"VirtualTourist meetings in Karlsruhe" Top 5 Page for this destination Karlsruhe by Nemorino

Karlsruhe Travel Guide: 900 reviews and 4,132 photos

If you look at a map of Karlsruhe you will see that there are streets radiating out from the Palace in all directions. Actually the back ones radiate out through the woods and the front ones through the city.

It was all planned this way by the Margrave Karl Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach (1679 - 1738), who claimed to have had a vision in a dream that showed him how his new palace and city should be laid out. Originally his palace was smaller and was mainly intended as a weekend and holiday retreat for the Margrave (to get away from his virtuous wife), hence the name Karlsruhe, which means roughly Charlie's rest and relaxation place.

The big European VirtualTourist meeting EuroMeet 2008 was held in Karlsruhe from May 30th to June 1st, 2008. I have posted a General Tip and a Travelogue about this event, and if you click here you can find a list of links leading to hundreds of photos by other VT members who attended the meeting.

While I was at EuroMeet 2008 I traveled around Karlsruhe on the new CallBikes provided for spontaneous short-term rentals by the German Railways (DB). These bikes are a great addition to the Karlsruhe transit system, even though you have to have a cell phone to use them. See my transportation tip for details of how it works and how the Karlsruhe "flex" system of bike rentals differs from the "fix" system found in Stuttgart, Paris and a number of other European cities.

One of the opera performances I've seen here at the State Theater in Karlsruhe was their production of Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito (1842-1918).

Mefistofele is an opera that is rarely performed in Germany, but it happened that both Frankfurt and Karlsruhe mounted new productions of it in the same season, and it was really interesting to see them both within a few days of each other.

Boito is best known as the librettist (text writer) of Giuseppe Verdi's last two operas, Otello and Falstaff. These are widely regarded as the greatest opera libretti ever written.

During this period of the 1880s and early 90s, Boito deliberately put his own career as a composer on hold to write these texts and persuade the over-seventy-year-old Verdi to come out of retirement just two more times to compose these two magnificent operas.

Boito wrote both the words and the music to Mefistofele, which is based on parts of Goethe's Faust. It's a huge opera, and it's the only one he ever really finished as a composer. Many musicians have their reservations about it, but as a naive audience member I consider it Grand Opera and well worth a trip to Karlsruhe or Frankfurt or wherever.

(The Amsterdam Opera did a production of Mefistofele in October 2004, and it has also been performed in Chicago and San Francisco in recent years. Two new productions took place in Kaiserslautern and Liège in June 2007. I have found a really good recording of it, by the way.)

  • Last visit to Karlsruhe: Dec 2012
  • Intro Updated Jun 8, 2013
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Reviews (32)

Comments (77)

  • alancollins's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    I have often thought about hiring a bicycle but have not been brave enough so far.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Feb 10, 2014 at 4:58 AM

      Alan, thanks for your ratings on my Karlsruhe tips.
      If you want to try hiring a bicycle sometime, I suggest doing it on a Sunday morning for a start -- very little motor traffic, and lots of people out on bikes if the weather is good.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Thanks for the tour of Karlsruhe Don! It's interesting that you had the chance to meet Tilman here. It was the town he came from when he moved to Los Angeles.

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    Looks like an interesting place. Great tips. The stadtheatre reminds me of finlandia House, Helsinki. Cheers Irene

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Jun 8, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Irene, thanks for your visit to my Karlsruhe page. Since Karlsruhe is only an hour from Frankfurt by train, it's a convenient place for me to go to VT meetings.

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    See you in exactly seven days!

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    Hi Don, how far is that hotel from the main attractions?

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Quite a few familiar faces here :) I must visit a VT annual meeting soon.
    Frankfurt Kitchen, eh, I share your sentiment on them...

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Fascinating travel pages of the city. CallBikes rental system certainly sounds interesting. Impressive cycling infrastructure with red cycling lanes at intersections certainly looks great to us. Also great photos from VT meetings. ~ho & pang

  • MD2nd's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Great & detailed transportation tips to get/around Karlsruhe! Thanks for visiting my Angermuende page.

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    nice, the bstate art gallery seems to have some interetsing paintings.

  • gkitzmil's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2010 at 7:00 AM

    fabulous page!!


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