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Famous People of Stuttgart, Germany

Schorndorf near Stuttgart, Germany [photo: Stuttgart Marketing GmbH]
Schorndorf near Stuttgart, Germany [photo: Stuttgart Marketing GmbH]

Many people connected with Stuttgart have made history – and indeed continue to do so. The following are just a few of them (but hopefully might inspire you to find out more for yourself).

Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller was born on 10.11.1759 in Marbach am Neckar as the son of J.C. Schiller, an army surgeon.

He spent his childhood and adolescence in impoverished circumstances.

After attending the village school and later the Latin school, in 1773 he entered the Hohe Karlsschule at Solitude Palace in Stuttgart on the orders of Duke Karl Eugen, where he began his medical studies in 1776 and worked from 1780 onwards as a regimental doctor in the state of Württemberg`s royal capital. The performance of his play “The Robbers” resulted in Schiller being arrested and banned from writing.

He fled to Weimar (1787) via Mannheim (1783), Leipzig (1785) and Dresden. In 1789 he was appointed extraordinary professor of history and philosophy in Jena, but settled permanently in Weimar in 1799.

Schiller died in Weimar on 9.5.1805.

Schiller’s Birthplace

Niklastorstraße 31, 71672 Marbach am Neckar

Web: n/a

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart on 27.8.1770 in what is now known as the “Hegel House” in the Eberhardstrasse 53. His parents were Georg Ludwig Hegel, a fiscal secretary and later administrator employed by the Duchy, and his wife, Maria Magdalena, née Fromme. In the house where Hegel was born, now a museum, his parents are thought to have occupied the attic flat. Hegel made a name for himself as a philosopher of German Idealism. To him, his ideals were to be found in the “Absolute Spirit”, and he called for an “understanding recognition”, where previously only cognition and assertion had existed. Hegel occupied himself with many fields of knowledge: logic, natural philosophy and spiritual philosophy.


He left his mark mainly on the philosophy of history. To Hegel, history was “progress in the consciousness of freedom.” Hegel died unexpectedly on 14th November 1831 after a short illness and was buried next to Fichte at the Dorotheenstädter Friedhof in Berlin. Today the Hegel House in Stuttgart is home to the exhibitions “Stuttgart in Hegel`s Day 1770-1831” and “From Stuttgart to Berlin – Stages in Hegel`s Life”.

Hegel House

Hegelhaus is the house in which philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in 1770 and lived for the following 18 years. Part of the exhibition charts the life and work of Hegel, from his years in Stuttgart through to his death in Berlin in 1831, setting the biographical details in a historical context to significant events of the time. Another part of the exhibition is entitled ‘Stuttgart at the Time of Hegel’ which provides a historical record of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Stuttgart.

Address: Eberhardstraße 53, 70173 Stuttgart

Web (only in German): https://www.stadtpalais-stuttgart.de/museumsfamilie/museum-hegel-haus/

Gottlieb Daimler

It all began in a timber house in Schorndorf. This is where Gottlieb Daimler, a baker’s son, was born in the year 1834. Today, Daimler’s birthplace, which was later acquired and restored by the Daimler-Benz AG, is a museum and conference center. The exhibition room displays, among other artifacts, the legendary postcard Gottlieb Daimler sent to his first wife in 1872. He marked the house in Cologne-Deutz where he was living at the time with a star and wrote “From here a star will go out…”.

Literally, that was the first sign of the (Mercedes) star that was later to become the emblem of the Stuttgart automobile manufacturers.

His story…

Gottlieb Daimler was born on 17th March 1834 in Schorndorf and died on 6th March 1900 in Cannstatt.

After training as a metal worker, Daimler studied mechanical engineering and gained practical experience in England and France. As the technical director of the Deutz gas engine factory (1872-82), he constructed in cooperation with Wilhelm Maybach the first 100-HP gas engine, and in 1883 he and Maybach opened their own workshop in Cannstatt.

Here (after Daimler had seen Nikolaus Otto`s award-winning 4-stroke engine at the 1867 World Exhibition in Paris) they developed a combustion engine which was tested in the first motor cycle in 1885, and in the first four-wheel automobile in 1886 (independent of Carl Benz). In 1887 this automobile drove for the first time from Stuttgart to Cannstatt – at the grand speed of 18 km/h. In 1892 they constructed the first 2-cylinder V engine.

Robert Bosch’s invention of the low-voltage magneto ignition in 1897 then enabled them to build the 4-cylinder engine. Gottlieb Daimler founded the Daimler Motor Company in Cannstatt in 1890 (from 1904 onwards in Untertürkheim) which led the field with its successful Mercedes racing cars and developed into an international concern. In 1926 it amalgamated with Benz & Cie AG to form the Daimler-Benz AG (now the Daimler AG).

From 1902 onwards their passenger vehicles bore the name of “Mercedes” – after the daughter of Jelinek, the racing car constructor.

Gottlieb-Daimler Gedächtnisstätte (Memorial)

After Gottlieb Daimler moved into the villa in the Taubenheimstrasse in Cannstatt with his family in 1882, he reconverted his garden house into a workshop. The room with a tool bench and a forge became the refuge for Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. Here the two engineers wanted to realize their vision of individual mobility: a transportable universal motor for vehicles on water, on the land and in the air.

They worked day and night with strict secrecy. Even the family and the household servants did not know what was happening in the garden house. Daimler’s distrustful gardener even called in the police because he believed that they were counterfeiting coins in the garden house. The surprise was big when the police only found tools and motor parts. In the garden house, Daimler and Maybach developed the first sprinting motor in 1883, in 1885 the first light sprinting motor was created here, the so-called “grandfather clock” which could be built into the vehicles. The first attempt was a two wheeler, the so-called “riding wagon”, the first motorcycle in the world. In 1886, Daimler and Maybach built the motor into a coach, at the same time it was used for the first motor boat in the world, the “Neckar”.

The garden house quickly became too small. In July 1887, Daimler moved into a factory building on Seelberg. The workshop ambience, drawings, documents, photographs and models (the first motor boat from 1886, Wolfertsches air ship from 1888) today still impart some of the flair of these years.

Taubenheimstraße 13, 70372 Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt

Robert Bosch

Robert Bosch was born on 23.9.1861 in Albeck (near Ulm) and died on 12.3.1942 in Stuttgart. In 1917 he was awarded the freedom of the city of Stuttgart.

In 1886 Robert Bosch founded a workshop for electrical systems which developed into a global concern. In particular, the invention of the electric magneto ignition device (“Bosch spark plug”) paved the way for this from 1905 onwards and was of prime importance for the evolution of the automobile. As a dedicated citizen and private person, Bosch set up over 30 foundations between 1910 and 1942 and made many endowments, for example towards Stuttgart`s University of Technology, the building of the Neckar Canal, the Institute for Foreign Relations and the Association for the Promotion of National Education (later known as the Adult Education Centre).

In 1936 Bosch donated funds to build a hospital on the “Pragsattel”, a homeopathic clinic which he himself inaugurated in 1940. Since 1964 the Robert Bosch Foundation has continued Robert Bosch`s charitable works in a modern concept. It plans programmes and promotes international projects in the fields of hygiene, international understanding, welfare work and education.

In addition, it is responsible for the new Robert Bosch Hospital, which opened in 1973 as a general hospital and is today the only privately endowed hospital in Stuttgart. “Apart from the alleviation of all kinds of need, my intention is in particular to improve the state of moral welfare, health and mental development of the people.” (Robert Bosch, 1935.)

Richard von Weizsäcker

Richard von Weizsäcker was born on 15th April 1920 in a wing of the New Palace in Stuttgart. A lawyer, historian and politician, he was mayor of Berlin from 1981 to 1984, and from 1984 to 1994 the sixth president of the Federal Republic of Germany.

On 8th May 1985 Weizsäcker`s speech to the Bundestag on the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II caused a sensation at home and abroad by acknowledging responsibility for Germany`s National Socialist past and naming groups of victims of the dictatorship who had hitherto hardly received a mention.

John Cranko

John Cyril Cranko (* 15th August 1927 in Rustenburg, South Africa; † 26th June 1973) was a British dancer and choreographer.

In 1961 John Cranko, formerly of Sadlers Wells Theatre in London, was appointed director and choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet Company. In the twelve years that followed, Cranko not only wrote one of the most successful chapters in the history of the Stuttgart Ballet, but also rose to become one of the world`s most outstanding choreographers.

He pursued a single-minded policy designed to promote and develop all facets of the repertoire and the ensemble, while exploiting to the full his own unique talent as a choreographer, and these were the main factors which were instrumental in the Stuttgart Ballet`s rise to world fame under his direction.

Flowing action, ingenious dramaturgical ideas, distinctive figures and widely varied dances are typical of Cranko`s choreographic style. His credo that dance should “portray life itself” is reflected not least in his masterly pas de deux.

John Cranko died on 26th June 1973 during the return flight to Dublin following a successful tour of the USA. He is buried in a little graveyard near Solitude Palace (Stuttgart).

Vincent Klink

Vincent Klink (* 29th January 1949 in Gießen) is a German chef de cuisine, author, editor and publisher of gastrosophic literature and a well-known TV chef.
The son of a vet, Vincent Klink grew up in Schwäbisch Gmünd. At first Klink thought about becoming a painter or graphic artist, but changed his mind when his father insisted there was no money in it.
He therefore became a Swabian apprentice chef and trained with master chefs in Baden and elsewhere. In 1991 Vincent Klink took over the Wielandshöhe restaurant in Stuttgart-Degerloch, with ten chefs, eight service staff and other employees.
In 1998 he was awarded a Michelin star for his cooking.

However, despite this award he does not want his restaurant to be an awe-inspiring “gourmet temple”, but a place to relax and feel at ease. As a chef he is not only interested in haute cuisine, but is eager to preserve the tradition of typical regional dishes, such as “Maultaschen”, which he perfects using the finest ingredients, but without altering their original character.

Nina Hoss

Nina Hoss was born in Stuttgart on 7th July 1975. Her father, Willi Hoss, was a German trade unionist and politician (German MP, the Greens), while her mother, Heidemarie Rohweder, was an actress at Stuttgart State Theatre and later director of the Württembergische Landesbühne Esslingen.

When she was only seven years old Nina Hoss had roles in radio plays and made her first stage appearance at 14. Despite her early film successes she completed her stage training at the Ernst Busch School in Berlin and since 1998 she has appeared in Berlin with the Deutsches Theater and the Berliner Ensemble.

In 2005 she played the famous “Paramour” role in “Everyman” at the Salzburg Festival.
She has received many international rewards for her film work, including the “Goldene Camera”, the “Adolf-Grimme-Preis” and the “Deutscher Filmpreis 2008”.

More about Stuttgart region

Related content: Discover the region Stuttgart: Esslingen, Marbach, Schorndorf, Ludwigsburg

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