Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vaihingen (Stuttgart)

One of the original reasons why I started this blog was to be able to share with my family and friends about my life, where I am at any given moment, and what it all looks like. Today's post is simply sharing some of the images from Vaihingen, which is the neighborhood in Stuttgart where I'm living. These photos have been taken over several months and give you an idea of what the architecture of the neighborhood looks like. As much as possible, I've tried to include people in the photos but it's tough as the neighborhood is somewhat suburban and finding people walking around during the day can be difficult.

Vaihingen, pronounced roughly "fie'ng-gen" with a small pause after the "e" and before the "n", is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the city of Stuttgart. They say that it has a population just under 50,000 but I have no idea where all the people hide (it's exceptionally quiet here). It's home to Stuttgart's largest university, the Universit├Ąt Stuttgart, which is the reason why we chose to live in this area. For people from the United States, Vaihingen might be known as the home of the Patch Barracks, which serves as the headquarters for the U.S. European, African, and Special Forces (Europe) command. Actually, it's pretty amazing how many Americans there are around here. I could have gone weeks in Spain without hearing an American accent!

A view up the street I live on and, yes, it rains here quite a bit:

I took a lot of these photos walking to and from the center of Vaihingen where the supermarket and other stores are. Some multi-family houses:

There's quite a bit of different architectural styles in the neighborhood partly owing to the fact that it's over 500 (!!!) years old. It's mostly multi-family houses with some apartment buildings and a few, older, single-family houses. While reading about Vaihingen for this story, I came across one old document from the early 1800s that talks about how it's about 1 1/2 hours away from Stuttgart. I laughed because it's probably more like ten minutes away with modern transportation. A little father down the same street as the photo above:

A grade school and the town church on the left. The school reminds me of the "old" building at my grade school in Philadelphia as they were both built post World War II and have a similar style.

The street below runs between the church in the photo above and the Rathaus (city hall) and has a few older, half-timber houses like the one on the right:

The other end of the above street where it ends at a pedestrian-only plaza in front of the Rathaus (behind me in this photo):

These two old houses are located right on the Rathaus plaza. The brown and white one was built in 1556 and the one on the right, which is now a Turkish restaurant, is much newer, from 1586:

The Rathaus and Rathaus plaza as seen from across the street (the two houses in the photo above are to the left of the Rathaus in this photo):

This area serves as an informal town center as it's surrounded by lots of little shops and is anchored by the modern Schwaben Galarie mall. The weekly farmers' market is held in Rathaus plaza. The above photo was taken in front of the Schwaben Galarie, which where the supermarket is:

The rest of these photos are taken at random locations in the center of Vaihingen. Just to the right and out of the frame of this picture is one of the Holocaust-memorial Stolperstein locations that I wrote about not too long ago.

More older buildings down the street from the Rathaus:

I'm not sure if this house is very old, I'm guessing it is, but I like it either way:

An unusual but cool brick house a few blocks away from the Rathaus towards the university:

This building is from 1756 and is, I think, an amazing German Fachwerk, or half-timbered, building:

Some more older buildings. I have no idea what the wood tower was/is for. You'd never know that this street is one block from the super-modern, multistory Schwaben Galarie:

It's not quite as crowded or exciting as Barcelona and the weather's not quite as good as California, but Vaihingen is a pretty cool place to happen to end up living. I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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