The Old Castle is located in the centre of Stuttgart. The first castle dated back to around 950 when Stuttgart was a settlement for breeding horses; it was built to guard the Stutengarten of the stud. In the 14th century it became the residence of the Counts of Württemberg and the court chamber (Hofkammer) of the House of Württemberg. In the 16th century dukes Christopher and Ludwig ordered it to be converted into a Renaissance palace or schloss; work which was carried out from 1553 to 1578. It was at this time (1560) that the equestrian staircase was built by Blasius Berwart. In 1562 the palace church was consecrated and the conference hall furnished. The moats around the castle were filled in during the 18th century.
In 1931, the castle was severely damaged by a fire and before it could be reconstructed it was damaged by bombing in the Second World War. The castle was finally renovated in 1969.
King Charles I of Württemberg and his wife Olga are buried beneath the castle church. The inner courtyard houses a monument to Eberhard I. The Old Castle stands adjacent to its replacement, the New Castle, which was built in the late 18th century.
Today the Old Castle is home to the Württemberg State Museum.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.