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Remnants such as this sculpture, likely recovered from a demolished old building, are displayed along a wall in a park located in southern Stuttgart. The City Lapidarium  is one of the city?s lesser known sites.

Remnants such as this sculpture, likely recovered from a demolished old building, are displayed along a wall in a park located in southern Stuttgart. The City Lapidarium is one of the city?s lesser known sites. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Remnants such as this sculpture, likely recovered from a demolished old building, are displayed along a wall in a park located in southern Stuttgart. The City Lapidarium  is one of the city?s lesser known sites.

Remnants such as this sculpture, likely recovered from a demolished old building, are displayed along a wall in a park located in southern Stuttgart. The City Lapidarium is one of the city?s lesser known sites. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

More than 200 artifacts are featured at the City Lapidarium in Stuttgart, including numerous statues that are several hundred years old. The park, featured here in early June, is open daily during the summer months.

More than 200 artifacts are featured at the City Lapidarium in Stuttgart, including numerous statues that are several hundred years old. The park, featured here in early June, is open daily during the summer months. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

The City Lapidarium in southern Stuttgart features more than 200 pieces of sculpture and art work from old demolished or destroyed buildings, including this piece of a man playing a harp. The park, hidden behind a high wall, serves as a quiet escape from the noisy city.

The City Lapidarium in southern Stuttgart features more than 200 pieces of sculpture and art work from old demolished or destroyed buildings, including this piece of a man playing a harp. The park, hidden behind a high wall, serves as a quiet escape from the noisy city. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

The City Lapidarium in downtown Stuttgart is a quiet spot to relax while surrounded by old statues and green space. The park was set up in the 1950s and is open between May 1 and Sept. 13.

The City Lapidarium in downtown Stuttgart is a quiet spot to relax while surrounded by old statues and green space. The park was set up in the 1950s and is open between May 1 and Sept. 13. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

More than 100 years ago, the little oasis of green was a private garden for a local aristocrat. But today, the City Lapidarium in Stuttgart almost feels like your own garden escape from modern-day urban bustle.

Set in the south of the city, the park is easy to miss, hidden behind a nondescript wall along Morikestrasse, a lightly trafficked side street.

As such, the Lapidarium isn’t at the top of most leisure to-do lists in Stuttgart, where the big attractions are car museums dedicated to the city’s automotive industry and numerous other more high-profile sites. But it’s that very obscurity that makes it worth a stop, especially for anyone interested in Old-World art set in a place of quiet and calm.

There are more than 200 artifacts in the park, ranging from big statues dating to the 1600s to remnants of old city buildings, gates and arches.

There isn’t a clear order to the garden’s sculptures, which seem sort of randomly positioned around the park. There also probably isn’t enormous historic value to old objects that are kept outdoors year round. But a walk along the paths in the Renaissance-style garden feels like a journey back in time.

The park was first built in 1905 and was modeled as an Italian Renaissance garden for a neighboring house. Then in 1950, the city acquired the space to serve as a green space for local residents, complete with damaged ruins from the past.

Special events, such as small theatrical shows and concerts, also are routinely held at the site.

It’s not a place to spend a whole day. You can walk through the garden in a matter of minutes or linger for a couple of hours just to relax.

Since the entrance’s fee is basically what you choose to drop into the donation box, it’s a visit that also won’t break the bank.

vandiver.john@stripes.com

LOCATION: Morikestrasse 24, Stuttgart.

DIRECTIONS: The City Lapidarium is in the southern section of Stuttgart, located in a residential area. For those coming from outside of the city, take the B14, a main artery through town, until you reach the area around Marienplatz. Roads that intersect with Morikestrasse include Willy-Reichert-Staffel and Hohenstaufenstrasse.

TIMES: The park is open from May 1 to Sept. 13. Hours are 2-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

COSTS: Not fixed. A donation box at the entrance asks for visitor contributions.

PARKING: Street parking only.

FOOD: There is no food or drink served at the site, but a nice beer garden overlooking Stuttgart is only a five-minute walk away. Simply head uphill.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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