The 3B hinterland is worth a visit

Maulbronn Monastery

From Cistercian monastery to World Heritage Site

What Cistercian monks created here is unique – and seemingly made for eternity. In the seclusion of the Salzach Valley, they left behind a now 850-year-old abbey in a cultural landscape featuring reservoirs, vineyards and quarries. The monastery complex radiates a unique beauty from the cellar to the steeple. No medieval monastery north of the Alps is more complete. This World Heritage Site – which UNESCO elevated to this status in 1993 – still reflects the world of the Cistercian monks today. Under the motto "Pray and Work", the Cistercians in Maulbronn achieved prosperity. Descend into the stone vaults already used by monks to store their wine. See centuries-old stone blocks worked by the artful monastery inhabitants. The site is a harmonious, integrated work of art with many highlights: The "Paradise", the church's entrance hall, is a building of special importance, as is the dining hall of the monks. After the Reformation and the site's transformation into a monastery school, Maulbronn retained its rank: Famous people such as Johannes Kepler and Friedrich Hölderlin received their education here (about 30 km away).


Schiller Town Marbach

The town of Marbach, birthplace of Friedrich von Schiller, towers high above the Neckar.

Half-timbered houses, the "Holdergassen" quarter, towers and fountains define the historic overall ensemble of one of the oldest rural towns in Württemberg, where Friedrich von Schiller was born in 1759. In the Schiller Year of 2009, his 250th birthday is being celebrated with a prestigious anniversary programme in the literary city that is now internationally renowned for the German Literature Archive and the literature museums: A new permanent exhibition will open in Schiller's birth house in February, and in November the Schiller National Museum will reopen after two years of interior renovation. The national theatres of Mannheim and Weimar will give guest performances, German rocker Heinz Rudolf Kunze will play exclusively and actors including Marianne Sägebrecht will read stories about the Schiller family. In May, an authentic 18th-century festival in the historic old town will bring Schiller's time back to life.


The Baroque city of Ludwigsburg

Vibrant and baroque: That's Ludwigsburg. Three castles at once attest impressively to the great splendour of the Württemberg court in the former royal residence town: the magnificent Ludwigsburg Residential Palace, the romantic Monrepos Lakeside Palace and the enchanting hunting lodge Schloss Favorite.

In Germany's oldest horticultural show, the Gardens in Ludwigsburg, visitors can enjoy royal garden art or experience the special charm of this city on a stroll through the lively shopping streets with their pastel-coloured town houses or in one of the many cafés on the market square surrounded by arcades.