The first stop on our German road trip was at the historic palace in Ludwigsburg, just outside of Stuttgart, which offers a beautiful fairytale theme park and stunning garden.
Palace + Fairytale Garden (Blühendes Barock) – Ludwigsburg, Germany
Ludwigsburg Palace is styled after Versailles and one of the largest baroque-era palaces in Europe. While that itself is a great attraction, the 32-hectare palace grounds host the Blühendes Barock, literally the Blooming Baroque, which is a retro theme park that pays homage to some of the most famous German fairytales.
My wife Heidi used to visit when she was a child and wanted to take our children there. Despite over 20 years passing since her last visit, very little has changed, which is part of the charm of this place. In fact, very little has changed since her mother visited as a child. German fairytales like those told by the Grimm Brothers are often quite violent and do not have happy endings. But though politically incorrect, many stories offer a moral lesson worth considering.
Take the famous story of Hansel and Gretel. This one may have a happy ending (the witch is thrown into an oven before she can eat two children, the children find her treasure, and live happily ever after), but there are some heavy themes for a children’s story. We’ve got child abandonment, cannibalism, death, and deceit at play.
And the park has a very scary witch, chanting:
“Knusper, knusper, knäuschen, wer knuspert an meinem Häuschen!”
(which means “crunch, crunch, crunch, who’s crunching at my little house!”)
Yes, this scared Augustine!
But look how beautiful this place is:
And it’s just fun. These silly things like a chair that rises as water squirts around you…something my mother-in-law did as a child, my wife did as a child, and now my children have done too.
Admission is €10.00 for adults, €4.80 for kids 4-15, and free for infants. Metered-parking costs a few Euros. We enjoyed a crêpe on the way out.
I love taking my children to places I enjoyed as a kid in Southern California, so it was great to take them to a place my wife (and mother-in-law) both enjoyed when they were kids. Ludwigsburg is a beautiful city and my children are already talking about coming back here. It is a bit kitschy, yet not to be missed if you’re in the Stuttgart area.
This is part of my summer in Germany trip report.