A photo-blog for those who love history. A blog that makes its way throughout the Federal Republic of Germany, starting in the environs of Stuttgart, in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg. This photographer-writer takes his readers on a photographic journey as he discovers new places to photograph. Follow along as he visits Germany's known and lesser-known places and takes excursions across its borders.
Eugenplatz in Stuttgart: Queen Olga of Württemberg, consort of King Karl I, gave this fountain known as the Galatea fountain to the people of Stuttgart in 1890, only two years before her death. It was paid for in part with her private funds. The queen chose the designs of Otto Rieth for what we see today. It was erected to contribute toward the beautification of the city. It was damaged only slightly during the Second World War and was completely renovated between 2005 and 2007.
Queen Olga is still regarded today as one who cared greatly for her subjects' welfare. Together with King Karl, she also founded a hospital which still bears their names even today. Queen Olga, born a Russian grand duchess, is probably the best-remembered of Württemberg's five queen consorts.
Despite the plans drawn up by some prominent architects which were preferred by the committee overseeing the construction, it was Queen Olga who overrode their decision and chose the architect Rieth over the others.
Eugenplatz affords a great view of the city. Across the tram lines from the actual fountain is an ice-cream store purported to be "the best ice-cream" in the city. It's called "Pinguin". You can't miss it. The lines are certainly long on hot summer days and I have even enjoyed it myself, but I am not going to speak for anyone else on the topic of food and taste.
Your writer heard a wonderful story from a Stuttgart lady about the goings-on around the realization of the hefty project to construct the fountain: It was heard that the conservative people of Stuttgart were pleased to receive the fountain, but when they heard a nude statue of the goddess would be atop the finished work, there was grumbling about the immodesty thereof. When the complaints got back to the queen, it is said that she made it clear that if they didn't like it then she would have the statue turned around so that the godedess' backside would face out over Stuttgart.
It isn't really known if that was true or not but it surely makes a good story. Queen Olga was apparently a rather benevolent lady. Her marriage to the king was in fact a sad one, and as stated above, she still did what she could for the people with the little money she actually had. She had wanted to be more involved in somehow making positive improvements toward the lives of the citizens. She was in fact an intelligent woman and probably could have been of some practical and worthy influence over her husband the king, who was hardly interested in ruling, but that never really panned out and she stayed in the background. He left her alone to be away from court as much as possible. More on them in another post later.