The Unique Cable Car of Stuttgart

One of my favorite things about traveling is when I accidentally stumble into something super unique and very weird. When I was visiting Stuttgart this past month, this happened, and I was floored. We were on a press trip visiting some of the unique things around the Stuttgart area, and one of the things on the docket was to go up a hill out of the valley of Stuttgart via an old cable car. Cable cars are fun and (in my experiences) pretty common in Germany; however, this one was special. We found out, as we arrived, that this cable car was built in 1929 to take people up to a cemetery into the woods on the hill above it. A cable car specifically meant for funeral processions? How interesting! I knew right away I had to write about it.

The Stuttgart Cable Car

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In 1913, the city of Stuttgart ran out of cemetery space in the valley of the main city. Because of this, they opened a cemetery in a gorgeous forest spot in a hill above the city. They didn’t know how relevant this would immediately become, as shortly after its opening, the first world war broke out. When it first opened, the only way up into the cemetery on the large, domineering hill was via a path up the hill. This was a hard ask, especially for funeral processions and the elderly who would come up to visit their friends and family who were buried within the premises. So, in 1929, the cable car was built to bring people up to the cemetery. This is why the car, itself, is so small and bland-looking. It was created in rustic brown colors and neutral hues specifically as a way to respect those in mourning.

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The Stuttgart cable car has two wagons, one that must go up while the other goes down, to balance each other out. There was an incident in the 1950s where a car was weighed down too much, and this caused an accident that killed many people. So, the car, itself, has not only been known for those in mourning but has also been a spot of death and tragedy.

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For those looking to use the car today, it’s used for much less macabre purposes, though it still can take you to the cemetery in the hill. Today there are many public hiking trails up in the hills, and the cable car can take you up to them so you don’t have to walk up the steep hillside. It’s also a part of the public transportation network, so it’s free to use if you have a card with the city for public transportation. We visited the cemetery, of course, after riding up on the cable car, and it was breathtakingly peaceful. It was also interesting that the women were buried separately from the men at the time of its creation, so you don’t always find couples together. There was also a full field of people buried at one part from an air raid that went off in Stuttgart during World War II.

The Trail of Traitors

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The hiking trail we took around this particular hill of Stuttgart was the “Blue Stocking Trail”. Why blue stockings? Well, it just so happens to be the “Trail of Traitors”. In 1519, the Duke of Gutenberg was betrayed by his people. The people who betrayed him came roughly from this area, for context. After the betrayal, he forced all who betrayed him to wear blue stockings, specifically, to church each Sunday so everyone could see them and know who betrayed him. Since this was their district, the trail that was later put in here was dubbed the “Blue Stocking Trail”. It runs roughly 7.5 kilometers long (about 4 miles) and takes you through the gorgeous forests above Stuttgart. Another pretty cool thing about this particular hill is that bikes have their own trail down the hill that occasionally goes above the pedestrian hill via bridges. Since sustainability is so important to the area, there is a special railway that takes bikes up the hill to allow passengers to ride down on the special bike trail.

The Terrorists

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There’s another beautiful area of the forest that you pass through that contains another cemetery. In the 1800s, this spot was a shooting range for the garrison of the city. However, when the forest cemetery became full, they decided that the then unused shooting range was a perfect spot for another cemetery in the hills. This cemetery became famous, however, in the 1970s.

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There were three members of the Red Army Faction (Communists) that were arrested for acts of terrorism. Rather than facing punishment for their crimes, they committed suicide together while in prison. They had to be buried, but no one wanted to bury them, as they were terrorists to the country. The mayor at the time proclaimed, “The enemy must some day end” and ordered them to be buried in this cemetery. So, people now come up to this spot and ask where the terrorists are buried. Guides and workers are then trained to say, “There are no terrorists here; only dead people.”

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Our adventures through the cemeteries of Stuttgart came with many interesting tales, and that made for the best kind of surprise adventure! I hope you visit Stuttgart, and when you do, I highly encourage you to take a ride on the cable car.

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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