"Karlsruhe - the cradle of VirtualTourist" Top 5 Page for this destination Karlsruhe by Bernd_L

Karlsruhe Travel Guide: 903 reviews and 4,153 photos

Karlsruhe, the city where I work and live nearby has an important significance for all VT-members, because it is the place where all began. Although the name VirtualTourist.com was bought from an owner in Buffalo NY, who used it for a site with another purpose, the concept of VT was invented by two computer students at the Technical Institute in Karlsruhe. So like Muslims feel obliged to do a pilgrimage to Mekka, you all should do a trip to Karlsruhe.

The city of Karlsruhe is quite young compared to other German cities. It was founded in 1715 when margrave Karl Wilhelm, who had his residence in the nearby town of Durlach (nowadays a part of Karlsruhe), decided to build a palace in the Hardtwald forest where he used to hunt. This palace was meant to be a place of rest for him and this explains the name Karlsruhe (Ruhe is the German word for rest). At that time the castle was built of wood, because Karl's state Baden was small and his financial means were limited.

He also decided to found a town around his palace. He attracted people from all over Middle Europe as inhabitants because he granted them a lot of benefits. They had to pay no taxes over a 20 years period, were given land and wood at no charge and religious freedom was guaranteed. The town itself was built in the shape of a fan and you can see this even today when you have a look at a map. The streets radiate like sunbeams from the palace into all directions, so symbolizing that margrave Karl was the centre of his town and his state.

Margrave Karl Wilhelm died in 1738. When his grandson Karl Friedrich succeeded him in 1746 a new period began. He rebuilt the palace out of stone. Under his long governance (he died in 1811) the young town and the small state of Baden flourished. Baden grew into a medium-sized state and Karlsruhe became its capital.

In the 19th century Karlsruhe got a reputation of a town of culture and art. And in the second half of the century, following the opening of the train station in 1843, industrialization was the main factor for the cities development. This continued in the 20th century, even after the state of Baden became a republic and two world wars destroyed big parts of the city. A lot of beautiful buildings from this area could not be saved after the war and were replaced by modern ones. But some remained and you find rich ornamented facades at every corner.

Up to now the cities Technical University has a good reputation and a lot of high-tech firms have settled here. A lot of important technical inventions are connected to Karlsruhe. Carl Benz, who invented the automobile was a son of Karlsruhe as well as Freiherr von Dreis who constructed the first bicycle, though still without pedals. Heinrich Hertz was the first who demonstrated the existence of electro-magnetic waves while being a professor at Karlsruhes university and Karl Ferdinand Braun even got the Nobel Prize for inventing the cathode ray tube.

Karlsruhe today has about 285.000 inhabitants. A lot of the former neighbouring cities and villages are now parts of the city and with the surrounding suburbs the metropolitan area has a population of about half a million people. Situated in the Upper Rhine Valley with its mild climate Karlsruhe has the reputation of the second-warmest city in Germany. A lot of parks make it a green city. An extensive offer of culture is available for the inhabitants.

As you see, Karlsruhe is not only a place to live very well, but also a city that deserves your visit ? and not only because it?s the cradle of VT.

The office of the tourist-information is located at marketplace
Telefon ++49(0)721 37 20 - 53 76

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lively city with the best climate in Germany
  • In a nutshell:The Mekka for all VT-members - come and visit us
  • Intro Updated May 20, 2008
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Reviews (75)

Comments (48)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Hello, Bernd!~ Thanks for your inteesting and detailed travel page! ~ Germany is the CHAMPION !~ :-)

  • MATIM's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2011 at 4:46 AM

    You can add hotel Blankenburg also at your hotel list, cause it was a very good hotel and breakfast was delicious!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Hi Bernd, many thanks for organizing the excursion to Bruchsal last Sunday. I really enjoyed it! I've just been looking at your fine new tips and updates on Karlsruhe that you have added over the past six years. I'm sorry to hear the Krokodil has closed.

  • Jul 3, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    you have any online ticket for tram(kvv) thank you

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    Super, danke. Werde aber wahrscheinlich erst nach Weihnachten dazu kommen. Naja, so verteilen sich die Spenden besser... :) Grüsse ins schöne KA. Christian.

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2009 at 10:31 PM

    Bernd, great hotel info... hope to pick one when we visit in early December. Best regards, Karl

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    You certainly have a great history of VT and the city. We hope to get there someday to see its wonderful sites personally. Thank you for the tour.

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Hello! Is the next Gluehwein scheduled?

  • irisha's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    this is a really nice and very informative page on one of my favorite cities, thank you for sharing!

  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Hi Bernd Finally I got some time for comments ,I am using P J's (yours) list to get to everyone so I miss no one You have great pic's Bernd Most of this meeting will be on Video in a couple of days I hope you like it Bernd Thanks for a job very well done


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