July 7, 2015)

wilhelma zoo and botanical gardens in Stuttgart, Germany

Our Germany correspondent, Adriana, shares stunning photos of her family trip to a beautiful zoo and botanical garden in Stuttgart.

When it comes to zoos, I usually apply the philosophy “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” But I have kids so I have to visit them from time to time.  However, the Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten in Stuttgart, Germany, is particularly beautiful and worth visiting.

Pelicans admire the view of the Wilhelma Zoo

Pelicans admire the view of the Wilhelma Zoo

Wilhelma was initially built as a royal palace, and now sits on a 30-hectare plot of land, split between a zoo and botanical garden, in the northern suburbs of Stuttgart, Germany. It was built from 1842 to 1853, for King Wilhelm I of Wuerttemberg, and contains a large number of Moorish elements, giving it the nickname “Alhambra am Neckar.”  The original historic building was destroyed during World War II, but the city has done a wonderful job rebuilding.

The glasshouse at the Wilhelma Botanical Gardens

The glasshouse at the Wilhelma Botanical Gardens
A birds-eye-view of the botanical gardens

A birds-eye-view of the botanical gardens
Flowers are everywhere at Wilhelma

Flowers are everywhere at Wilhelma

It is Europe’s only large combined zoological and botanical garden, and  home to over eight thousand animals representing more than one thousand different species, as well as more than five thousand species of plants.

Colour abounds, even in the summer heat

Colour abounds, even in the summer heat
Wandering the quiet paths of the botanical garden

Wandering the quiet paths of the botanical garden

I was particularly impressed with the Sequoia patch, tall enough to give you the impression they reach the sky, as well as the large apes exhibit. The apes here are allowed to keep their clans whole, not removing the offspring.  I appreciate how the zoo does not feel like a prison, with the barriers between humans and animals kept to the necessary minimum. It’s a characteristic of many German zoos.

Japanese macaques live in their clans as they would in the wild

Japanese macaques live in their clans as they would in the wild

Another beautiful aspect of the zoo is the large magnolia grove. It’s spectacular in spring and, with the centrally located pond, hosting a large variety of water lilies, this alone makes it worth the visit.

Worth the trip in itself - the water-lilly garden

Worth the trip in itself – the water-lilly garden

Apart from the gardens, you have the usual zoo animals, large cats, elephants, polar bears, as well as a huge insectarium and aquarium.

A colourful resident of the insectarium

A colourful resident of the insectarium
A Great Blue Heron stands on guard

A Great Blue Heron stands on guard
A Sounth African Jackass penguin knows how to stay cool in the heatwave

A Sounth African Jackass penguin knows how to stay cool in the heatwave
This wandering peacock was taking a stroll through the zoo

This wandering peacock was taking a stroll through the zoo

A restaurant is available by the entrance, large enough to accommodate up to 350 guests, as well as two smaller cafes; one at the top of the gardens and the other by the petting zoo.

The zoo tends to get crowded on sunny days unless the weather is as hot as we have had it these last few days. At 40C there is nobody around so if you are as crazy as we are, go now and enjoy.

[Editor’s note:] For those of you in Belgium, don’t miss the Pairi Daiza Zoo and Botanical Garden in Wallonia. It’s a CheeseWeb favourite!

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Adriana
I live in Germany with my husband and two children. I have a big passion for travel and photography. I am most happy when I travel, when I discover new cultures, see new places and try new foods. We have travelled to more than thirty countries and almost two hundred cities. See some of the photos taken during our adventures at Life in A Suitcase and follow on Google+.
Adriana
I received 6 peer recognitions @Viewbug https://t.co/g3sxUigoZq #photography - 1 week ago
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