The Baden-Württemberg region of Southwest Germany was once the medieval German Duchy of Swabia. It is filled with castles, monasteries, royal gardens, and historic sites galore. Several of these lovely locations are now equipped for incentives and meetings with A/V, WiFi, catering and more. Your attendees can gather, hold events and breakouts where monarchs and monks, kings and knights once strolled.
Stuttgart: Old Castle & New Palace
Stuttgart is the capital of Baden-Württemberg and right in the center of town, there's the Altes Schloss (Old Castle) and the Neues Schloss (New Palace).
Altes Schloss: In the 16th century, Duke Christoph von Württemberg transformed the old, 10th century castle-fortress into a magnificent Renaissance palace with a stunning inner courtyard. The Altes Schloss, now the Württemberg State Museum, has impressive event spaces: four meeting rooms (80-155 people) and, for receptions, use of the splendid courtyard and some of the museum's most-interesting exhibition rooms. Plus, there's access to the Concert Hall (100 people) in the lovely Fruchtkasten music house.
Neues Schloss: This stunning Baroque palace was built in the 18th century by Duke Carl Eugen and occupied by Württemberg kings until the 20th century. Now, it houses the ministries of the Baden-Württemberg state government.
The grand White Hall (400 people) is a lovely spot for meetings, conferences, and other functions; the foyer space is available for receptions.
For more on Stuttgart's meetings offerings, visit our deeper dive into the city's offerings here.
Ludwigsburg: Castle, Convention Center & Music Hall
Just 10 minutes north of Stuttgart, the quaint town of Ludwigsburg, founded by Duke Eberhard Ludwig in 1718, has several terrific venues for incentives and larger scale events.
Ludwisgburg Castle: The former Royal Palace of Ludwigsburg (pictured at top) is Germany's largest Baroque palace complex. Referred to as the "Swabian Versailles," it consists of 18 buildings with 452 rooms, surrounded by an equally impressive, garden-park. There are so many beautiful rooms to use here for events, it will be hard to choose between the magnificent Marble Hall (120-250 people), the Ordenssaal (400 people), the lovely Palace Theatre (270 people) and, in warmer months, the magnificent gardens and the Ehrenhof courtyard.
Forum am Schlosspark: Ludwigsburg's beautifully designed convention center is just steps from the castle's garden-park (5,000 square meters; 3,000 people). Musikhalle (Music Hall): One of Ludwigsburg's most distinctive landmarks, the ambience is ideal for large gatherings and gala dinners (two rooms, 420 people).
Esslingen: Castle, Convention Center & Town Hall
Just 10 minutes south of Stuttgart, Esslingen is one of those lovely, little towns with some of the best-preserved, timbered buildings in Germany, from nearly every architectural period, including the oldest timbered house (1261) and the oldest row of timbered buildings (1328-1331).
Esslingen Castle: The 14th century castle is currently being completely renovated to better accommodate meetings: a small room (40 people) will open in early 2020; a larger room (150-170 people) has a planned opening of 2021/2022. The combined rooms, with a 200-person capacity, will provide a stand-alone event space for gatherings. It will also be used for evening events and breakout sessions in conjunction with the Convention Center and the Old Town Hall.
Neckar Forum: This state-of-the-art convention center (1,200 people in the main hall) has three conference rooms, plus five more in the adjoining 150-room Hotel Park Consul. Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall): Built in 1422, a Renaissance façade was added to this splendid, historic building in the late 1500s. There are five meeting rooms (150 people) in different architectural styles from Gothic to Baroque. And, Kessler, Germany's oldest sparkling wine producer, is right next door!
Other options in the region:
Schwetzingen: Schloss Schwetzingen. About an hour north of Stuttgart, the Schwetzingen Palace, built in the 1700s, was the summer residence of the Electors Palatine Charles III Philip and Charles IV Theodore. Much of the original interior decoration and furnishings survive, but it's best known for its ornately-landscaped gardens. In the castle, rooms are usually booked in pairs: one as a conference room, the other for meals and receptions. For example: The Meeting Room and the Chamber Music Room (recommended for groups larger than 50); The Mozart Room with a stage combined with the Long Hall Mozartsaal (for groups up to 330 people).
Weikersheim: Schloss Weikersheim. About an hour and a half north of Stuttgart, Weikersheim was the ancestral seat of the princely Hohenlohe family. In 1586, Count Wolfgang of Hohenlohe built a new palace in the Renaissance style with a Baroque garden.
Bad Schussenried: Kloster Schussenried. The monastery, Kloster Schussenried, is about two hours south of Stuttgart. Founded in 1183, the three-wing complex has been expanded and rebuilt several times over the centuries, combining architectural styles from the late Romanesque era to the Rococo. The most stunning part is the Baroque Library Hall (220 people) that can be booked in addition to the Caspar Mohr room (80 people) and other meeting space.