13
Oct2013
0

The next country on our European tour was Germany – the most important country too since that’s where James and Meike’s wedding was to take place! But before the wedding, we had some time to be tourists first.

There are two big car companies in Stuttgart – Porsche and Mercedes Benz. It was a tough choice, but the Mercedes Benz Museum was meant to be amazing. And indeed, it was.

Mercedes Benz Museum

The building is one huge spiral, where you get an elevator up to the 8th floor then slowly spiral your way down to the ground floor. The top floor is also where the oldest vehicles are and as you walk down the building, the cars get newer and newer. And in the beginning, there were 2 car companies – Benz & Co and the Daimler Company.

This 3 wheeled car was theĀ 1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen. It even had a patent – the first patent for a petrol powered vehicle. Very cool.

Mercedes Benz Museum - 1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen

Mercedes Benz Museum - Benz & Co Patent

At the same time (1886), the Daimler Company made a 4 wheeled vehicle called theĀ Motorized Daimler carriage. It’s engine is set in the back seat – so small!

Mercedes Benz Museum - Motorized Daimler carriage, 1886

As could be expected for a museum this size, there were many many vehicles – cars, boats, buses, race cars and more.

Mercedes Benz Museum Mercedes Benz Museum

Mercedes Benz Museum

The curved arcs as you walked down the museum contained a series of information boards outlining the history of the two car companies. What was *really* interesting though was that the information boards were interspersed amongst general history facts, such as when Sputnik was put into space, the Wright brothers first flew their plane, and when Sir Edmund Hilary climbed Mt Everest. It was really great to give the Mercedes Benz story historical context – so many other museums get that wrong! It made the whole story a very enjoyable and accessible read.

Sir Edmund Hillary at Mercedes Benz Museum

The Daimler Company built a famous race car called the Mercedes, named after the daughter of one of the company’s directors. The car won many races over several years, and so the company registered Mercedes as a trademark. It’s quite a elegant car, right?

Mercedes Benz Museum - Original Mercedes car

The museum, like I said, is huge and completely full of vehicles. The story that guides you through the technology and history (such as how the two car companies were forced to merge for financial reasons in 1924, post WWI) is very clear and well written. Along with the informative audio guide, it was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Mercedes Benz Museum Mercedes Benz Museum

Mercedes Benz Museum Mercedes Benz Museum

If you’re ever in Stuttgart, I would definitely recommend the museum. The car factory tour is meant to be awesome as well, but we missed out! Do try to see both to get the full experience.

Time to head into small town Germany – Maulbronn, here we come!

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