There are many squares in Stuttgart. But just because a place has the suffix "square" in its name does not mean that in this city it corresponds to its basic architectural definition–a built-up, free space. The vision of a car-friendly city of the last century has also left its mark on Stuttgart. Some squares lie hidden below central traffic nodes (Österreichischer Platz), are actually mere crossroads (Stöckachplatz) or only fulfil their promise when you stand underground at the platform (Charlottenplatz). The Marienplatz is an exception.

Although the now barren area seems to have caused lasting disappointment among some citizens since its most recent redesign (2003) and the few chestnut trees at the edge of the square only marginally compensate for the dominating grey wasteland, this square nevertheless functions as a junction, a place to linger and a marketplace. Neighbours meet familiar faces here, and as a meeting place it serves for political negotiations. Once laid out for love by King Wilhelm II as a rose garden and named after his wife Marie zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1876), later extended to become the starting point of the rack railway (Zacke, 1884), Marienplatz is a witness to an eventful past. Its shape, function and name were subject to the processes of its time. For a while it was used as a circus ring - for a few years it was home to the "Cirkus Bavaria" (until 1916), complete with animals and company - then it was instrumentalised by the Nazis (renamed "SA Square"), and in the post-war period it was used by local residents as an area for growing vegetables. The rose borders were replaced by allotments to feed the population, which is how Marienplatz got its nickname "Square of the Tomatoes"...


17.09.2021 / 10 am: Manifestations of Biodiversity

Marienplatz is the meeting and starting point of the second stage of the nomadic research Bestiarium14 – Towards a new mythology of the Bundesstraße by Constructlab.

18.09.2021 / 5 pm: FIRE!

Artist Gwendoline Robin activates the Marienplatz for a brief moment entirely in its Manege tradition. For CURRENT, the artist creates collaboratively produced works of art in her intergenerational sculpture and pyrotechnics workshop, which–enlivened with pyrotechnical effects–are ceremoniously burned and destroyed again in a public ceremony and thus destroyed again. FIRE!

70178 Stuttgart

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