Stuttgart: Wilhelma Zoo

The Wilhelma Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Stuttgart. In fact, it’s the only zoological botanical garden in Europe. When the weather is just perfect, which is not common here, I have to say, Wilhelma can be the best place to really enjoy what Stuttgart’s summertime has to offer: clear skies, gazillion trees, birds, animals and parks.

Originally planned as a private garden for the Swabian king, King Wilhelm I, (hence the name) it was later renovated as a garden. During that time, which was the 19th century, Moorish architecture was considered “fashionable,” and indeed you can find unique buildings and sculptures throughout the zoo.

I am a bit undecided when it comes to zoos. There’s the argument that zoos are cruel because animals are not supposed to be displayed in cages and glass indoors, which yes, I agree, but I find that it’s not enough to justify getting rid of zoos altogether. It’s an itchy debate, and I’m still not yet sure which side I am on.

사실 동물원이나 식물원하면 뻔한게 사실인데 일단 여긴 크기부터가 다름. 매일 샌드위치랑 책 싸들고 소풍오고 싶게 만드는 드넓은 잔디밭과 그늘들.

Zoos in Korea are pretty standard: the animals are mostly in cages while some bigger ones offer a grander landscape. But nevertheless, the animals do seem to be “trapped.” The Wilhelma is a bit loose in this sense, birds are free to fly EVERYWHERE, which can be a bit terrifying for people like me. I especially loved the part where you can walk into the room where they give elephants a bath. Adorable, elephants. Especially the babies.

Interesting facts include:

  • 70 acres in size. Which means its 280,000 square meters and the size of some 40 football fields.
  • The buildings in the gardens may be Moorish but the garden itself sticks to Italian.
  • The park is the home of one of Europe’s largest magnolia groves.
  • There are more than 1,000 species of animals, not to mention some 6,000 varieties of plants and flowers.

Places mentioned:

All photos by rachelsanghee

8 responses to “Stuttgart: Wilhelma Zoo

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