Historical musical instruments in Stuttgart

On the Schillerplatz in the center of Stuttgart there is an exhibition of historical musical instruments.

While this collection is not as large as the ones in BrusselsBerlin, Nürnberg or Paris, it is still well worth seeing and has interesting explanations of why certain Baroque instruments went out of fashion, for instance because Mozart stopped using them in his compositions and replaced them with newer and usually louder instruments which were being developed during his lifetime.


This square is named after the German poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), who wrote for example the Ode to Joy, which Beethoven used as the text of the choral music at the end of his Ninth Symphony. The building in the center of the photo, behind the statue of Friedrich Schiller, is the Fruchtkasten, now also known as the House of Music, which houses the collection of historical musical instruments.

All of Schiller’s plays have been made into operas at one time or another. Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda, for instance, was based on a classic Schiller play about the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The composer Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote four operas based on Schiller’s plays. The best-known of these is Don Carlo, which exists in seven different versions with French and Italian texts.

Altes Schloss

This attractive Old Palace (Altes Schloss) is also located on Schillerplatz. It was first built around 1330 as a simple defensive fort with a moat around it, but was expanded into a royal residence (for the king of Württemberg) from 1553 to 1570.

After the destruction of World War II, the castle was rebuilt from 1948 to 1970. It now houses several departments of a museum called the Württembergisches Landesmuseum.

Württembergisches Landesmuseum

This museum has numerous exhibits on the history of Württemberg in the Stone Age, in Celtic and Roman times, and in the Middle Ages.

Scientific instruments and clocks

In the basement of the Landesmuseum there is an attractive exhibit of historical scientific instruments and ornate clocks.

My photos in this post are from 2004. I revised the text in 2020.

See more posts on Stuttgart, Germany.
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